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jandrewsshovelEastern Trail News Page - Current and Archive

Many articles about the Eastern Trail are organized on this news archives page.  The most recent articles appear immediately below, with the first part of each article displayed. Click on any article title, or the "Read More.." link to read the full text of that article. A list of additional article titles appears at the bottom of the page.

 


 

Wheeling into the future; Kid mob kicks off campaign to buy 25 bikes

Kids Mopb on the ET John Andrews bridgeSACO - More than 300 kids in bright yellow T-shirts “mobbed” the pedestrian bridge over Route 1 in Saco Tuesday morning, July 24, to kick-off a fundraising campaign to buy 25 bikes for the Saco Parks & Recreation program.

The goal is to raise $7,500 in order to buy the bicycles and related safety equipment, such as helmets, according to Justin Chenette a member of the Saco Bikes for Kids committee. Chenette is also running for the House District 134 seat this fall.

He said the bikes initiative is a collaboration between the Eastern Trail Alliance and the city of Saco with the goal of getting kids interested in using the trail and “putting those electronic devices down.”

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Tracks on the Trail

Saco youth campers use Eastern Trail to kick off bicycle fundraiser

By LIZ GOTTHELF, Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:06 PM EDT

Kids on the ET John Andrews Bridge!SACO — On Tuesday morning, about 300 children in the city’s summer park and recreation camps, along with 90 staff members, all in bright yellow and pink shirts, crowded onto the John R. Andrews Eastern Trail pedestrian bridge. Cars honked as they passed below on Route 1.

The “kid mob” was a kick-off for the Saco Bikes for Kids campaign, a local effort to raise money for 25 bicycles and helmets for the city’s recreation program in its summer camps and after-school programs.

The effort is a way to promote the Eastern Trail, particularly among youth, and create enthusiasm for healthy lifestyles, said campaign organizers.

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Trail work earns Hamblen honor

by Kate Irish Collins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bob Hamblen recognitionSACO - Bob Hamblen, Saco’s city planner and president of the Eastern Trail Alliance, recently received the Community Celebrity Award from Cabot Creamery, which has honored 40 people across the country with this special recognition.

As part of the award, Hamblen received a seven-day Alaskan cruise, which leaves from Seattle in early September. The other community celebrities will also be on board for what Hamblen referred to as an opportunity to “mix and mingle and swap ideas.”

He’s “pleased as punch” with the award, as well as “absolutely flattered and honored.”

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Transportation bill presents potential 'triple whammy'

By Kevin Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Washington bureau chief

Advocates for making Maine friendlier for cyclists and walkers are expressing concerns about federal funding cuts to programs that communities often use to pay for bike lanes, crosswalks and road safety programs aimed at schoolchildren.

But the Maine Department of Transportation is dismissing some of the worst-case scenarios being discussed, saying it's too early to tell precisely how the federal cuts could affect the state's bicycle and pedestrian safety programs.

President Obama is expected to sign the first multi-year transportation funding bill since 2009 in a ceremony today, roughly one week after Congress approved the $120 billion spending plan.

The bill maintains overall funding levels for the next 27 months, but cuts funding for bike and pedestrian safety programs by about 30 percent.

The bill maintains overall funding levels for the next 27 months, but cuts funding for bike and pedestrian safety programs by about 30 percent.

Dan Stewart, right, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, leads cyclists over the Eastern Trail bridge at Scarborough Marsh last summer.

Dan Stewart, right, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, leads cyclists over the Eastern Trail bridge at Scarborough Marsh last summer.
Stewart said it is premature to say how state programs will be affected by cuts proposed in a new $120 billion federal transportation plan.

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Heading home

By RACHEL LOVEJOY, Columnist
Published:Tuesday, June 5, 2012 1:24 PM EDT

Last weekend, I took a walk along the portion of the Eastern Trail that connects Biddeford with Kennebunk. Wide, flat and very well maintained, the trail moves in a pretty straight line, its end disappearing into infinity in the distance, and it offers quite a few spiritually restful stops along the way. Of course, I never visit such places without my trusty camera in hand, and this walk was no different.

I started out fairly early and met few others on the way. As the morning wore on, however, the trail became quite populated with other walkers, cyclists, runners and dogs. Small children zoomed by on their tiny bicycles, and one little girl had to stop at one point so her mother could reattach the chain that had fallen off its gears. Off she went again, her handlebar streamers flying out straight on either side of her.

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Eastern Trail parking debated

By Samantha Stephens, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , SeaCoastonline.com
May 31, 2012 2:00 AM

ARUNDEL — There was much debate regarding potentially allowing parking on Limerick Road for the Eastern Trail at the Board of Selectmen meeting held on Tuesday, May 29.

Catherine Rush, an Arundel resident, was first to voice her concerns, questioning whether any measures have been made to make sure children and families parking on Limerick Road, and inevitably stepping onto the road, will be protected.

Sam Rush, Catherine's husband, also voiced his concerns about the parking proposal and called it a "poor idea."

"I don't think there is safe access for parking on Limerick Road," Rush explained.

Resident John Bell disagreed, saying he doesn't see the harm in allowing at least a temporary parking option for residents who want to use the trail.

Dan Dubois, Arundel resident and member of the Planning Board, agreed with Bell and said it's safer to park at the trail than have people park at M.L. Day School or the Town Hall and walk down the busy road.

Tad Redway, Arundel Town Planner, proposed the idea of increased signage to warn drivers of bikers and pedestrians.

"We wouldn't just do parallel parking without looking into options," Redway assured the Board of Selectmen and residents.

It was also explained that, with the exception of four or five spaces at the end of Mountain Road, this would be the first example of parallel parking in Arundel.

Selectman Dana Peck voiced his concerns with making this the "town's issue" because ultimately it will be decided by the Board of Selectmen, rather than Arundel voters, whether parking will be permitted on Limerick Road.

Peck said this issue has become a "thorn in our side" and he was concerned about making the right decision for the safety and benefit of all residents, both users and non-users of the trail.

Selectman Phil Labbe, owner of Labbe Excavating, said this issue is one that's very important to him because of the often dangerous situations in that area.

Labbe said just this past week one of his trucks weighing 50-60,000 pounds was driving down Limerick Road and a woman with two children came off the trail and began to walk across the road without looking.

Labbe said the driver slammed on his horn and they backed up but it was a dangerous situation and those who use the trail need to "look and respect traffic," even at crosswalks.

Vice Chairman Mark Paulin said he wanted to wait on a vote to make sure allowing parking on Limerick Road wouldn't interfere with abutting properties such as Rush's home.

"He's owed that," Paulin said, agreeing that drafting a plan might be in everyone's best interest before moving forward.

Selectman Tom Danylik agreed.

"We're premature with this," he said. "I don't know what I'm looking at. I don't know what space is available. I think we're jumping the gun a little."

The board voted 3-1 to table the discussion until further research can be presented at the next Board of Selectmen meeting.

Read the full article online here

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ECGA News - National Meetings in Maine a Huge Success

ecg masthead

May 2012 East Coast Greenway E-News

The weekend of May 18 - 20th, the ECG held its national Trail Council and Board meetings in beautiful Portland, Maine.

The weekend started with the 31-mile Spring on the Eastern Trail bike ride sponsored by the Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA). The weather couldn't have been better, and over 100 people enjoyed the ride from Kennebunk to Bug Light Park in Portland. The ride went over the Route 1 Bridge, which was dedicated to ETA Founder John Andrews. Thank you Eastern Trail Alliance for putting on the ride!

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Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place

WALKING isn’t just good for you. It has become an indicator of your socioeconomic status.

Until the 1990s, exclusive suburban homes that were accessible only by car cost more, per square foot, than other kinds of American housing. Now, however, these suburbs have become overbuilt, and housing values have fallen. Today, the most valuable real estate lies in walkable urban locations. Many of these now pricey places were slums just 30 years ago. 

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Alliance to celebrate with 31-mile event

Biking excursion will begin in Kennebunk, end in South Portland


By Adam Chabot, Staff Writer, Scarborough Leader

The Eastern Trail Alliance will host an event called Spring on the Trail May 18 as part of an initiative to showcase over 10 miles of new off-road sections of trail and two bridges completed over the past 18 months.

Spring on the Trail is a 31-mile bicycle trek from Kennebunk Elementary School to Bug Light Park in South Portland. At about 2 p.m. riders will stop at Thornton Academy for lunch before continuing their ride back to South Portland. Advance registration is required in order to participate.

“This is the first time we’ve done a oneway (event) like this, that showcases the off-road sections,” said Carole Brush, executive director of the Eastern Trail Alliance.

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Eastern Trail bridge dedicated to founder

By LIZ GOTTHELF, Staff Writer
Published:Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:54 AM EDT

SACO — A ceremony was held Wednesday to celebrate the latest segment of the Eastern Trail – along with a surprise dedication ceremony to honor John Andrews, the man who helped make it all happen.

The “real focal point” of the new trail section is the pedestrian bridge that runs over Route 1 in Saco, said Bob Hamblen, Eastern Trail Alliance president and Saco’s city planner. Hamblen said he and other officials wanted to acknowledge the work and efforts of Andrews over the past 15 years by dedicating the bridge to him.

“Simply put, we wouldn’t be here today, and there wouldn’t be an Eastern Trail if it weren’t for John Andrews,” said Hamblen.

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