The nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance was created in 1991. The entire route has been selected. As of July 2017, 900 miles (1,450 km), or 32 percent of the route, is off-road on traffic-protected greenways. The vision is for the entire trail to be off-road.
Looking east as a Greenway tour approaches the bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey
In 1991, a group of cyclists and long-distance trail enthusiasts met in New York City and formed a national non-profit organization, the East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA), to plan and promote a greenway linking existing and planned trails into a contiguous "spine route" between Atlantic coast cities.
In 1993, tours went along the route to explore options and promote the idea of the greenway. In 1994, the first promotional tour took place from Maine to Washington, D.C. "East Coast Greenway" became a trademark in 1995.
Between 1997 and 2000, about 150 miles (240 km) of trail segments were designated throughout the region. In 2000, Amtrak became a partner, helping to open access to various parts of the route. Between February and June 2000, the ECG Wave non-motorized relay carried a bottle of seawater from Key West to Canada along the route of the ECG. From 2001 to 2004, another 173 miles (278 km) were designated, and multiple states stepped in to help finalize their section of the route. This brought in more partnerships with government organizations, such as NJDOT, that would be essential for trail development. In 2003, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate signed letters to President Bush in support of the greenway.
In 2004, seven cyclists rode the entire route, from Key West to Calais, in 55 days. Later that year, the first Maine-to-Florida tour was held; four cyclists completed the event in 52 days, raising $75,000. In the following years, more people would complete the ride outside of ECG events. A 2005 GQ magazine article about a ride by Wil Hylton brought national attention to the greenway.
The entire spine route was finalized and mapped in 2008. The accessibility of the trail expanded with support of the states, and more events were held each year.
As of 2017, 32 percent of the greenway is off-road. Efforts to increase the amount of off-road routes are continuing.
The New York segments starts in Westchester County and heads south into New York City through the Bronx and Manhattan. The route travels down sections of Broadway and along the Hudson River, which travelers can cross via the George Washington Bridge or by taking a NY Waterway ferry into New Jersey. New York is home to 44 miles (71 km) of greenway, with 62% of the route, the highest percentage on the greenway, being off-road. In Manhattan, 90% of the trail is off-road. Part of the New York City segment is concurrent with the Empire State Trail, which also goes up the west side of Manhattan but diverges from the East Coast Greenway in the Bronx, heading northward through the state instead of towards Connecticut.
The greenway travels through the smaller towns of Bucks County, then through the city of Philadelphia, where it passes numerous historical landmarks and travels over Spring Garden Street, the city's most bicycle-friendly street. The route follows the Schuylkill River Trail south towards Delaware. The 67-mile (108 km) route is 31% off-road, but there is a third of the trail that has no route yet. Planning is being done to close the gaps.
The greenway runs for 43 miles (69 km) through Delaware. Greenway users travel down the Northern Delaware Greenway to historic Wilmington and continue on to the Christina Riverwalk. Next, travelers head to historic New Castle and ride along the New Castle Riverfront before reaching Newark and heading west towards Maryland.
The Florida section of the ECG starts in Fernandina Beach and travels south along the coast through small beach towns and major cities, such as Jacksonville and Miami. The route continues down through islands and bridges to the southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West. This segment of greenway is 600 miles (970 km) long, the longest of the ECG, and is 31% off-road. There is another 13% in development and another 38% in public control and is to be developed. There are some gaps.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) is a nonprofit organization that oversees, but does not own, the greenway. The Alliance is based in Durham, North Carolina, next to the American Tobacco Trail. Six Greenway coordinators work remotely in their regions.
The Alliance coordinates the Greenway's growth by working with local, state, regional, and national organizations and agencies. The Alliance is in charge of designating new trail segments and finding routes for the greenway, posting signs designating the path, spreading awareness of the project, and providing maps and information about the greenway.
ECGA advocates for safe access to bike paths on roadways and bridges, as well as convenient access to public transportation for cyclists. In addition, the Alliance promotes the use of alternate transportation, such as use of greenways.
Baltimore ( BAL-di-MOR (local)) is the most populous municipality in the U.S. state of Maryland. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 602,495 in 2018, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.Baltimore is also the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. The city's Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States. In addition, Baltimore was a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, heavy industry, and restructuring of the rail industry, Baltimore has shifted to a service-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889) and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876) are the city's top two employers.With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed a "city of neighborhoods." Famous residents have included writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, Ogden Nash, and H. L. Mencken; jazz musician James "Eubie" Blake; singer Billie Holiday; actor and filmmakers John Waters and Barry Levinson; and baseball player Babe Ruth. During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Baltimore after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. His poem was set to music and popularized as a song; in 1931 it was designated as the American national anthem.Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country, and is home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation, including Fell's Point, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon. These were added to the National Register between 1969 and 1971, soon after historic preservation legislation was passed. Nearly one third of the city's buildings (over 65,000) are designated as historic in the National Register, which is more than any other U.S. city.
The East Bay Bike Path is a 14.5-mile (23.3 km) paved rail trail in Rhode Island. The path begins at Providence and India Point Park, crosses the Seekonk River via the George Redman Linear Park (opened September 2015) and Washington Bridge and continues southeast to Bristol along the shoreline of Narragansett Bay. The path passes through the city of East Providence, the hamlet of Riverside, and the towns of Barrington and Warren. It is part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile system of trails connecting the Canada–US border in Maine to Key West. and provides access to Haines State Park, Brickyard Pond (Barrington), and Colt State Park. It is used annually by 1.1 million people.
The Moosup Valley State Park Trail is a rail trail located on the railbed of a former New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad line in the New England towns of Plainfield and Sterling in Windham County, Connecticut. The line ran from 1898 until 1968. The rail line was abandoned in the late 1960s, and was designated by the state as a multi-use trail in 1987. The trail is owned and operated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
It runs for approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from Main Street in the center of the village of Moosup to the Rhode Island state line in the town of Sterling, where the trail continues into Rhode Island as the Coventry Greenway. The Moosup Valley Trail, together with the Quinebaug River Trail and the Air Line Trail, is "a critical link" in the Hartford to Providence section of the planned East Coast Greenway.
The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail (TCB), the official name of the Northern Central Railroad (NCR) Trail, is a rail trail that runs along an abandoned railroad corridor where the Northern Central Railway once operated. The trail extends 20 miles from Ashland Road in Cockeysville, Maryland to the boundary with Pennsylvania. At the Pennsylvania line, the Torrey C. Brown Trail becomes the York County Heritage Rail Trail (part of BicyclePA Route J) and continues to the city of York.The trail is 10 feet (3.0 m) wide with a stone dust surface and the majority of the trail runs along the Gunpowder River and Beetree Run. Popular activities on the trail include horseback riding, jogging, walking, hiking, fishing and biking. It is open to the public from dawn to dusk, seven days a week throughout the year. The trail is also pet-friendly as long as the pet is on a leash.
The TCB makes up a segment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida.
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