July 2012

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • A Free Resource for All, Made Possible by Many

National News

  • Thank You to Our New Major Sponsor: Tom's of Maine
  • Ride with the 2012 Week a Year Tour


  • ECG's Largest Tour a Huge Success

ECGA In the News

  • Newspapers, Local TV, and More

Regional News: New England (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT)

  • Beautiful New Bridge Opens in Boston, MA
  • Musician Ben Sollee on Tour, on the ECG
  • Dinner Fundraiser for Wareham, MA Community Pathway

Regional News: Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC)

  • Upcoming Events in NYC
  • 58th Street Connector Construction in Philadelphia

Regional News: South Atlantic (VA, NC, SC)

  • Big Step Forward in Richmond, VA Capital Trail Effort
  • National Guard Helps Construct Cannon Creek Greenway in VA
  • BCBS of NC Invests in ECG Segments

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Postcard from Key Largo to Key West Bike Trip
  • St. Johns Ferry Saved for a Year

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Andy Hamilton: Mid Atlantic Coordinator

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator

Debbie West: Office Manager / Communications

Join the ECGA

Donate to the ECGA

Contact Us

Thank you to our major sponsors:

REI logo

tom's of Maine

KoenigRusso logo

Cabot logo


Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

A Free Resource for All, Made Possible by Many

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

As so much of our lives are spent paying for this or that, it's nice taking a break on the East Coast Greenway. Walking a mile on the Charles River Path in Boston: $0. Biking to work along the American Tobacco Trail in Durham: $0. Enjoying the river and ocean views from Maine to Delaware to Florida: $0. No monthly gym membership is required for people to experience their community and beyond throughout the Eastern Seaboard. This is only possible by forward-thinking investment in our greenway from people and institutions who share our vision of healthy, beautiful, and sustainable community.

You make that investment every year when you donate to and volunteer for our organization. Inspiring elected leaders and professional staff at our municipalities, states, and federal agencies are precursors to all the ribbon cuttings we celebrate. And a growing number of companies who believe in our vision of a healthy and sustainable future are making investments as well.

As you read through this issue, you'll see a sample of the heroes and heroines who make the ECG accessible to tens of millions of Americans, no matter their income. From the Cabot Tour riders (Bob, Myron, and Cathy) to our newest Corporate Sponsor (Tom's of Maine) to the National Guard helping to build our greenway near Richmond, Virginia - we appreciate everyone's support.

Together, we are building a sustainable & healthy America,


Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Thank You to Our New Major Sponsor, Tom's of Maine

Tom's of Maine has given a generous grant to help sign the East Coast Greenway, with a special focus on Maine, Connecticut, and North Carolina. Tom's is a natural personal care products maker headquartered near the Eastern Trail section of the ECG in Kennebunk, Maine. The firm donates 10% of its profits back to communities. We really appreciate their partnership and support, and we'll let you know as the signs get posted! Tom's joins our major corporate partners REI, Koenig Russo, and Cabot Creamery.

Ride with the 2012 Week a Year Tour

On August 19th, 40 riders will begin our 2012 Week a Year tour, heading from Portland, Maine to Hartford, Connecticut. Want to join the ride for a day? There are three day rides planned for folks who want to ride with the tour riders:

  • Tuesday, 8/21 from Salisbury or Newburyport to Boston (50 - 55 miles)
  • Wednesday, 8/22 from Boston to Waltham (12 miles) or Worcester (47 miles)
  • Saturday, 8/25 from Putnam to Hartford (60 miles)

Salisbury/Newburyport to Boston: Meet at Knotty Pine Motel, Salisbury, 79 Beach Rd. / Route 1A at 8:30 am, or meet five miles south at Newburyport Train station at 9 am. The ride will finish at the Boston North station, and riders can take the train back to Newburyport.

Boston to Waltham or Worcester: Meet at International House of Pancakes (IHOP) at 1850 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton at 8:30 am or meet five miles west on the Blue Heron Bridge between Newton and Watertown at 9 am. Day riders can go roundtrip on the Charles River Bikepath (to Waltham and back, 24 miles) or all the way into Worcester and back (120 miles). Don't want to ride round trip? There is train service from both Waltham and Worcester back to Boston.

Putnam to Hartford: Meet at DOT lot on US Route 44 in Putnam between Kennedy Drive and Canal Street, 9 AM, 60 miles, one way. The tour will end with a reception in downtown Hartford. We will post more info. about the reception here soon!

The rides are free for ECG members, no pre-registration. You must sign a waiver form at the start of the ride, and helmets are required. (Not a member yet? You can easily join on our website!)

Read more about the day rides here!

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ECG Spotlight - Cabot Tour Wrap Up

Biggest Tour in ECG History Concludes July 7th in Maine

From May 12th to July 7th, three cyclists rode the East Coast Greenway from Miami, Florida to Portland, Maine as part of the Cabot Community Tour. Cabot hosted major events in eight cities along the ECG’s alignment, and there were scores of other local events to feed, welcome, and celebrate the cyclists. Hundreds of people rode with the through riders for a day, several days, or a week or more during the trip, and thousands of people participated in the tour events.

What a ride! This was the largest tour in East Coast Greenway history (by number of participants), and we were so thrilled with the response. High fives and a HUGE thank you to our partners at Cabot Creamery for all their help and support in doing the tour and promoting our Greenway!

There were so many people throughout the tour that made the journey easier for the riders, made the events go off without a hitch, and made it a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who supported the riders, hosted events, rode, participated, donated, and more!

Congratulations, Bob Hamblen of Eastern Trail Alliance!

One of the ECG heroes in Maine, Bob Hamblen, was recognized by Cabot as a top volunteer (one of 40 around the country). They are giving him and his wife a week-long cruise from Seattle to Alaska this September. A Saco city planner and president of the Eastern Trail Alliance, Bob's success bringing miles of greenway online recently make him a very deserving honoree. The generous honor from Cabot also shows that volunteering for great causes like our greenway can get you even more than good karma!

Read More - ME Sun Chronicle article about Bob Hamblen

Photo by Tony Barrett

cabot cruise winner

The Through-riders
Bob Spiegelman had always wanted to ride from Florida to home in New Hampshire. Now he's done it, and then some! Bob did his ride as a fundraiser for the ECG, and raised over $7,000. Myron and Cathy Skott are long-time ECG members from Georgia. They have been long distance cyclists for over 20 years, and Myron rode in the ECG's inaugural bike tour in 2004. (By the way, all of the through-riders are rolling strong in their 60's!)

through riders

Here is what the through-riders had to say about the tour:

Myron Skott:  “It is too soon, for me, to be able to make a complete list of who to thank for all of the guidance, history, tour guide service, boat rides, trail advocacy, bike advocacy, friendliness, meals, travel arrangements and other courtesies that we were afforded along the way on the 2012 Cabot Community Tour. It was all great fun and wonderful exercise, and proved that the East Coast Greenway is comprised of some pretty great folks, up and down the entire route.”

Bob Spiegelman: “In almost every state we met impressive individuals who were dedicated and working hard on bike-ped issues. Many escorted us for hours pointing out new trails, proposed trails, problem areas, and telling us about their work. It was quite inspiring and reinforced that there are many of us who care about safe cycling in all parts of the country. It reinforced the concept that the East Coast Greenway is the quintessential example of the old adage, “Think globally - work locally” as leaders in many communities, miles apart who had never met were working to make the East Coast Greenway a reality.”

Bob also related an experience on the tour that underscores the vital need for completing the East Coast Greenway. He and two other cyclists on the tour left were riding on a short stretch of a busy four-lane road with no shoulder. Coming up a hill, a young driver didn't see them until the last minute, and lost control of her car when she swerved to avoid them. Luckily none of the cyclists were hurt and the driver was ok. This near miss is a good reminder of why we need to complete the ECG.

Bob asks everyone to support the ECG "to help make cycling, and driving, safer for all of us. Building and maintaining greenways is an essential component." We couldn't agree more, and we are so glad the ECG is helping create a safer cycling and walking experience for local and long distance use.

Special Thanks To:

  • Diana Meehan, Roberta MacDonald, Bob Schiers, Michelle Silver,Charlotte Strasser, Cheryl Rouleau, and all the fine folks of Cabot Creamery
  • Bob Spiegelman and Myron and Cathy Skott for their courage and dedication
  • Charles Fink, Cabot truck driver
  • Allan Fitton, bike mechanic for the tour
  • The many volunteers at the ECG booths in Miami, Charleston, Durham, Fredericksburg, Willmington (DE), NYC, Providence, and Portland
  • Green Mobility Network, Miami, FL
  • Mike Pikula in N. Florida
  • Vonie Gilreath in Charleston, SC 
  • Cape Fear Cyclists for hosting the tour rider at their annual barbeque, Wilmington, NC
  • Mayor Saffo of Wilmington, NC
  • Elizabethtown, NC Fire Department for hosting the riders overnight
  • Dave Connelly, for escorting the riders through NC
  • Jacob Dolan, Raleigh REI, for Triangle ride support and more
  • Paul Harwood, Durham REI, for leading the volunteer trail cleanup
  • Mayor Jackie Sergent, for hosting a nice brunch in Oxford, NC
  • NC Credit Union League and their Team Little Guy, who rode entire NC ECG section
  • DWM Foundation, Self-Help Credit Union, AARP, NC's electric cooperatives
  • Virginia Bike Federation
  • Chamber of Commerce and other partners in South Hill, VA for hosting a great reception for the riders
  • National Cooperative Business Association reception, Washington DC
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen of NH who met with Bob Spiegelman while he was in DC
  • Greg Hinchliffe, MD state committee chair, who led the riders from Annapolis to BaltimoreState Senator David Sokola and DelDOT Secretary Bhatt who biked with over 100 people on the ride from Newark to Wilmington, DE 
  • Chris Linn, PA state co-chair and Bob Thomas, PA committee member who led the riders from Philadelphia to Trenton in 106 degree weather.
  • Mike Kruimer, NJ state committee chair, who led the riders from North Brunswick to Jersey City
  • Massiel Ferrara and Tom McCann, of Hudson County, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, and Sheree Davis of NJDOT for the ribbon cutting for the Newark to Jersey City connector
  • Anthony Savarese, NY state committee member who led the riders from NYC to CT on a rainy day
  • Steve Mitchell, Mitchell Dodge, for tour lunch in Simsbury CT
  • Highland Park Market, for breakfast sendoff in Manchester CT
  • Larry Linonis and Mark Paquette, CT State Committee chairman
  • Danielson Adventure Sports and Town of Killingly, for evening barbeque and breakfast sendoff in Danielson, CT
  • Equal Exchange Cafe, for snack stop in Boston
  • St. Jean’s Credit Union, for breakfast send-off in Newburyport, MA
  • Captain Lord Mansion, for evening reception in Kennebunkport, ME
  • Eastern Trail Alliance, for leadership on the last day of the tour
  • Tony Barrett and Sue Ellen Bordwell for ride and event support in Maine
  • Bob Hamblen, Saco city planner and President of the Eastern Trail Alliance in Maine

Read More About It - Press About the Tour

Video, Fox CT: Interview on TV News: ECG in CT

ME Sun Chronicle: Eastern Trail President Bob Hamben Receives Cabot Top Volunteer Award

Simsbury, CT Patch: Community Tour Rolls Through Simsbury

CBS Philadelphia: Promoting Trails, Cyclists Reach Philadelphia

Portland, ME Daily Sun: Bike Tour Celebrates Community and Cooperatives

Londonderry, NH News: Londonderry Man Pedals for 57 Days

Fredericksburg, VA: Cabot Tour Comes to Fredericksburg

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ECGA In the News

2012 has been a year of record media attention with over 500 hits so far! The past month was perhaps our biggest, with national coverage on Fox News, and an article in Bicycle Times Magazine! (We'll post a link next month when it becomes available online.)

Video, Fox News: Greenway Gap Closed in New Jersey

Get Going NC: Town of Cary Investment Poised to Make the Triangle's ECG Segment a Global Destination in 18 Months!

Clayton, NC: East Coast Greenway will Link to Clayton

ME Sun Chronicle: Eastern Trail President Bob Hamblen Receives Cabot Top Volunteer Honor

Rocky Hill, CT Life: Riding the ECG Keeps Rider Healthy and Active

IT Business Net: NCBA Celebrates Economic and Social Impact of Co-ops With International Day of Cooperatives

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy: Spanning 15 States, East Coast Greenway Continues to Build

Brunswick, GA News: Jekyll Rolling Out New Paths

Islandpacket.com: East Coast Greenway Lures Cyclists

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Regional News: New England
North Bank Bridge Opens in Boston, MA!

north bank bridgwe

Photo by David Read

The North Bank Pedestrian Bridge connects Paul Revere Park with North Point Park, over railroad tracks and a waterway while allowing safe passage beneath I-93 and US Route 1. An architectural marvel, this bridge also allows ECGA to greatly simplify the route of the ECG between Charlestown and Cambridge, MA. Kudos to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation for getting this bridge on - and over - the ground! Massachusetts' Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, and other state officials attended the bridge opening last Friday in Cambridge. Governor Patrick praised the bridge as "an investment for generations to come." Read more about the bridge opening.

Ben Sollee on Tour, on the East Coast Greenway!

ben sollee tour poster

Ben Sollee, the widely-lauded cellist/singer-songwriter, will soon be biking from RI to Maine, playing concerts along the way.  And he’ll be using sections of the ECG to travel between shows! 

While easily spotted on the road and trail (he keeps his cello strapped to his bike), he'll be even better when spotted (playing) at the Newport Folk Festival, The Narrows Center for the Arts (Fall River), The Loft @ The Music Hall (Portsmouth), and One Longfellow Square (Portland). 

Check out his website for tour dates/locations and more. Read the press release about his tour here.

Dinner Fundraiser for Wareham, MA Community Pathway, July 20th

It's full steam ahead for the Wareham Community Pathway, a section of the ECG's alternate route between Providence and Cape Cod!  Learn more, eat well, and support the local advocacy organization at this fun event on Friday July 20

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Upcoming Events in NYC

We have some exciting rides coming up soon in and around New York City! Thank you to our NY and NJ State Committees for putting on these excellent events. These events are FREE for East Coast Greenway Alliance members. Click here for more information and to register.

  • Sun, Aug. 12, 9 AM: Manhattan Loop Ride, co-sponsored with Common Ground-NYC
  • Sun, September 16, 9 AM: Hudson River Greenway (43rd St.) to City Island ride
  • Sun, Oct. 7, 9 AM: 5th Annual Hudson River Loop Ride
58th Street Connector Under Construction, Philadelphia, PA

Construction of the 58th Street connector is well under way in Philadelphia. This will be a combination of trail and on road bicycle facilities that will connect the Cobbs Creek watershed and the Schuylkill River watershed. Completion is expected this fall.

58th street
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Regional News: South Atlantic
Big Step Forward in Richmond, VA Capital Trail Effort

An important agreement has been reached that will enable construction of a critical section of the Virginia Capital Trail. Kudos and thanks to the City of Richmond and the Lehigh Cement Company. Read more here.

National Guard Helps Construct Cannon Creek Greenway in VA

Phase Two of the Cannon Creek Greenway in Richmond, Virginia is under construction!  National Guard troops began clearing the right-of-way on July 16, and we should see a completed, paved trail in spring 2013. Phase one, completed earlier this year, is about 0.5 mi, and phase two will be 0.7 miles long. Read a Richmond Times-Disptach article about this project.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Supports Greenway Projects in NC

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina recently launched its Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!) program to help reverse obesity. Their four-year project will support biking and greenway projects to encourage physical activity. (Read their press release here.)

Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO said, "Every $1 spent building biking trails and walking paths can save about $3 in medical expenses. Through GO NC!, BCBSNC hopes to improve health and reduce obesity-related medical costs in North Carolina."

go nc logo

GO NC! will kick off with three flagship programs: The Gary Shell Cross-City Trail in Wilmington (part of the ECG), the Blue Loop at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh (which connects to the ECG), and B-cycle in Charlotte - the state's first bike share program.

GO NC! funding will complete the final phase of the 15-mile Gary Shell Cross-City trail that crosses Wilmington from Wade Park to the drawbridge at Wrightsville Beach. Other additions to the trail include mile markers along the entire 15-miles, five bicycle fix-it stations, and annual events along the trail. This trail is here today thanks to the hard work of our local allies, the Cape Fear Cyclists, and Mayor Saffo and other leaders throughout the City of Wilmington.

The North Carolina Museum of Art’s Blue Loop will complete a network of recreational trails in the Museum Park and connect to the regional greenway system / ECG. Construction of the Blue Loop will start in September with completion expected in Spring of 2013.

Thank you BCBS NC for your significant investment to health through helping develop greenways!

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Regional News: Southeast
ECG's Herb Hiller Cycles 107 miles from Key Largo to Key West

Our Florida ECG consultant, Herb Hiller, recently rode the southernmost ECG section. Here is a postcard from Herb about his trip:

Signs are up, designations in, and our southernmost section of trail lengthening, as I learned in June when a friend and I cycled the entire 107 miles from Key Largo to Key West.

There's no place like this stunningly beautiful passage across sections of open Atlantic waters, but it’s also a glimpse of a rare and remnant American way of life.

It's hardscrabble and well off, expensive for living yet resilient, but everybody and everything is here because the Keys are the great American kite tail.

herb on the ECG

People have reached Key West by ferry, by rickety over-packed boat, by train, by road. Now also by trail. Some 70 percent of the Florida Keys Heritage Trail is already in place, with its finish ribbon likely ready for snipping by mid-decade. Final miles will include sections of trail-only bridges built on supports of bridges that once carried a railroad before blown out during the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Some areas of the trail need a little maintenance, and cyclists need to be especially safety-smart through Key Largo, Marathon and Big Pine Key because everything happens on the road. Watch for motorists pulling in and out of parking lots, who may not be aware of cyclists along the trail.

The ride down is much better than the other way. Down, you’re backed by rarely failing tailwinds. Between now and mid-decade, the Greenway Alliance will help lead advocacy aimed at securing bike racks on buses both ways. Also, in extending a bus route north to 30 seamless miles of already designated Greenway back to downtown Miami.

St. Johns River Ferry Saved for Another Year

Good news also about the threatened St. Johns River Ferry, which provides an irreplaceable link between north and south Jacksonville shores. An additional year of funding has been put together by the city of Jacksonville and by the Jacksonville Port Authority, which has been operating the ferry. Meanwhile, both bodies and an array of supporters are looking to the Florida Legislature for a permanent funding solution.

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the establishment, preservation, sound management, and safe use and enjoyment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3000-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns from Maine to Florida. It aims to be 100% traffic-free.

Support the Greenway by becoming a member of the ECGA or sponsoring a mile of trail today.

Get Involved! Volunteer, write a letter, help spread the word...learn about all the ways you can help create the ECG.

Comments? Suggestions? News? Contact the ECGA at info@greenway.org.

Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website, or call us at (919) 797-0619.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Copyright 2012 East Coast Greenway Alliance