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Petition: Bikes on the Susquehanna River Bridge

I have long admired the work of the East Coast Greenway Association. The vision of a 2,500-mile greenway from Maine to Florida is an inspiration in itself, of course. But the tenacity, effectiveness and collaborative spirit of the volunteers they have managed to engage over the years is truly second-to-none.

So when they call and ask for help, we are happy to oblige. That was case earlier this week, when we alerted our members of a critical ask from the ECGA…

Our 2,900-mile National Millennium Trail connects 15 states and more than two dozen major cities throughout the Eastern seaboard. There are many challenges to completing the trail (now 29% off-road on greenways), but one rises high above the rest: crossing the Susquehanna River. Did you know that in the state of Maryland there is no safe way to cross the Susquehanna on foot or by bike? The closest safe crossing is in Pennsylvania, over 23 miles upstream from Havre de Grace, Maryland. With your help, we can change that.

One of the four bridge crossings at the southernmost point, Amtrak’s Susquehanna River Bridge, was completed in 1906, and is one of the most significant bottlenecks in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been awarded $22 million to design this bridge’s replacement. This is a great first step, but it doesn’t guarantee that bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will be built; we all know that when cost projections start rising, bike and ped features are often the first to be cut.

Many separate voices have much less strength than a single, strong, focused voice. Together we can make a difference. Join in this effort, have your voice heard. Please sign this petition to support bicyclist and pedestrian access to the new bridge.

On Tuesday, we asked our supporters up and down the east coast to sign a petition asking for bike access to to this critical bridge project on the East Coast Greenway. You all responded in style and doubled the number of signatures — from 2,000 to 4,000 — in just 24 hours. Thank you for doing that — you are really making a difference.

We love our new online advocacy alert system — and looking at the responses were generating, Voter Voice is working for you too. Last week, a national alert on Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) “New Opportunities” bike equity bill generated more than 2,500 e-mails to members of Congress… in the first 36 hours.

The Voter Voice system is easy to use — both for us and for you, the end user — and has some amazing analytic tools that enable us to do a better job of targeting alerts, testing different messages etc. In particular, it means we can partner with groups at the state and local level and add to their great work. We invest a fair amount into tools like these, and being able to help local, state and regional campaigns like this is exactly why we do it — and how we see a return on that investment. When Andy Hamilton at ECGA writes us back to say “thank you” for our help, and “this is why I am a life member of the League” that means the world to us.

Spoiler Alert — Virginia members, you might be hearing from us shortly!

(Photo credit: Ben Longstaff, Integration and Application Network, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)