Imagine hopping on your bike in White Plains, riding onto the Bronx River trail and heading straight to the tip of the Florida keys.
On the way, you’d hug the rim of Manhattan (on either side), pass natural areas and ride by the Washington Monument as you pedal along the National Mall in Washington.
Or you could shoot north through New England to the Maine-New Brunswick border.
If the East Coast Greenway gets its way, you’ll be able to do that mostly on trails through parks and along rivers, hardly touching roadways meant for cars and trucks.
That’s the dream, and the challenge, of the Greenway organizers. They want to link major cities, like Charleston, St. Augustine, Fla., and Bangor, Me., but keep the path off the roads as much as possible.
In Westchester, it looks like the shoulder of I-287 and the trails along the Bronx River will be the main route of the Greenway. You can read about that in my story on it in The Journal News today. Find it here.
In many areas, it’s difficult, and the East Coast Greenway organization, based in Rhode Island, has given up the idea of creating the 3,000 mile path entirely off of vehicle roads. Their goal now is 80 percent off-road. So far, they’ve got almost a quarter of it done, Michael Oliva, the Mid-Atlantic region liaison to the project told me at the conference in the Bronx on Thursday.
Some other things to come out of the meeting:
Manhattan already has pathways good for cycling along its west side and a good portion of the east side. One problem is near the United Nations building.
New Jersey organizers of the trail are coming out with a guide to the route through that state. Oliva expects a similar guide for New York sometime next year.
For now, New York City’s portion of the route is mostly in the Bronx and Manhattan, but it’s expected to eventually include off-shoots in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Jon Orcutt, senior policy advisor for the New York City Department of Transportation, told the group Thursday that the Big Apple will be a major stop along the route.
“There’ll be side trips that can keep you hear for days,” he said.