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October 10, 2014 Published in EcoNews, Other News

2,900-Mile East Coast Greenway Includes Alexandria

Biking Equivalent of Appalachian Trail Now 29% Complete

East Coast Greenway delegation welcomed by local Alexandria officials. (Courtesy photo)

East Coast Greenway delegation welcomed by local Alexandria officials. (Courtesy photo)

A group of more than 40 bicycle riders rode to Alexandria on Oct. 9-10, to raise awareness of and funding for the East Coast Greenway, a 2,900-mile trail that will extend from Maine to Florida. Modeled after the Appalachian Trail for hikers, the East Coast Greenway is already 29% complete, with 850 miles of off-road path established. The Mount Vernon Trail section through Alexandria is one of the most popular parts of the Greenway.

The riders were participating in the "Week a Year" tour, which began three years ago starting at the Canadian border in Maine, and covers a 300-350 mile section of the route each year, heading south until they reach the Florida Keys. This year, over 40 riders pedaled from Philadelphia, PA, to Fredericksburg, VA.

Along the way, the delegation was meeting with city, state and community leaders. In Alexandria, they met with Mark Jinks, Deputy City Manager, Yon Lambert, Acting Director of Transportation & Environmental Services, Tom Kaiden, C.O.O. of the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association, and James Durham, Vice Chair of the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A working tour for staff and key volunteers, the ride also serves as an opportunity to demonstrate the important return on investment trails can have on tourism, economic development and increasing transportation options. The overnight stop contributed approximately $10,000 to Alexandria’s economy.

About the East Coast Greenway
The East Coast Greenway vision is for a long-distance, urban, shared-use trail system linking 25 major cities along the eastern seaboard between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida. It will serve non-motorized users of all abilities and ages. A 3,000-mile long spine route will be accompanied by 2,000 miles of alternate routes that link in key cities, towns and areas of natural beauty. This green travel corridor will provide cyclists, walkers and other muscle-powered modes of transportation with a low-impact way to explore the eastern seaboard.

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