People biking from Maine to Florida might get lost somewhere along the way—but not in New Haven.
They can thank new wayfinding signs that are going up around town. The signs indicate the route that the East Coast Greenway—a trail that runs the length of the Atlantic Seaboard—takes through New Haven.
The first of the signs went up Monday afternoon on a post outside City Hall. City staff and members of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the non-profit working to build and expand the trail, put up the sign.
Some 50 alliance members from 12 states are spending the week biking from Hartford to Philadelphia, part of a years-long effort to bike the entire greenway. For several years, the group has biked a new section of the trail, starting in Calais, Maine, and heading south, to arrive eventually at the southern end of the trail in Key West, Fla.
At 3 p.m. the group landed in front of City Hall, decked out in matching cycling jerseys.
David Read, chair of the alliance’s board of trustees, said 30 percent of the greenway is currently off-road, separated from cars and trucks. In New Haven, that includes a portion that runs on the Farmington Canal Greenway.
The East Coast Greenway leaves the Farmington trail at Lock Street and takes city streets through town until it joins up with the Vision Trail at Water Street.
As a tourist-oriented trail, the greenway takes a route through the center of town, so that cyclists can see New Haven’s historic architecture, said Eric Weis, trail program coordinator.
Traffic department staffer Kevin Rose helped Read and Dennis Markatos-Soriano, the alliance’s executive director, bolt a sign onto a post outside City Hall.
Weis said the alliance seeks to have more of the East Coast Greenway run on off-road bike paths. Where bike trails don’t exist, the alliance advocates for safe streets for cyclists. He said the alliance is pleased about the planned expansion of the Farmington Canal Greenway in New Haven, which will bring the path through a new tunnel, up onto city streets, then onto the state’s first-ever dedicated cycle-track.