NEW YORK COMMITTEE for the EAST COAST by roq91753

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									        NEW YORK COMMITTEE for the EAST COAST
                                          GREENWAY
                          E-mail to: eastcoastgreenwayNY@gmail.com /
                               http://www.greenway.org/ny1.php

         EAST COAST GREENWAY ALLIANCE: www.greenway.org / 401-789-4625
                                         th
                                 September 6 , 2009

                      Upcoming Events and Meetings
NEW YORK COMMITTEE MEETING Mike Oliva and John Mattera with a new ECG Sign
Plan events and discuss Greenway progress
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 9, 4 to 6 pm, NYC Parks & Recreation office, 24 W. 64 th Street (west of
Broadway), 4 th floor. (Subways: 1, A, B, C, D to 59 St/Columbus Circle). OPEN TO
ALL.
Agenda (to be posted Sept. 8): www.greenway.org/ny1.php

Celebrate the 400 th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage from Amsterdam to New York
Harbor
“NY 400 WEEK” IN NEW YORK HARBOR AND LOWER MANHATTAN
TUESDAY, SEPT. 8, through SUNDAY, SEPT. 13. A royal prince and princess, Dutch and NATO
ships, free orange Dutch bicycles, food, the Half Moon (replica), a four-day “New Amsterdam Bike
Slam,” and more … -- www.ny400.org.

WESTCHESTER’S “BICYCLE SUNDAYS” ARE BACK
SUNDAYS, SEPT. 13, 20, 27, 10 am to 2 pm, along the Bronx River Parkway.
Walk, cycle, skate, and/or jog -- it’s your pick. For info: www.countycenter.biz or 914-995-4050.

TA’s NYC CENTURY BIKE TOUR
Sunday, Sept. 13. 5 route options, from 15 to 100 miles.
For info and to register: www.nyccentury.org

HEAR U.S. TRANPORTATION SECRETARY RAY LaHOOD
THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, during NYMTC Council Meeting, 10:3 0 am – 12 noon, NYU’s Kimmel
Center, 60 Washington Square South. Open to the public but space is limited; RSVP to
AMiles-Cole@dot.state.ny.us or call 212-383-7201. For info: www.nymtc.org.
Keynoter Secretary LaHood will discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to sustainable
communities.
Help create safe bike/walk routes, network of traffic-free multi-user
trails
COCKTAILS AND DISCUSSION, Westchester Putnam Bike Walk Alliance
THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, 7 to 9 pm. Home of Paul Lightfoot, 31 Stephenson Terrace, Briarcliff Manor
NY 10510. Contribution $100 per person (tax-deductible check payable to ECGA). For info:
www.westchesterbikewalk.org or e-mail to: Mike@greenway.org.
Please come to this initial fundraiser for the Alliance, an affiliate of the ECGA. Author Ben Cheever
will moderate a brief discussion with Randall Wolf, who writes at “Cycling Central,” The Journal
News’s cycling blog at LoHud.com; and David Goodman, who writes about cycling matters for the
City Room blog at the New York Times.

PEDAL AND PADDLE DAY IN THE BRONX
SATURDAY, OCT. 3. Start with a 12-15 mile bike ride along the Bronx River Greenway, then take a
paddling trip down the Bronx River. Please visit www.bronxriver.org or call 718-430-4665 for details
or to register.

WALK21 NYC, the 10 th International Conference on Walking and Liveable
Communities
WEDNESDAY TO FRIDAY, OCT. 7 to 9, NYU’s Kimmel Center, Greenwich Village. For information
and to register: www.walk21.com. Hosted by NYCDOT and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle
Professionals (APBP).
Jackson Wandres, co-chair of the NY Committee for the ECG (and Director of Landscape Architect and
Planning for The RBA Group, NYC), will moderate the APBP seminar on Oct. 7, 2 - 5 pm, on
“NYCDOT Bicycle Program: If You Can Do It Here, You Can Do It Anywhere.”
Michael Dannemiller, Senior Planner for The RBA Group, New Jersey, will facilitate the charrette
devoted to the 6th Street (Harsimus Cove) Embankment in Jersey City (future segment of the East
Coast Greenway), which will be held lunchtime on Oct. 8 and 9. Meanwhile Michael Oliva, ECGA
Mid-Atlantic trail coordinator, will staff an exhibit about the East Coast Greenway on Oct. 8.

See East Coast Greenway progress along the Hudson River waterfront


CYCLE THE 2nd ANNUAL HUDSON RIVER LOOP TOUR IN NJ AND NY
SUNDAY, OCT. 11, 8 am, starting/ending at Fort Lee Historic Park, NJ. For details, map to start site,
and to pre-register: www.ecghudsonloop.eventbrite.com Free but donations to ECGA will be
appreciated. Bring $ for ferry ride and lunch (optional) in Fort Lee.
Join us for a 20-mile easy-paced (10-12 mph) ride to explore newly developed pathways along the New
Jersey side of the Hudson River waterfront. Then, after a NY Waterway Ferry ride to Manhattan, return
along the Hudson River Greenway to and over the GW Bridge.

TOUR DE BRONX. SUNDAY, OCT. 18.
Free.
Route includes a segment of the ECG.
Choice of 25-mile or 40-mile ride.
For info and to register: http://www.tourdebronx.org .
                       NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY
NEW YORKER NAMED TO HEAD EAST COAST GREENWAY ALLIANCE

Dennis Markatos-Soriano, appointed executive director of the ECGA effective Sept. 1, thanks Ed
Ravin, President of the Five Borough Bicycle Club, for his welcoming remarks on behalf of the NYC
Bicycle Coalition:
“I'm excited to work with all of you to build a more bike-friendly NYC and beyond. I live in the Upper
East Side and go through many of the bike lanes and greenways all over the City that y'all worked hard
to establish over the past several years. [Dennis grew up in North
Carolina.]
“I will be traveling up and down the east coast promoting cycling and our 3,000-mile long corridor
(which so far is more than 23% off-road greenway, including the Hudson River and Mosholu-Pelham
Greenways), but I hope to be active closing some of the local gaps and a good ally to you in your
related efforts.
Dennis succeeds co-founder and 18-year director Karen Votava. For the press release of Dennis’s
appointment, visit http://www.greenway.org , then click on “Welcome Dennis!” For a description of the
tribute dinner for Karen held on April 25 th in Manhattan, visit http://www.greenway.org/pdf/
NYECGbulletin0509.pdf.


                       NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY
NEW YORKER NAMED TO HEAD EAST COAST GREENWAY ALLIANCE

Dennis Markatos-Soriano, appointed executive director of the ECGA effective Sept. 1, thanks Ed
Ravin, President of the Five Borough Bicycle Club, for his welcoming remarks on behalf of the NYC
Bicycle Coalition:
“I'm excited to work with all of you to build a more bike-friendly NYC and beyond. I live in the Upper
East Side and go through many of the bike lanes and greenways all over the City that y'all worked hard
to establish over the past several years. [Dennis grew up in North
Carolina.]
“I will be traveling up and down the east coast promoting cycling and our 3,000-mile long corridor
(which so far is more than 23% off-road greenway, including the Hudson River and Mosholu-Pelham
Greenways), but I hope to be active closing some of the local gaps and a good ally to you in your
related efforts.
Dennis succeeds co-founder and 18-year director Karen Votava. For the press release of Dennis’s
appointment, visit http://www.greenway.org , then click on “Welcome Dennis!” For a description of the
tribute dinner for Karen held on April 25 th in Manhattan, visit http://www.greenway.org/pdf/
NYECGbulletin0509.pdf.

ECGA ROUTE THROUGH PARKS IN THE BRONX NOW MARKED BY SIGNS
But don’t take those shiny pieces of
aluminum for granted. Their installation
required persistence, patience, and
cooperation. John Mattera, greenway
coordinator in NYC Parks & Recreation’s
Parks Planning Department, describes the
process thus:

“The initial motivation came from Michael
Oliva , the ECGA regional field staffer.
Sixteen months ago, on May 6, 2008, the two
of us cycled from 242 nd Street and Broadway
to the Westchester County line in Pelham Bay
Park, about 9.5 miles. Using the ECGA system
for noting sign locations, Mike logged all the
necessary turns and typed it into a            Cyclists on an on-road segment of the ECG, in Kingsbridge/Marble
spreadsheet.                                   Hill in the Bronx. The street markings, called sharrows, are used by
                                                    NYCDOT to encourage car drivers and bicyclists to share a
                                                    roadway.
“My task was to design a new sign that would
incorporate the ECG logo, because Parks Department signage rules won’t allow outside organizations
to have their own signs posted. Because the NYC Greenway sign’s original design parameters included
the ability to add future messages, we worked to gain support within Parks to add the ECG logo to
theNYC sign.

“After the new combined-logo sign went through in-house design review at the “Olmsted” Center,
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe approved its use in Bronx parks, because that borough has
numerous diverging routes where the uninitiated longer-distance-user can easily make a wrong
turn.

“Since high-quality signs usually get produced when Parks is doing a capital project on a greenway
(i.e., on a full reconstruction using municipal bond funds for construction), there was no existing
money within the agency to produce these signs. Nonetheless, the Chief of Operations authorized a
purchase order to procure the Greenway signs from an outside vendor.

“After funding for the signs was secured, I began going through Mike’s spreadsheet and designed the
computer graphic file for each unique sign needed for the route. We have three sign sizes -- 12” round,
21” oval and 26” oval. The signs had to include the names of the four different parks along the ECG
route in the Bronx as well as arrows pointing in five different directions. In the end, 44 different types
of signs, and one sign with a custom hook-shaped arrow in Van Cortlandt Park, had to be designed. All
together 76 signs were required for the 9.5-mile ECG route through Bronx parks.

“Then the Parks’ maintenance crew in the Bronx had to be enlisted to do the installation work. This
required diverting them from their regular work of making clean and safe open spaces. To simplify the
task, two Parks interns made a map and installation handbook to coordinate which signs needed to be
installed where, and with what tools and hardware.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise in the process was the fact that the tools and hardware for installing the
signs (and where needed, poles) were twice as expensive as the signs themselves. Where to get those
funds? Luckily the funders of the 2008 Bike New York Ride had donated money to the City Parks
Foundation to improve greenways. These donated funds were used to purchase the necessary tools,
materials, and hardware, including green-painted poles.
“We then assembled all the signs, poles, and hardware in one place -- the Bronx Shops, one of Robert
Moses’s lesser-known WPA accomplishments. This brick facility has stood quietly behind the trees of
Bronx Park since the 1930s, providing a home base for Parks improvements throughout that borough.
On August 19, 2009 all was prepared. After figuring out how to use the sign tools, which Parks (unlike
DOT) seldom uses, we were off on a steady beat.

“The preciseness of the work required that we take our time with each sign. Happily, we never had to
undo anything we did, and the initial sign plan as well as the maps and guides plotted out by the two
interns were almost perfect. The signs themselves look great and the workmanship of the Bronx crews
is clearly commendable. After such a long time in the making, it was a shame that the signs had to be
installed during some of the hottest days of 2009, and in the case of August 28, the rainiest.

“So the next time you’re riding in the Bronx and you see an ECG sign you’ll know there’s more to
them than a shiny piece of aluminum.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Many, many thanks to John Mattera and the Parks Department, whose zeal for and
support of the East Coast Greenway are evident. We are very grateful: Besides guiding users, the
signage will boost the visibility of the Greenway. Many people that use the ECG don’t realize that they
are on a Maine-to-Florida trail -- as well as on a major NYC bicycle and pedestrian path.

-------------------
SIGNAGE ELSEWHERE. As you can image, erecting signage along the rest of the Greenway is an
equally complicated process. The stretch in the Bronx not on city parkland – on-road, between the
Broadway Bridge from Manhattan and the entrance to Van Cortlandt Park – is under the jurisdiction of
NYC Dept. of Transportation.




Group Photo of the August 30th Pelham Bay ECG Ride
And then we’ll have to return to the same wells for signing the Greenway in Upper Manhattan:
NYCDOT must facilitate signage along roadways in the Inwood section, and NYC Parks and several
constituent parks must do the same along the Hudson River Greenway north of
59th Street.
And finally, the stretch along the Hudson River from 59 th Street south to Battery Park City is within
Hudson River Park, which is administered by a state-city partnership. There permission to install free-
standing ECGA signs (about four are being requested) requires approval from, among other agencies,
the NY State Dept. of Transportation. Meanwhile, in Westchester County, no ECG signs –
YET!
YOU WIN A FEW AND LOSE A FEW …
As you see from all the smiling faces above, the 8/30 bike ride to Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx was a
success. And many of the riders stayed at the end to help Time’s Up ( times-up.org) and MetroWild
(metrowild.org) restore a meadow by clearing out invasive plant species and trash, then go on a nature
walk through the park.

But the weather gods weren’t smiling for the 8/2 ride to Tarrytown, led by Mike Oliva (again) and new
member Tony Savarese. Tony reports: “It was raining heavily in the beginning, which caused a bunch
of people to bail out. After about a half an hour it stopped raining and we had a pretty good ride up to
Tarrytown. Unfortunately only one person stuck with us the entire way. It was a real shame considering
how nice it was the day before and again soon after the ride started.” The NY Committee will offer the
Tarrytown ride again next Spring.

EAST RIVER WATERFRONT PARK IN LOWER MANHATTAN PLANNED
A two-mile stretch between the Brooklyn Maritime Building and Pier 35 at Rutgers Slip on the Lower
East Side will be redeveloped, the Mayor’s Office announced on Aug. 18. http://www.tribecatrib.com/
news/2009/august/299_in-lower-manhattan-construction-begins-on-east-river-waterfront-park.html.
Plans call for a double-decker park with a new pedestrian esplanade and bicycle path along South
Street. This stretch is part of the eastern route of the ECG through NYC.

BIKING RULES: CIVIL, SAFER CYCLING PRACTICES BEING PROMOTED
We’ve proud of the recent surge in the use of bicycles and the many new government-provided bicycle
pathways. Now with rights come responsibilities. Under the leadership of Transportation Alternatives
(TA), the NYC bicycling community is rallying around efforts to restore sanity and safety to street use.
Just as motor vehicles must respect cyclists, cyclists must respect pedestrians. Indeed, “Pedestrians
rule” heads the list of rules:

    • Yield to pedestrians at all times.

    • Leave crosswalks free and clear for safe walking.

    • Claim space on the street, not the sidewalk. We know we hate it when cars
      drive in bike lanes.

    • Ride in the direction of traffic. When we're on bicycles, we ARE traffic!

    • Take a break and relax at red lights.
     • At night, use front and rear lights; they make us more visible on the street.

     • Using a bell lets people know we are approaching. Give your bike bling
       some ring.

     • Learn to love that helmet hair.

The biking rules with references to pertinent laws, and information about the campaign -- including a
fall film festival! -- appear in http://bikingrules.org. For more, see Noah Budnick’s article in the July/
August 2009 issue of American Bicyclist, www.bikeleague.org/. Noah is senior policy advisor for TA.




The New York Committee for the East Coast Greenway works for in-state improvements to the
existing interim route and completion of off-road portions. It welcomes participation in its activities
and advocacy efforts.
I want to join or donate to the ECGA. See Greenway.orgor call 401-789-4625. One may join or donate on-
line, or by check or credit card. If in part for the benefit of the New York-ECG, please so state, and indicating
amount, in the memo line. Members from New York who provide their e-mail addresses receive the NY-ECG e-
Bulletins, the primary source of news about the Greenway in the state.
Name ________________________________________________________________________________
Address_____________________________________City____________________State_____ Zip_____
E-mail_________________________________________ Telephone____________________________
Checks are to be made payable to “ECGA” and mailed with this form to East Coast Greenway Alliance, 27B North

Road, Wakefield RI 02879 The ECGA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


I want to subscribe to the NY-ECG e-Bulletin. I will send my e-mail address (and other contact
information) to Eastcoastgreenwayny@gmail.com (Queries are welcomed, too.)

								
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