Ceremony to Highlight Benefits of Alexandria’s Inclusion in the East Coast Greenway
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2017
On March 10, Mayor Allison Silberberg will join members of the Board of Directors of the East Coast Greenway Alliance to dedicate a section of the East Coast Greenway in Alexandria. Alexandria marks the midpoint of the Greenway, a 3,000-mile urban bicycle and walking route that connects hundreds of communities from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. When complete, the East Coast Greenway will be the longest protected biking and walking corridor in the United States.
“The East Coast Greenway is a fantastic amenity for our entire nation, and we are proud that Alexandria sits at its heart,” said Silberberg. “I look forward to welcoming even more visitors on foot and by bike to our beloved, historic city.”
The ceremony will formally designate Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail, from Four Mile Run to Cameron Run, as part of the East Coast Greenway. This five-mile stretch is the most widely used on the Greenway, and one of the region’s premiere walking and biking paths. In 2016 alone, more than 500,000 trips took place on this segment. The Greenway and its component trails help improve public health by empowering active transportation and safe recreation, and reducing roadway congestion and pollution.
The Greenway designation highlights Alexandria’s status as pedestrian and bike-friendly community and a regional and national tourist destination, with easy access by foot or bike in addition to motor vehicle, rail, and air. Visitors to Alexandria provide an annual economic impact of $771 million, which translates to a $350 annual tax savings for the average household. Greenway-related tours and events in Alexandria have contributed an estimated $30,000 to the local economy in just the past few years.
The Greenway dedication will take place in conjunction with the biannual meeting of the East Coast Greenway Alliance board, which is being held in Alexandria. Created in 1991, the Alliance works to connect existing and planned shared use trails, creating a continuous, traffic-free route for users of all abilities and ages.
The dedication ceremony will be held on Friday evening, March 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the site of a recently-installed plaque and marker near the junction of the Mount Vernon Trail and Pendleton Street in Oronoco Bay Park. Street parking is available on Pendleton Street. The ceremony will also honor Patricia King and her parents, Paul and Doris Bankes. King, one of the founders of the East Coast Greenway more than 25 years ago, donated the plaque and marker in honor of the Bankes’ generous support of the Greenway.
“We appreciate so many people who have helped build the dream of the East Coast Greenway thus far,” said Dennis Markatos-Soriano, executive director of the Alliance. “Getting the Greenway done is often a family affair, with spouses and kids and grandparents pitching in. In the early days of the Alliance, Pat would host day-long meetings at her house and her husband, Tom, would cook for everyone.”
For more information about the East Coast Greenway Alliance, visit www.greenway.org