East Coast Greenway NYT article

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides' started by Tim Arnold, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Tim Arnold

    Tim Arnold Guest

    http://travel2.nytimes.com/2004/06/04/travel/escapes/04GREE.html
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----

    June 4, 2004
    Building an `Emerald Necklace,' Link by Link
    By DENNY LEE

    THE bike trail is roughly eight feet wide. It is paved in black asphalt and
    hemmed in by a wooden split-rail fence. And when the sun comes out, as it
    did the other weekend, the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail in Maryland springs
    to life with cyclists, in-line skaters and wild rabbits. But no one on the
    trail, not even the spandex-wearing weekend warriors, could pinpoint where
    the path begins or ends.

    "It starts in Annapolis," said Debbie Doering, 42, a cyclist from that town,
    who was riding a purple Bianchi road bike. A few miles up the path, Ron
    Coombs was unpacking a mountain bike from his station wagon. "It goes up to
    the B.W.I.," he said, referring to Baltimore-Washington International
    Airport. In other words, according to these bikers, the greenway would be
    about 13 miles long.

    They were off by only 2,600 miles or so.

    The B.& A. Trail, it turns out, is merely a tiny dash along a much longer
    ribbon of asphalt and dirt roads known as the East Coast Greenway. The
    greenway, a cyclist's version of the Appalachian Trail, begins near the
    Canadian border in Calais, Me., and ends at a beach in Key West, Fla. In
    between, it snakes through 15 states and the District of Columbia, hundreds
    of towns and countless neighborhoods, forming a seamless route — free of
    traffic lights and exhaust-spewing cars — for people who want to travel the
    East Coast on their own power.

    At least it does on paper.

    So far, only 20 percent of the East Coast Greenway has been built and
    designated; in some places, the greenway is as navigable as the North Korean
    border. But enough of the trail has been plotted and temporary routes
    labeled that the greenway's pathfinders held a coming-out party in
    Washington last June to declare the trail officially open.

    Though nobody has yet ridden the trail end to end. (A fit person, going at a
    solid pace of 70 miles a day, would need 37 days to complete it — and that's
    without a day of rest.) Even its staunchest advocates predict that only a
    handful of people will ever pedal the entire route. "Sure, but very few
    people have done the Appalachian Trail," said Ty Symroski, a city planner in
    Key West and a volunteer with the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the
    nonprofit group that is spearheading the trail. "If only three people did
    it, but 300 million dream about it, that would be worth it."

    "Think about it," he added. "It would be an awesome ride."

    But first, people have to know it exists. On a recent Saturday afternoon, on
    the Key West portion of the trail, wild chickens took refuge under shady
    palms, and the concrete path was filled with cyclists of all ages, from
    children on tricycles to elderly couples on tandems. Among them was Georgina
    Acuna, 31, a human resources consultant visiting from Miami, who was riding
    a rickety single-speed bike along the final, 2.3-mile leg of the greenway,
    hugging the shore, slicing past mangrove marshes, beachside homes and the
    emerald waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Like most users of the greenway, Ms. Acuna saw only a local bike path. "This
    trail goes to the other side of Key West, right?" she said, as she stood at
    the very foot of the trail, just before it spills into Higgs Beach. A few
    feet away was a granite marker the size of a wastebasket, designating the
    spot as the "southern gateway" of the East Coast Greenway.

    "No one is contesting that most people will use the greenway to travel short
    distances, or only on weekends," said Karen M. Votava, the executive
    director of the Greenway Alliance, based in Wakefield, R.I. She, too,
    invoked the Appalachian Trail as a model. "Only 400 or so people go the
    whole length of the Appalachian Trail every year. But if you look closer,
    over four million use it in short pieces."

    Chances are, even in its infancy the greenway has already surpassed that
    figure. Unlike the Appalachian Trail, which ambles through backwoods and
    national parks, the greenway does not avoid urban areas. (Its slogan is, "A
    trail connecting cities.") The idea for the long biking trail was born in
    the early 1990's as cities throughout the country, especially in the
    Northeast, began laying down bicycle paths. It was a movement fueled by an
    aging baby-boom population seeking to trim its waist line, and by
    environmentalists who embraced cycling as a clean alternative to cars.

    The biggest boost came in 1991 when Congress, under heavy lobbying by
    environmental groups, authorized the Intermodal Surface Transportation
    Efficiency Act, known as Istea (pronounced ice tea). In addition to
    expanding the nation's highway system, the act set aside $1.5 billion for
    building bicycle and pedestrian paths. Local governments contributed an
    additional 20 percent in matching financing.

    "Istea was the pivotal moment," said Andy Clarke, executive director of the
    League of American Bicyclists in Washington. The program grew to $2 billion
    in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, and is up
    for renewal this year.

    Cities as divergent as New York and Portland, Me., began using the money to
    build minigreenways, though the total number of bike paths is hard to pin
    down. Many used old railroad rights of way, and by 1998 there were 198
    converted rail-trails in the country, totaling 359 miles. That number has
    climbed to 1,250 rail-trails today, with a combined 12,585 miles, according
    to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit group in Washington.

    The East Coast Greenway Alliance was formed in 1991 to stitch together the
    new trails. The idea was to create an "emerald necklace" connecting every
    city along the coast, as well as the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas in
    between. To date, 61 segments totaling 650 miles are complete, half on
    former rail beds. Organizers are also working on lining up existing
    campsites so cyclists can sleep along the trail.

    One of the most popular segments is the B.& A. Trail, which goes over an
    abandoned railroad spur. An estimated two million people use the trail every
    year, including Steven George, 46, a warehouse worker from Glen Burnie, Md.,
    whose front door faces the greenway. "I bike down to my mom's house in
    Annapolis," he said.

    The B.& A. Trail skips over six-lane highways, trickling ravines and traffic
    lights. It is an idyllic 13.3-mile ride out of the Baltimore area — until
    you hit a stop sign near a road called Boulters Way. To continue south
    toward Washington, on the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail, cyclists
    have to swerve onto Route 2, share the road with 50-m.p.h. traffic, cross a
    bridge into Annapolis, and zigzag through 10 miles of tricky local streets
    to the nearby town of Odenton.

    There, at the corner of Odenton Road and Route 170, near a 7-Eleven and the
    Crab Galley seafood carry out, a new asphalt trail materializes out of
    nowhere. But the trail, nearly completed, runs for only 2.3 miles before it
    dead-ends at a housing development. To reach the next leg of the greenway,
    cyclists have to traverse another six miles of sidewalks, local streets and
    unmarked intersections.

    And Maryland is one of the more complete states.

    Neither Delaware nor Georgia claims an inch of existing greenway. New
    Hampshire has a single temporary route: along the shoulder of coastal Route
    1A. And South Carolina is still poring over maps. "The biggest obstacle is
    money," said Ms. Votava of the Greenway Alliance. To date, $600 million has
    been allocated for the trail. Another $1.5 billion, she estimated, is needed
    to complete it by 2010.

    Each mile costs roughly $1 million to build, but some are much costlier. No
    bikes, for example, are allowed over the bridges that span the Susquehanna
    River in Maryland, and it is less than certain that the state will erect a
    1.4-mile bridge just for cyclists and pedestrians — so far $2 million of the
    estimated $8 million needed for the bridge has been raised. (Cyclists
    currently have to arrange to transport their bikes by car.)

    And then there is the Nimby factor. The greenway has sparked occasional
    protests from homeowners who fear that it will invite criminals into their
    backyards. "People raise the specter of crime, but it's shown to have no
    validity," said Mr. Clarke of the bicyclists' league, referring to several
    surveys that examined the neighborhood impact of such greenways. "Bicycle
    users typically don't carry large television sets on their backs." Still,
    places like Greenwich, Conn., and Providence, R.I., have kept the trail from
    going through their communities.

    To publicize and raise money for the trail, about a dozen cyclists are
    planning to pedal the entire 2,600-mile route this fall, or at least the
    outlines of it. The inaugural tour is scheduled to depart from Calais, Me.,
    on Sept. 12, and end in Key West 53 days later, though many routes — and
    permission to ride over highway bridges — are still being worked out.

    But Jack Kurrle, 74, a retired tool-and-die engineer from Sun City West,
    Ariz., is already in training. "It's the same reason why people climb Mount
    Everest," said Mr. Kurrle, an avid cyclist who rides a recumbent bike. "It's
    a chance to be the first one to ride the trail."



    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search |
    Corrections | Help | Back to Top
     
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  2. NYRides

    NYRides Guest

    My favorite line:

    "If only three people did (ride) it, but 300 million dream about it, that
    would be worth it."

    Unfortunately, being 41 and bogged down by a tight work schedule and an
    aging back, I'm probably one of the 300 million. But man, do I love
    dreaming about it!

    "Tim Arnold" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > http://travel2.nytimes.com/2004/06/04/travel/escapes/04GREE.html
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    --
    > ----
    >
    > June 4, 2004
    > Building an `Emerald Necklace,' Link by Link
    > By DENNY LEE
    >
    > THE bike trail is roughly eight feet wide. It is paved in black asphalt

    and
    > hemmed in by a wooden split-rail fence. And when the sun comes out, as it
    > did the other weekend, the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail in Maryland springs
    > to life with cyclists, in-line skaters and wild rabbits. But no one on the
    > trail, not even the spandex-wearing weekend warriors, could pinpoint where
    > the path begins or ends.
    >
    > "It starts in Annapolis," said Debbie Doering, 42, a cyclist from that

    town,
    > who was riding a purple Bianchi road bike. A few miles up the path, Ron
    > Coombs was unpacking a mountain bike from his station wagon. "It goes up

    to
    > the B.W.I.," he said, referring to Baltimore-Washington International
    > Airport. In other words, according to these bikers, the greenway would be
    > about 13 miles long.
    >
    > They were off by only 2,600 miles or so.
    >
    > The B.& A. Trail, it turns out, is merely a tiny dash along a much longer
    > ribbon of asphalt and dirt roads known as the East Coast Greenway. The
    > greenway, a cyclist's version of the Appalachian Trail, begins near the
    > Canadian border in Calais, Me., and ends at a beach in Key West, Fla. In
    > between, it snakes through 15 states and the District of Columbia,

    hundreds
    > of towns and countless neighborhoods, forming a seamless route - free of
    > traffic lights and exhaust-spewing cars - for people who want to travel

    the
    > East Coast on their own power.
    >
    > At least it does on paper.
    >
    > So far, only 20 percent of the East Coast Greenway has been built and
    > designated; in some places, the greenway is as navigable as the North

    Korean
    > border. But enough of the trail has been plotted and temporary routes
    > labeled that the greenway's pathfinders held a coming-out party in
    > Washington last June to declare the trail officially open.
    >
    > Though nobody has yet ridden the trail end to end. (A fit person, going at

    a
    > solid pace of 70 miles a day, would need 37 days to complete it - and

    that's
    > without a day of rest.) Even its staunchest advocates predict that only a
    > handful of people will ever pedal the entire route. "Sure, but very few
    > people have done the Appalachian Trail," said Ty Symroski, a city planner

    in
    > Key West and a volunteer with the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the
    > nonprofit group that is spearheading the trail. "If only three people did
    > it, but 300 million dream about it, that would be worth it."
    >
    > "Think about it," he added. "It would be an awesome ride."
    >
    > But first, people have to know it exists. On a recent Saturday afternoon,

    on
    > the Key West portion of the trail, wild chickens took refuge under shady
    > palms, and the concrete path was filled with cyclists of all ages, from
    > children on tricycles to elderly couples on tandems. Among them was

    Georgina
    > Acuna, 31, a human resources consultant visiting from Miami, who was

    riding
    > a rickety single-speed bike along the final, 2.3-mile leg of the greenway,
    > hugging the shore, slicing past mangrove marshes, beachside homes and the
    > emerald waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
    >
    > Like most users of the greenway, Ms. Acuna saw only a local bike path.

    "This
    > trail goes to the other side of Key West, right?" she said, as she stood

    at
    > the very foot of the trail, just before it spills into Higgs Beach. A few
    > feet away was a granite marker the size of a wastebasket, designating the
    > spot as the "southern gateway" of the East Coast Greenway.
    >
    > "No one is contesting that most people will use the greenway to travel

    short
    > distances, or only on weekends," said Karen M. Votava, the executive
    > director of the Greenway Alliance, based in Wakefield, R.I. She, too,
    > invoked the Appalachian Trail as a model. "Only 400 or so people go the
    > whole length of the Appalachian Trail every year. But if you look closer,
    > over four million use it in short pieces."
    >
    > Chances are, even in its infancy the greenway has already surpassed that
    > figure. Unlike the Appalachian Trail, which ambles through backwoods and
    > national parks, the greenway does not avoid urban areas. (Its slogan is,

    "A
    > trail connecting cities.") The idea for the long biking trail was born in
    > the early 1990's as cities throughout the country, especially in the
    > Northeast, began laying down bicycle paths. It was a movement fueled by an
    > aging baby-boom population seeking to trim its waist line, and by
    > environmentalists who embraced cycling as a clean alternative to cars.
    >
    > The biggest boost came in 1991 when Congress, under heavy lobbying by
    > environmental groups, authorized the Intermodal Surface Transportation
    > Efficiency Act, known as Istea (pronounced ice tea). In addition to
    > expanding the nation's highway system, the act set aside $1.5 billion for
    > building bicycle and pedestrian paths. Local governments contributed an
    > additional 20 percent in matching financing.
    >
    > "Istea was the pivotal moment," said Andy Clarke, executive director of

    the
    > League of American Bicyclists in Washington. The program grew to $2

    billion
    > in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, and is

    up
    > for renewal this year.
    >
    > Cities as divergent as New York and Portland, Me., began using the money

    to
    > build minigreenways, though the total number of bike paths is hard to pin
    > down. Many used old railroad rights of way, and by 1998 there were 198
    > converted rail-trails in the country, totaling 359 miles. That number has
    > climbed to 1,250 rail-trails today, with a combined 12,585 miles,

    according
    > to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit group in Washington.
    >
    > The East Coast Greenway Alliance was formed in 1991 to stitch together the
    > new trails. The idea was to create an "emerald necklace" connecting every
    > city along the coast, as well as the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas in
    > between. To date, 61 segments totaling 650 miles are complete, half on
    > former rail beds. Organizers are also working on lining up existing
    > campsites so cyclists can sleep along the trail.
    >
    > One of the most popular segments is the B.& A. Trail, which goes over an
    > abandoned railroad spur. An estimated two million people use the trail

    every
    > year, including Steven George, 46, a warehouse worker from Glen Burnie,

    Md.,
    > whose front door faces the greenway. "I bike down to my mom's house in
    > Annapolis," he said.
    >
    > The B.& A. Trail skips over six-lane highways, trickling ravines and

    traffic
    > lights. It is an idyllic 13.3-mile ride out of the Baltimore area - until
    > you hit a stop sign near a road called Boulters Way. To continue south
    > toward Washington, on the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail,

    cyclists
    > have to swerve onto Route 2, share the road with 50-m.p.h. traffic, cross

    a
    > bridge into Annapolis, and zigzag through 10 miles of tricky local streets
    > to the nearby town of Odenton.
    >
    > There, at the corner of Odenton Road and Route 170, near a 7-Eleven and

    the
    > Crab Galley seafood carry out, a new asphalt trail materializes out of
    > nowhere. But the trail, nearly completed, runs for only 2.3 miles before

    it
    > dead-ends at a housing development. To reach the next leg of the greenway,
    > cyclists have to traverse another six miles of sidewalks, local streets

    and
    > unmarked intersections.
    >
    > And Maryland is one of the more complete states.
    >
    > Neither Delaware nor Georgia claims an inch of existing greenway. New
    > Hampshire has a single temporary route: along the shoulder of coastal

    Route
    > 1A. And South Carolina is still poring over maps. "The biggest obstacle is
    > money," said Ms. Votava of the Greenway Alliance. To date, $600 million

    has
    > been allocated for the trail. Another $1.5 billion, she estimated, is

    needed
    > to complete it by 2010.
    >
    > Each mile costs roughly $1 million to build, but some are much costlier.

    No
    > bikes, for example, are allowed over the bridges that span the Susquehanna
    > River in Maryland, and it is less than certain that the state will erect a
    > 1.4-mile bridge just for cyclists and pedestrians - so far $2 million of

    the
    > estimated $8 million needed for the bridge has been raised. (Cyclists
    > currently have to arrange to transport their bikes by car.)
    >
    > And then there is the Nimby factor. The greenway has sparked occasional
    > protests from homeowners who fear that it will invite criminals into their
    > backyards. "People raise the specter of crime, but it's shown to have no
    > validity," said Mr. Clarke of the bicyclists' league, referring to several
    > surveys that examined the neighborhood impact of such greenways. "Bicycle
    > users typically don't carry large television sets on their backs." Still,
    > places like Greenwich, Conn., and Providence, R.I., have kept the trail

    from
    > going through their communities.
    >
    > To publicize and raise money for the trail, about a dozen cyclists are
    > planning to pedal the entire 2,600-mile route this fall, or at least the
    > outlines of it. The inaugural tour is scheduled to depart from Calais,

    Me.,
    > on Sept. 12, and end in Key West 53 days later, though many routes - and
    > permission to ride over highway bridges - are still being worked out.
    >
    > But Jack Kurrle, 74, a retired tool-and-die engineer from Sun City West,
    > Ariz., is already in training. "It's the same reason why people climb

    Mount
    > Everest," said Mr. Kurrle, an avid cyclist who rides a recumbent bike.

    "It's
    > a chance to be the first one to ride the trail."
    >
    >
    >
    > Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search

    |
    > Corrections | Help | Back to Top
    >
    >
     
  3. I intend to bike from Madawaska, ME to Key West, and started this year with
    a trip from Philadelphia north and back (actually further than the top of
    Maine - I went to Ste. Anne de Beaupre and back, 1964 miles of riding in
    all). I hope to be posting a trip report in the next couple weeks. Before
    leaving, I scanned the Greenway site and got no useful nformation for this
    segment.

    I used the Adventure Cycling route, at least in part , from Philadelphia to
    Windsor Locks, CT on the northbound portion of my ride. There were problems
    with it, including a closed road on the NJ side north of Delaware Water Gap.
    Also at its best, it's a very hilly ride. I went on north to Canada mostly
    via Rte. 5 along the Ct. River, but without successfully avoiding a lot of
    hills.

    After 500+ miles of riding in Quebec not relevant to this thread, I
    returned via Madawaska, ME and US 1 to Houlton, then mostly 2 and 202 to NH,
    125 through NH, 125, 28 and eventually 1 through MA and RI (where that route
    becomes indecipherable), 44 to CT, CT rtes 169, 82, 81 and 80 to New Haven,
    then 1 across SW CT and Westchester to the Bronx, local parkways to the GW
    bridge, 46 and 57 across NJ, and 611 back to Phila.

    There is much to recommend against both of the routes I used. I have no
    idea what better route there is. The northeast will be a challenge for any
    planner, I think.


    "Tim Arnold" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > http://travel2.nytimes.com/2004/06/04/travel/escapes/04GREE.html
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    --
    > ----
    >
    > June 4, 2004
    > Building an `Emerald Necklace,' Link by Link
    > By DENNY LEE
    >
    > THE bike trail is roughly eight feet wide. It is paved in black asphalt

    and
    > hemmed in by a wooden split-rail fence. And when the sun comes out, as it
    > did the other weekend, the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail in Maryland springs
    > to life with cyclists, in-line skaters and wild rabbits. But no one on the
    > trail, not even the spandex-wearing weekend warriors, could pinpoint where
    > the path begins or ends.
    >
    > "It starts in Annapolis," said Debbie Doering, 42, a cyclist from that

    town,
    > who was riding a purple Bianchi road bike. A few miles up the path, Ron
    > Coombs was unpacking a mountain bike from his station wagon. "It goes up

    to
    > the B.W.I.," he said, referring to Baltimore-Washington International
    > Airport. In other words, according to these bikers, the greenway would be
    > about 13 miles long.
    >
    > They were off by only 2,600 miles or so.
    >
    > The B.& A. Trail, it turns out, is merely a tiny dash along a much longer
    > ribbon of asphalt and dirt roads known as the East Coast Greenway. The
    > greenway, a cyclist's version of the Appalachian Trail, begins near the
    > Canadian border in Calais, Me., and ends at a beach in Key West, Fla. In
    > between, it snakes through 15 states and the District of Columbia,

    hundreds
    > of towns and countless neighborhoods, forming a seamless route - free of
    > traffic lights and exhaust-spewing cars - for people who want to travel

    the
    > East Coast on their own power.
    >
    > At least it does on paper.
    >
    > So far, only 20 percent of the East Coast Greenway has been built and
    > designated; in some places, the greenway is as navigable as the North

    Korean
    > border. But enough of the trail has been plotted and temporary routes
    > labeled that the greenway's pathfinders held a coming-out party in
    > Washington last June to declare the trail officially open.
    >
    > Though nobody has yet ridden the trail end to end. (A fit person, going at

    a
    > solid pace of 70 miles a day, would need 37 days to complete it - and

    that's
    > without a day of rest.) Even its staunchest advocates predict that only a
    > handful of people will ever pedal the entire route. "Sure, but very few
    > people have done the Appalachian Trail," said Ty Symroski, a city planner

    in
    > Key West and a volunteer with the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the
    > nonprofit group that is spearheading the trail. "If only three people did
    > it, but 300 million dream about it, that would be worth it."
    >
    > "Think about it," he added. "It would be an awesome ride."
    >
    > But first, people have to know it exists. On a recent Saturday afternoon,

    on
    > the Key West portion of the trail, wild chickens took refuge under shady
    > palms, and the concrete path was filled with cyclists of all ages, from
    > children on tricycles to elderly couples on tandems. Among them was

    Georgina
    > Acuna, 31, a human resources consultant visiting from Miami, who was

    riding
    > a rickety single-speed bike along the final, 2.3-mile leg of the greenway,
    > hugging the shore, slicing past mangrove marshes, beachside homes and the
    > emerald waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
    >
    > Like most users of the greenway, Ms. Acuna saw only a local bike path.

    "This
    > trail goes to the other side of Key West, right?" she said, as she stood

    at
    > the very foot of the trail, just before it spills into Higgs Beach. A few
    > feet away was a granite marker the size of a wastebasket, designating the
    > spot as the "southern gateway" of the East Coast Greenway.
    >
    > "No one is contesting that most people will use the greenway to travel

    short
    > distances, or only on weekends," said Karen M. Votava, the executive
    > director of the Greenway Alliance, based in Wakefield, R.I. She, too,
    > invoked the Appalachian Trail as a model. "Only 400 or so people go the
    > whole length of the Appalachian Trail every year. But if you look closer,
    > over four million use it in short pieces."
    >
    > Chances are, even in its infancy the greenway has already surpassed that
    > figure. Unlike the Appalachian Trail, which ambles through backwoods and
    > national parks, the greenway does not avoid urban areas. (Its slogan is,

    "A
    > trail connecting cities.") The idea for the long biking trail was born in
    > the early 1990's as cities throughout the country, especially in the
    > Northeast, began laying down bicycle paths. It was a movement fueled by an
    > aging baby-boom population seeking to trim its waist line, and by
    > environmentalists who embraced cycling as a clean alternative to cars.
    >
    > The biggest boost came in 1991 when Congress, under heavy lobbying by
    > environmental groups, authorized the Intermodal Surface Transportation
    > Efficiency Act, known as Istea (pronounced ice tea). In addition to
    > expanding the nation's highway system, the act set aside $1.5 billion for
    > building bicycle and pedestrian paths. Local governments contributed an
    > additional 20 percent in matching financing.
    >
    > "Istea was the pivotal moment," said Andy Clarke, executive director of

    the
    > League of American Bicyclists in Washington. The program grew to $2

    billion
    > in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, and is

    up
    > for renewal this year.
    >
    > Cities as divergent as New York and Portland, Me., began using the money

    to
    > build minigreenways, though the total number of bike paths is hard to pin
    > down. Many used old railroad rights of way, and by 1998 there were 198
    > converted rail-trails in the country, totaling 359 miles. That number has
    > climbed to 1,250 rail-trails today, with a combined 12,585 miles,

    according
    > to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit group in Washington.
    >
    > The East Coast Greenway Alliance was formed in 1991 to stitch together the
    > new trails. The idea was to create an "emerald necklace" connecting every
    > city along the coast, as well as the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas in
    > between. To date, 61 segments totaling 650 miles are complete, half on
    > former rail beds. Organizers are also working on lining up existing
    > campsites so cyclists can sleep along the trail.
    >
    > One of the most popular segments is the B.& A. Trail, which goes over an
    > abandoned railroad spur. An estimated two million people use the trail

    every
    > year, including Steven George, 46, a warehouse worker from Glen Burnie,

    Md.,
    > whose front door faces the greenway. "I bike down to my mom's house in
    > Annapolis," he said.
    >
    > The B.& A. Trail skips over six-lane highways, trickling ravines and

    traffic
    > lights. It is an idyllic 13.3-mile ride out of the Baltimore area - until
    > you hit a stop sign near a road called Boulters Way. To continue south
    > toward Washington, on the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail,

    cyclists
    > have to swerve onto Route 2, share the road with 50-m.p.h. traffic, cross

    a
    > bridge into Annapolis, and zigzag through 10 miles of tricky local streets
    > to the nearby town of Odenton.
    >
    > There, at the corner of Odenton Road and Route 170, near a 7-Eleven and

    the
    > Crab Galley seafood carry out, a new asphalt trail materializes out of
    > nowhere. But the trail, nearly completed, runs for only 2.3 miles before

    it
    > dead-ends at a housing development. To reach the next leg of the greenway,
    > cyclists have to traverse another six miles of sidewalks, local streets

    and
    > unmarked intersections.
    >
    > And Maryland is one of the more complete states.
    >
    > Neither Delaware nor Georgia claims an inch of existing greenway. New
    > Hampshire has a single temporary route: along the shoulder of coastal

    Route
    > 1A. And South Carolina is still poring over maps. "The biggest obstacle is
    > money," said Ms. Votava of the Greenway Alliance. To date, $600 million

    has
    > been allocated for the trail. Another $1.5 billion, she estimated, is

    needed
    > to complete it by 2010.
    >
    > Each mile costs roughly $1 million to build, but some are much costlier.

    No
    > bikes, for example, are allowed over the bridges that span the Susquehanna
    > River in Maryland, and it is less than certain that the state will erect a
    > 1.4-mile bridge just for cyclists and pedestrians - so far $2 million of

    the
    > estimated $8 million needed for the bridge has been raised. (Cyclists
    > currently have to arrange to transport their bikes by car.)
    >
    > And then there is the Nimby factor. The greenway has sparked occasional
    > protests from homeowners who fear that it will invite criminals into their
    > backyards. "People raise the specter of crime, but it's shown to have no
    > validity," said Mr. Clarke of the bicyclists' league, referring to several
    > surveys that examined the neighborhood impact of such greenways. "Bicycle
    > users typically don't carry large television sets on their backs." Still,
    > places like Greenwich, Conn., and Providence, R.I., have kept the trail

    from
    > going through their communities.
    >
    > To publicize and raise money for the trail, about a dozen cyclists are
    > planning to pedal the entire 2,600-mile route this fall, or at least the
    > outlines of it. The inaugural tour is scheduled to depart from Calais,

    Me.,
    > on Sept. 12, and end in Key West 53 days later, though many routes - and
    > permission to ride over highway bridges - are still being worked out.
    >
    > But Jack Kurrle, 74, a retired tool-and-die engineer from Sun City West,
    > Ariz., is already in training. "It's the same reason why people climb

    Mount
    > Everest," said Mr. Kurrle, an avid cyclist who rides a recumbent bike.

    "It's
    > a chance to be the first one to ride the trail."
    >
    >
    >
    > Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search

    |
    > Corrections | Help | Back to Top
    >
    >
     
  4. On Fri, 4 Jun 2004 08:09:06 -0400, "Tim Arnold"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The B.& A. Trail skips over six-lane highways, trickling ravines and traffic
    >lights. It is an idyllic 13.3-mile ride out of the Baltimore area — until
    >you hit a stop sign near a road called Boulters Way. To continue south
    >toward Washington, on the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Trail, cyclists
    >have to swerve onto Route 2, share the road with 50-m.p.h. traffic, cross a
    >bridge into Annapolis, and zigzag through 10 miles of tricky local streets
    >to the nearby town of Odenton.


    That would be a pretty dumb way to do it. There are at least four
    viable routes from the WBA Trail to Odenton - route 2 would not be one
    of them.

    The easiest and more scenic for the less experienced would be from
    Airport spur down the back roads. Riding through Severna Park and
    taking the old route through Gambrills, MD has several variations. all
    of them enjoyable enough to have been part of various club century
    rides.

    >There, at the corner of Odenton Road and Route 170, near a 7-Eleven and the
    >Crab Galley seafood carry out, a new asphalt trail materializes out of
    >nowhere. But the trail, nearly completed, runs for only 2.3 miles before it
    >dead-ends at a housing development. To reach the next leg of the greenway,
    >cyclists have to traverse another six miles of sidewalks, local streets and
    >unmarked intersections.


    The above is simply wrong. The trail actually starts at near the
    traffic circle where Odenton Road and Maryland 175 come together,
    although certainly they will not want any credit for the portion that
    goes from there to the intersection of Odenton Road and 170/Piney
    Orchard Parkway. Andonce it ends in the Piney Orchard developement,
    there is no way to get to the next section in any logical way, but it
    would at this time require you to go to Maryland 3 and ride to Bowie,
    MD via this road. Not a bad route, but not 'sidewalks, local streets
    and unmarked intersections'.

    The trail through Odenton shows the problem with the National
    Greenway. They were so determined to make it a trail that they created
    a section that does not conform to AASHTO standards and includes a
    section with two way travel on a downhill separated from the travel
    lanes by a six-inch concrete riser. This is a 'design' that is
    specifically discussed as being not recommended and unsafe in AASHTO
    documents. This downhill is also blind, thanks to a wooden fence to
    protect cyclists from the 30 foot drop-off. This section ends in what
    appears to be a 'without design' design where you basically dismount
    and walk your bike across a busy intersection.

    I have pictures on my web site, but I'm moving them over to a web site
    for bicycling only this week, so I'll give links next week. Some of
    the photos have been used (or at least taken to be used) in two
    presentations about the poor design of trails.

    And it was all unnecessary. If they had simply widened and upgraded
    the road and let the cyclists ride on the road, there would be no
    issue. Now we have a trail that takes kids on a curving downhill, with
    traffic to the right, separated by a six-inch curb. If they hit their
    brakes, they go over the curb into oncoming traffic. Just to have a
    trail.

    BTW, when I pointed out that most of the trail in Odenton along
    Odenton Road was clearly not AASHTO compliant, the Anne Arundel County
    parks person said, "We have no requirement to be compliant." Great
    attitude.

    Curtis L. Russell
    Odenton, MD (USA)
    Just someone on two wheels...
     
  5. Ken Roberts

    Ken Roberts Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote
    > I have no idea what better route there is.


    The chances of happy riding are much better in the Hudson River valley --
    see
    http://roberts-1.com/bikehudson/r/m/long_distance
    for some ideas about planning a route, and
    http://roberts-1.com/bikehudson/r/nyc_albany
    for a detailed route from NYC to Albany which offers lots of pretty
    alternatives to the obvious major roads.

    For ideas for riding north from Albany along the Hudson River, see these
    reports:
    http://roberts-1.com/bikehudson/v/north_hv/river/reports
    and check the link to hannah's report about her Montreal-to-NYC tour.

    The amazing Amit has _skated_ all the way from NYC to Lake George. I have
    skated about half of that so far, and enjoyed it a lot. Sharon and I keep
    going back and riding the off-the-main routes along the Hudson River again
    and again, we enjoy them so much.

    > at its best, it's a very hilly ride.

    Yes, if you go east-west between the major river valleys of the northeastern
    U.S., like between the Hudson River and the Connecticut River. If you take
    the Delaware River to the Wallkill River valley northeast to the Hudson
    River and keep going north, the hills not so bad (though surely not absent).

    Ken
     
  6. Good information, probably. I have an ultimate goal of riding in all 50
    states. (I have 42 right now.) For the just completed trip, I needed to
    pick up Vermont and Maine, and did the former while northbound and the
    latter while southbound. With that focus, I didn't seriously look at the
    possibiity of the Hudson Valley, but can see your point. You are certainly
    correct that east-west routes in the northeastern US are almost always
    hilly. That was the case with every one that I rode this year.



    "Ken Roberts" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Ron Wallenfang wrote
    > > I have no idea what better route there is.

    >
    > The chances of happy riding are much better in the Hudson River valley --
    > see
    > http://roberts-1.com/bikehudson/r/m/long_distance
    > for some ideas about planning a route, and
    > http://roberts-1.com/bikehudson/r/nyc_albany
    > for a detailed route from NYC to Albany which offers lots of pretty
    > alternatives to the obvious major roads.
    >
    > For ideas for riding north from Albany along the Hudson River, see these
    > reports:
    > http://roberts-1.com/bikehudson/v/north_hv/river/reports
    > and check the link to hannah's report about her Montreal-to-NYC tour.
    >
    > The amazing Amit has _skated_ all the way from NYC to Lake George. I have
    > skated about half of that so far, and enjoyed it a lot. Sharon and I keep
    > going back and riding the off-the-main routes along the Hudson River again
    > and again, we enjoy them so much.
    >
    > > at its best, it's a very hilly ride.

    > Yes, if you go east-west between the major river valleys of the

    northeastern
    > U.S., like between the Hudson River and the Connecticut River. If you

    take
    > the Delaware River to the Wallkill River valley northeast to the Hudson
    > River and keep going north, the hills not so bad (though surely not

    absent).
    >
    > Ken
    >
    >
     
  7. Ken Roberts

    Ken Roberts Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote
    > I have an ultimate goal of riding in all 50 states.


    And the states in the northeast US are much smaller than most other regions,
    so visiting all of them puts much more constraints on your route selection,
    so you're more likely to get stuck riding in roads and towns you don't
    enjoy.

    Also the road network in the northeast is more dense and more "irrational"
    and "old-fashioned" -- because it's pre-motor-vehicle and older and there's
    more little hills and more consistent water to support living.

    So there's lots more choices about bicycling routes, and local knowledge is
    more important in selecting them.

    Also the roads in New York state generally are more favorable for cycling
    than many other states, and the Hudson River valley is just prettier than
    lots of other places. It's unfair.

    Ken
     
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