At a ceremony held on the pathway itself in Bristol, R.I., the East Bay Bicycle Path officially became part of the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame on October 9, 2009. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) Carl Knoch spoke at the induction and presented Hall of Fame signage to Robert Paquette, chief of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Division of Parks and Recreation. Also attending were Steve Church from Rhode Island's Department of Transportation Planning Division, Bristol Town Council Chairman Ken Meyers, Bristol Town Administrator Diane Mederos, and a host of trail supporters.
"The East Bay Bicycle Path is a prime example of a multi-use trail that can serve the transportation, health and recreational needs of Rhode Island's citizens," says Knoch, manager of trail development for RTC's Northeast Regional Office.
The 14-mile rail-trail is the 12th member of the Hall of Fame. The corridor hugs the shores of Narragansett Bay from India Point Park in Providence south to the sailing town of Bristol. It's an expressway for commuters and outdoors activity, with frequent stops in parks and local downtowns. Visitors enjoy bay scenes and marshlands, woodlands and residential neighborhoods.
Since 2007, the RTC has been recognizing exemplary rail-trails around the country for induction into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Rail-trail inductees have been selected on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance of facility, and geographic diversity. The five-year recognition program runs through 2011 when the 25th and final Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductee will be selected, coinciding with RTC's 25th Anniversary.