Post-Thanksgiving 2010

In This Issue...

National News

  • Greetings from the Director

Regional News: Southeast

  • Rising tide, and advancing through the City of Speed

Regional News: South Atlantic

  • Richmond, VA: New Options

Regional News: Mid Atlantic

  • NYC: Cycle Tracks on the East Side
  • Newark, NJ: Walking School Bus
  • Cue Sheet Help

Regional News: New England

  • Connecticut DOT: New, Friendlier Bike & Ped Policy (unveiled on the ECG)
  • Trail Development in Mass.
  • Maine: Eastern Trail Ribbon-Cutting, Nov. 30!

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

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 the Director

Giving Thanks for Greenway Progress

Dear ECGA Members,

Working on the East Coast Greenway, it's almost impossible to go a day without giving thanks for the people and passion around me.

I'm thankful for the nine people who got together 19 years ago and dared to dream of an active transportation corridor connecting eastern cities.

I'm thankful for our outstanding staff and their dedicated commitment. Every day they give their best to develop a greenway they know will take more than a decade to complete!

I'm thankful for you - our community of more than 8,000 people throughout the eastern United States and beyond. You selflessly give your time, your skills, and your financial support to our common cause and I really appreciate it. The record progress of 2010 was possible thanks to every member of our team pitching in what they can toward another sign, another bike lane and sidewalk, or another few miles of trail.

We are all privileged to be part of an emerging American treasure. Together, we can help our country and the world face the environmental, health, and economic challenges in front of us.

Hoping You and Your Family Had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Photo by Steve Rosenbaum & Jerry Markatos
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Regional News: Southeast

Rising tide, and advancing through the City of Speed

by Herb Hiller

In Florida, our strategy for the East Coast Greenway Alliance has been to create, even with minimal available tools, an institutional framework to advance trails throughout the state. A rising tide lifts all boats. This "rising tide" strategy has been doing its job, and now we are turning more directly to getting the Greenway built, designated and signed.

About "rising tide" matters, the American Trails National Symposium earlier this month in Chattanooga named yours truly Florida Trail Advocate of the Year. This makes it easier for me to get things done and lends added credence to what Alliance Trustee Paul Haydt and Trails Council member Steve Davis also help accomplish for us in Florida.

Further in the larger strategy, I lately cycled the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop for the first time. This 260-mile trail-in-the-making covers four counties of our Greenway spine route and another of alternative route. The route is better than I imagined when I only sagged it for tours of Bike Florida. Indeed, I rode the five days with Bike Florida founder Linda Crider, who 32 years ago in Gov. Bob Graham's administration largely helped make Florida cycling happen again after a lapse of five decades.

Back roads of the Loop authenticate that Florida remains significantly rural and, elsewhere, not only protects open spaces but also restores historic downtowns. Our spine and alternative routes are a most worthwhile way to experience Florida that's now more readily learned about for trails from the official state website.

Plans newly call for the 3rd Annual Meeting of Loop Counties February 18th at DeBary Hall in Volusia County. As it happens, representing DeBary on the County Council is Pat Northey. Pat will chair the St. Johns River Alliance starting in 2011. The River Alliance includes half of our 13 spine route counties in Florida, the one that's alternative, and another potential one.

In terms of getting new trail built, counties currently most active in our behalf newly include Martin (county seat Stuart; headquarters of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council) as well as Monroe through the Florida Keys, Miami-Dade, and Duval (Jacksonville). At the semi-annual spring Trail Council and trustee meetings in Simsbury, Connecticut, we can now expect to designate new sections of spine route in Monroe, Martin, St. Johns, and Duval counties. Our Alliance partner in Miami-Dade, Green Mobility Network, now has funding for half the number of signs it wants along the M-Path and the South Miami-Dade Busway. These will start going up as soon as Miami-Dade Administration approves details.

Brevard County (the Space Coast) and Volusia County next north are both newly encouraging about getting trail built. We have word that funding may be on hand for engineering and design of our route through NASA property. Helping make this happen are Titusville Mayor Jim Tulley and Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce President Marcia Gaedcke. Brevard District 1 County Commissioner Robin Fisher has gotten this action going.

The city best known for speeding race cars in Florida, Daytona Beach, has enjoyed a change in its tourism administration that newly and distinctly from the past favors trails. Also helping the advance here is the nonprofit Halifax Heritage Byway & Trails.

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Regional News: South Atlantic

New Options for Richmond, VA!

For years, the ECG has left Richmond (southbound) by crossing the James River on Manchester Bridge - narrow, sewer grates, merging traffic. Not optimal by any stretch of the imagination. However, we will shortly be improving the route by using a bike-ped span suspended beneath the Robert E. Lee Bridge (US Rt 1), which drops you on Belle Isle (a beautiful park in the river; it was used as a prison during the Civil War) to use the paths found there, which link to calmer streets on the south side of the river. We are also looking a bit further into the Canal Walk, on the north bank of the James River, as a potential link in the chain. We invite you to follow these links to learn more about these important sites!

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic

ECG helps deliver 2500 letters of support to NYC Mayor Bloomberg

The East Coast Greenway is part of a coalition asking the City of New York to extend its new East Side bike lanes on First and Second Avenues from 34th St. to 125th St. The City has implemented the bike lanes from Houston St. up to 34th St. but abruptly halted the plan to extend them to 125th St. ECG is one of many community groups led by Transportation Alternatives who helped gather 2500 written letters of support addressed to Mayor Bloomberg asking him to extend the bike lanes. These letters were delivered on November 10th in front of City Hall where press and a crowd of 50 supporters and elected officials gathered to show their support.

Bicycles advocates at New York City Hall

Walking School Bus: Newark

The East Coast Greenway Alliance, along with RBA Group and other community groups, helped organize a walking school bus at the Hawthorne Ave. and Ivy Hill Elementary Schools in Newark on October 29th. A walking school bus is basically a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. Walking to school is an effective, healthy, safer and more social alternative to getting to school than by bus or by car. Over 20 students and parents took part. We hope to encourage more parents and students to help organize walking school buses all along the ECG.

Schoolkids in Newark enjoy a nice fall day!

Cue Sheet Help

ECGA member and volunteer Dan McCrady has been working hard at reviewing and generating new ECG cue sheets. Dan and the ECGA have decided to use a new format for our cue sheets using Trimble Outdoors' free software. The cue sheets look great and the entire 400 miles of Mid Atlantic ECG cue sheets are posted at We are looking for cyclists to ride verify the new cue sheets in the Mid-Atlantic region (and beyond), to help make sure they are completely accurate. Please let Dan and ECGA Mid-Atlantic Regional Trail Coordinator Michael Oliva know if you can ride verify any of the cue sheets in the Mid Atlantic or other regions, by clicking this link.

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Regional News: New England

Connecticut DOT: The Ship Turns, on the ECG!

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the latest mile of the Charter Oak Greenway (ECG) was the setting on Friday, November 19, when Governor Jodi Rell announced that from this point forward, ConnDOT would maintain a more multi-modal perspective. The policy shift includes reserving 50% of Transportation Enhancements funds for bike & ped projects. (Full story here.) Governor Rell also announced new funding for 3 sections of the ECG in Connecticut: the Bolton section of the Charter Oak Greenway, the East Hartford section of the Charter Oak Greenway, and the Cheshire section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.

Governor Rell announces the policy directive as Bill O'Neill, chair of the Connecticut Greenways Council (and ECGA Advisory Board member) stands behind her. Photo courtesy John Paturel.

Trail News from Mass.

Rails and ties are largely removed from the rail-trail-to-be in Danvers, Wenham, and Topsfield, north of Boston, and we're waiting on grading and a new surface. The trail will have a fairly rough surface, suitable for mountain biking or walking, but not great for road bikes. We will continue to advocate for a smooth and firm stone dust surface. Get the full story here.

Eastern Trail Ribbon-Cutting

The Eastern Trail Alliance and its partners (inlcuding the ECGA) came together on Tuesday, November 30, in Biddeford, ME to celebrate the completion of the latest five miles of the Eastern Trail! You can learn more here. This section runs from Biddeford, through Arundel, into Kennebunk. The Eastern Trail, which will ultimately extend from Portland to Kittery, now has over 16 miles of completed trail! More should open in 2011, so stay tuned.

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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.

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We look forward to hearing from you!

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