On Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of talking to Eric Weis from the East Coast Greenway Alliance. We chatted about cycling, the current Greenway and its future!
The East Coast Greenway Alliance is a non-profit organization with the goal of created the East Coast Greenway, a pathway from the Canadian border to Key West completely separate from motor vehicles. With such an impressive goal Eric was blunt about the future and acknowledged that currently 75% of the route is on shared roads, so this may not be a reality until long after we’ve all lived long, happy lives.
Nevertheless, the Alliance works tirelessly with government agencies, community groups and other non-profits to connect local paths and one day reach their goal. In the meantime they have been making impressive goals with new state guides slated to come out at the end of April and GPS coordinates by the end of 2013.
While Eric has not yet ridden the Greenway in its entirety he has biked from the Canadian border to Baltimore and small segments in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Biking accommodations vary from segment to segment but Eric mentioned that the Alliance strongly encourages path managers to implement bike racks and fix-it stations along the route.
Beyond being a fabulous route from the Canadian border to Florida the East Coast Greenway is a tourist route. Unlike an interstate highway, Eric encouraged travelers to slow down and enjoy the sites along the Greenway. More than 50-60 miles a day is just too much he says, go explore the beautiful scenery and cultural attractions that the Greenway was designed around!
For more information about the East Coast Greenway please visit www.greenway.org. If you are interested in becoming involved consider advocating for trail development and safe streets at your local town meeting, signing up for the Alliance’s newsletter or help fund their efforts by becoming a member.