August 2010


In This Issue...


National News

  • Greetings from Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano
  • ECGA at ProWalk ProBike

Regional News: Southeast

  • Trail hopes defy Florida's windy seasonal challenge

Regional News: South Atlantic

  • North Carolina: tour and ECGA meetings

Regional News: Mid Atlantic

  • TIGER II grant application
  • ECG Ride, NJ-NY
  • Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester & Putnam fundraiser
  • Bike tours in Annapolis!

Regional News: New England

  • New England Bike-Walk Summit update
  • She's Walking from Ellsworth, Maine to NYC on the ECG!
  • Maine Lighthouse Ride
  • New construction on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
  • Providence Cyclocross Festival presented by Interbike

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

Staff
Dennis Markatos-Soriano: Executive Director

Kitty Carter: Office Manager/Membership Coordinator/Bookkeeper

Herb Hiller: Southeast Region Consultant

Mike Oliva: Mid-Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator

Eric Weis: Trail Program Coordinator


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National ECGA News

Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Carolina In My Mind

Dear ECGA members,

As I've probably mentioned before, I'm a native North Carolinian. And like singer James Taylor, I have fond memories of the Carolina sunshine.

I grew up in the Chatham County woods outside of Pittsboro, NC. I then moved a whole 15 miles away to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tarheels!). I can't imagine a better place to spend my first 27 years of life than central NC (locally called the Triangle) with its rolling hills and vibrant communities.

This fall, I'd like to share North Carolina with you. Our East Coast Greenway bike tour will be from the Outer Banks along the coast down to Wilmington and then up to the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham area). The ride will take place from Sunday, October 17th to Friday, October 22nd and feature a number of new East Coast Greenway sections. Please email me or call the office if you are interested in joining us for the adventure, which is designed as our fourth annual ride to reward donors for their generous support. Cape Fear Cyclists' Bethel Paris (an ECGA donor herself) and Terry Benjey will lead the ride.

If you can't make the whole tour, please consider joining us for the Cross Triangle Greenway finale ride from Raleigh to Durham on Friday afternoon and for the Trail Council and Annual Meeting held on Saturday October 23rd in Durham. We'll hike along the greenway on Saturday after the meetings.

These Fall gatherings are the best place to learn about amazing new sections of the East Coast Greenway up for official designation. And this October may be a historic round of designations from all of the buzz I'm hearing about new ECG trails up and down the coast - especially in Maine.

I hope you can join us this October to enjoy the East Coast Greenway in Carolina,

Dennis


Photo by Steve Rosenbaum & Jerry Markatos

ProWalk/ProBike, US Bike Routes, ECG

Headed to ProWalk/ProBike, Chattanooga, September 13-16? Be sure to come to the pre-conference workshop (Monday 9/13, 1-4 pm) on the US Bicycle Route System, on Monday 9/13 from 1-4 pm in Room 6 of the Chattanooga Convention Center. Led by Adventure Cycling Association's Ginny Sullivan, the panel will be co-hosted by ECGA's Trail Coordinator, Eric Weis, and representatives from several state DOTs. If you're wondering why the ECGA is involved: it is anticipated that much of the ECG will become designated as US Bike Route One. Read more about this event on this flier.

(And if you can host or share a room with an ECGA staffer on that Monday night in Chattanooga to help a small nonprofit save money, please let us know!)

Regional News: Southeast
Herb Hiller reports:


Trail hopes defy Florida's windy seasonal challenge


It's hurricane season in the Sunshine State, but the imminence driving trail advocates has less to do with low barometric pressure than with high hopes. This is also "due season," and it starts with a gift.

Retired helicopter pilot and Vietnam Veteran Albert E. Melvin October 1st launches his month-long planned tour of the East Coast Greenway through Florida. Al, from far western Panhandle Santa Rosa County, will actually cycle the route twice. He plans to park his car in Fort Pierce, then cycle north with his back-of-the-bike trailer to Fernandina Beach before next heading south all the way to Key West and back to close out his solo ride back to Fort Pierce.

Al is making the ride to draw attention to veteran health affairs and also to the Greenway, both of which he believes lack the attention they deserve. The Greenway Alliance is supporting Al's ride with home-stay arrangements and media attention. As Al says of his venture, "It's kinda like planning a month long air mission of some sort, with thousands of details to consider, and minimal room for error. But, I'm looking forward to this." To interact with Al about his trip, email him at arotorhead@earthlink.net.

Longer in its fruition is the launch three days after Al's start of the trails-tourism website of Visit Florida. The Greenway Alliance initiated that project a year ago August, and its launch promises not just global reach for information about Florida trails. The website also promises its own next steps.

Already in discussion between Florida's Office of Greenways and Trails and the Alliance is a state trails blog that doesn't exist today. While the Visit Florida trails website would facilitate anyone anywhere booking Florida trail-based vacations, the new blog site would inform pro-active trail supporters with monthly up-dated detail on what's driving Florida trail ambitions. American Trails in 2008 awarded Florida charter honors as #1 trails state in America. The Visit Florida trails website will include the East Cost Greenway through Florida. It's one of a handful of not-yet-finished long-distance trails whose overall routes are nonetheless already known.

Previews of the Visit Florida site will take place September 15th at the River Summit of the St. Johns River Alliance in Jacksonville, and also at the annual Florida Governor's Conference in metro Orlando. Both previews will indicate willingness of Florida's tourism industry to embrace trails-tourism at the county level the way that Visit Florida has at the state level. For any early-bird, exclusive peek at a mock-up of the site, click here.

For additional overview of Florida's widening trails-tourism connection that also emphasizes the role of the Greenway Alliance, log onto the Summer 2010 edition of American Trails Magazine.

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Regional News: South Atlantic


North Carolina: tour and meetings


As Dennis wrote about in his letter at the top of this newsletter, the ECGA will be quite active in the Tarheel State in October. A terrific bike tour of the Outer and Inner Banks, a fun ride in the Triangle, and important semi-annual organizational meetings are all near at hand. Keep your eyes on greenway.org for more details on all of these events.

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Regional News: Mid-Atlantic


TIGER II grant application - your help needed!


On the heels of the successful USDOT TIGER 1 Grant that PA and NJ received in February, those two states - with the addition of DE - are now submitting a TIGER 2 grant application. The request for $35 million out of a total project cost of $51 million is called GREAT-Mid-Atlantic, and would complete trails and bikeways all over the 3 states. Nine of the 30 sub-projects included in the application are on the East Coast Greenway in PA, NJ, and DE - with many more located on connecting trail systems, such as the Delaware & Lehigh Canal Trail (from Bristol to Wilkes-Barre, PA), the Schuylkill River Trail (from Philadelphia to Schuylkill County, PA) and the Great Allegheny Passage (from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, PA). Please take a look at the grant application at this link. (8.7 MB pdf download)

If you live or work in the following Congressional Districts, please call or write your Congress-members or USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood to express your support for the GREAT-Mid-Atlantic project:
  • NJ: Districts 10 (Donald Payne), 13 (Albio Sires), 1 (Rob Andrews); Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez
  • PA: Congressional Districts 8 (Patrick Murphy), 13 (Allyson Schwartz), 1 (Bob Brady), 2 (Chaka Fattah), 7 (Joe Sestak); Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter
  • DE: Rep Mike Castle (At Large), Senators Tom Carper and Ted Kauffman


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    ECG Ride, NJ-NY


    Please join us for an East Coast Greenway bicycle ride on October 3rd at 9:00 AM starting and finishing at the George Washington Bridge. We will ride mainly pathways along the NJ and NY Hudson waterfronts and take a ferry from Hoboken across to NYC. You can see more details at the link below.

    The ride is free for ECG members who preregister and $10 for non-members. Hope to see you all there!

    http://ecghudloop.eventbrite.com


     


    Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester & Putnam / Merrill's Law


    Enjoy a glass of wine or Captain Lawrence ale and light fare to support the Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester & Putnam, an affiliate of the East Coast Greenway, on Tuesday, September 28, in Bronxville, NY. The Alliance led the fight pass Merrill's Law, which requires motorists in New York to pass cyclists at a safe distance. We will be honoring Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins for their efforts in passing Merrill's Law. For more details go to http://www.firstgiving.com/merrillslaw


     


    New Bike Tour Option for Annapolis!


    Visiting Annapolis? The best way to see the city is by bike, and a tour with Annapolis By Bike will also show you the East Coast Greenway route through town. Check them out next time you visit this historic city on the Chesapeake!


     
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    Regional News: New England


    New England Bike-Walk Summit update


    Summit planning continues red-hot. Keynoter: Tim Blumenthal (President, Bikes Belong). Participation confirmed with Alliance for Biking and Walking, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and the League of American Bicyclists. We have received many good proposals for the breakout sessions, we'll offer at least one field trip, and the walking tour of Providence's Waterplace Park will be first-rate: led by one of the architects that designed it! Learn more at the website (includes link for registration) and facebook group.


    Karen Terzano: She Walks the Walk


    Karen Terzano of Ellsworth, Maine, faced with an important event to attend in New York, weighed her different transportation options, as we all would. She settled on the ECG, and she's now well into her walk to NYC.

    You can read all about her journey on her blog (hosted by our good friends at WeekendWalk.com), and in this newspaper article. She's still on the lookout for homestays, so if you can host her along the ECG in MA, RI, CT, or NY, send her an email: karenterzano (at) gmail (dot) com.


    EJ Herson / Foster's Daily Democrat


    Maine Lighthouse Ride on Eastern Trail/ECG!


    From our friends at the Eastern Trail Alliance:

    Greenway supporters, you can help Maine's Eastern Trail Alliance and have a great weekend riding its fully supported Maine Lighthouse Ride. Saturday after Labor Day. See up to 9 lighthouses while touring the spectacular Maine Coast on rides of 25, 40, 62 and 100 miles, finishing with hot food and hot showers at Southern Maine Community College with its own Coast Guard working lighthouse on campus. Register on-line by August 26th for the discounted rate and a FREE ride T-shirt. For more information and to register: http://easterntrail.org/mlr/mlr.html



    New Trail on the Farmington


    The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail has stealthily become one of the country's most impressive trails. New construction in Southington will bring the trail southward to the Cheshire line. Cheshire, which has built the southern half of its trail (adjoining Hamden), will later build its northern portion. Ultimately, the Farmington will stretch over 100 miles as it connects New Haven Harbor with Northampton, Mass. (It is the route of the ECG between New Haven and Simsbury, CT.)

    For a gallery with some images, courtesy of John Paturel, click here.


    Providence Cyclocross Festival presented by Interbike


    Providence Cross-Fest returns to Providence, RI from October 8 to 10 for another long weekend of great bike racing and sneak peeks at next year's bikes and bike components! And once again, the organizers have generously made the ECGA a beneficiary of fundraising components of the event. Friday is the industry-only trade show, while Saturday and Sunday feature exciting world-class bike racing and the exhibits are all open to the general public. Learn all about it right here!

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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 (401) 789-4625.

    We look forward to hearing from you!


    Copyright 2010 East Coast Greenway Alliance