MISSOULA, MT (BRAIN)—The American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes in the first move of its kind in nearly 30 years.
The routes are: USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska, marking the first official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be established since 1982.
The new routes have been under development since the Highway Association’s board of directors approved the national corridor plan for the USBRS — a template for planning interstate bicycle routes across the country — in October 2008.
“The day after AASHTO approved the corridor plan, volunteers contacted our office and asked if they could start developing USBR 20 from Marine City to Ludington,” said Josh DeBruyn, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “Management supported the idea that this project would be a grassroots effort, and it’s worked out tremendously.”
Along with the Highway Association, the Adventure Cycling Association welcomed approval of these new routes as a momentous step toward creating an official U.S. Bicycle Route System, which will become the largest official national cycling network on the planet.
“It’s an important achievement,” said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director and USBRS project coordinator at Adventure Cycling Association. “We’ve appreciated Michigan’s very methodical approach over the past two-and-a-half years, providing a model for other states to be successful in their efforts.”
Adventure Cycling provides technical assistance to states working on route implementation.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a proposed national network of bicycle routes that span multiple states and are of national and regional significance. These routes will serve as visible and well-planned trunk lines for connecting city, regional, and statewide cycling routes, and provide transportation and tourism opportunities across the country.
When complete, the U.S. Bicycle Route System will encompass more than 50,000 miles of routes. Learn more at www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs.