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Wisconsin Bike Fed Releases Wisconsin Bikeways Report

Published June 12, 2022

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MILWAUKEE – In honor of Wisconsin Bike Week, the Bike Fed announces release of the Wisconsin Bikeways Report to facilitate long-distance bicycling throughout the state.

Prepared by Toole Design Group, the Wisconsin Bikeways Report details efforts that began in 2015 by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and Wisconsin Bike Fed (Bike Fed) to create a statewide network of interconnected bikeway routes. These routes include national U.S. Bike Routes (USBRs), which connect to adjoining states, and state-level Wisconsin Bike Routes (WIBRs).

A “Bikeway” is a general term for any road, street, path, or way, which in some manner is specifically designated for bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes. A bicycle route is commonly a designated roadway or bikeway with a unique route designation or with bicycle route signs. 

In 2020, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved USBR 30, and alternate USBR 230, as Wisconsin’s first nationally designated bicycle routes. The 269-mile USBR 30 crosses the state from east to west. It begins in Milwaukee, at Lake Michigan, and ends in Bluff Siding, on the Mississippi River. 

Wheel & Sprocket bicycle shop owner and Adventure Cycling Association board member Noel Kegel explains, “USBR30 mostly follows a well-traveled route within the state including the first rail-trail in the US, the Elroy-Sparta trail featuring three long rock tunnels. The USBR designation is important to validate the route as part of a larger, national network of official bike routes. Aside from USBR30, Wisconsin is a wonderful place to travel by bike--due to a quirk of our history as a dairy state, many of our rural town roads are paved so that heavy milk trucks can reach the thousands of dairy farms throughout the state. As a result, there are tens of thousands of low-stress, high-quality rural roads perfect for bike travel. USBR30 is exciting in the effort to tell the story that Wisconsin is a great place to ride!”

Noel and his sister, Bike Fed Board Chair Amelia Kegel, have committed to sponsor signage along a portion of USBR 30 through the Chris Kegel Foundation. The Chris Kegel Foundation carries out the vision of their father for “a world where everyone enjoys their ride on a bicycle.”

The Adventure Cycling Association is a national bicycle nonprofit that promotes bicycle travel and is the only organization that coordinates national development of the USBRS. Adventure Cycling staff offer technical assistance, volunteer coordination, and outreach to help states achieve official designation of USBRs. U.S. Bicycle Routes are nominated for national designation by state DOTs, and designated and cataloged by AASHTO at their spring and fall meetings. 

Jennifer O'Dell, Adventure Cycling Executive Director, shares “The U.S. Bicycle Route System is an exciting project to encourage more people to feel inspired to travel by bicycle. Adventure Cycling is committed to this exciting work to achieve a nationwide bicycle travel system.”

Established in 1978, the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is an evolving national network of bicycle routes which will eventually encompass 50,000 miles of routes and open up new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional touring and commuting by bicycle. Currently, more than 18,500 miles are established in 33 states and Washington DC.  

“The Wisconsin Bikeways Report is truly a collaborative effort,” says Preston Cole, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary. “This resource provides a blueprint for creating more state- and federal-level bike routes in Wisconsin, providing more ways to experience our great outdoors.”

The Wisconsin Bikeways Report is the result of an important collaborative effort to provide and create bicycle connections for people in rural, urban, and suburban communities for travel, transportation, and recreation,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said.

The full Wisconsin Bikeways Report and an interactive online mapping application are available at 

About the Wisconsin Bike Fed:   The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin Educational Foundation, Inc. (AKA Wisconsin Bike Fed) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that cultivates, motivates, and unites residents, communities, businesses, and political leaders to move bicycling forward in Wisconsin through education, legislation, and involvement. The Wisconsin Bike Fed is the only statewide organization that advocates for better bicycling for everyone who rides a bike in Wisconsin. We have over 20,000 subscribers and followers - individuals, families, businesses, and organizations – who support our work to:

Advocate for cycling, including having the governor prioritize transportation access
and environmental concerns in the recently proposed 2021-23 biennial budget, and  
having bike shops deemed essential businesses during the pandemic.

Provide programs to make bicycling safer and more accessible across the
, particularly in the state’s most populous urban communities of Milwaukee and

Promote Wisconsin as an economic engine for cycling, highlighting scenic trails and emphasizing the many large and small businesses that support bicycling as direct producers, repairers or vendors of bikes and related accessories, as well as the hospitality industry that benefits from cycling. According to the most recent impact study released by the governor’s office in 2020, consumers spent $1.42 billion in 2017 on direct bicycle-related expenditures, bringing funds into our businesses and state budget. 


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