PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Port Chester will become part of a 2,900-mile trail from Maine to Florida as part of the East Coast Greenway .
The East Coast Greenway project was started in 1991 by a group of cyclists and long trail enthusiasts. The goal is to link trails all along the East Coast that are used for non-motorized exercise and recreational activities such as biking and hiking.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance, a Rhode Island-based nonprofit that is spearheading the project, first got approval from the Board of Trustees to make Port Chester part of the path back in January 2011. Since then, the group has been working with the state Department of Transportation on a plan for where signs would be placed in the village. Andy Hamilton, the Mid-Atlantic coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, said that he hopes the signs can be installed by August, when a large tour of bicyclists will be traveling the Greenway from Hartford to Philadelphia.
The plan calls for about 25 signs to be placed in Port Chester. They would be placed along two miles of roads in the area of the Mill Street Bridge, Main Street and Grace Church Street. Most of the signs would be on state roads, where the state DOT would install them. The six or seven signs on non-state roads would be supplied and maintained by the alliance.
The alliance wants to help direct travelers on the Greenway to the downtown areas so they can get food and patronize businesses, Hamilton said. “One of the ways we help the communities we go through is with economic development, and it is real,” he said.
The East Coast Greenway is about 29 percent completed, with more than 766 miles on 100 trails in 15 states. About 20 percent is completely off-road.