AASHTO Approves New U.S. Bicycle Routes Across America

| 5/12/2011 2:40:02 PM

Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBR): USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska — the first official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be established since 1982.

AASHTO and Adventure Cycling welcomed approval of these new routes as a momentous step toward creating an official U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), which will become the largest official national cycling network on the planet.

"We are pleased that the collaboration with Adventure Cycling has resulted in the approval of these new bicycle routes and we look forward to continuing the implementation of the national corridor plan that was endorsed by AASHTO’s membership in partnership with the bicycling community," said John Horsley, AASHTO's Executive Director.

The new routes have been under development since AASHTO’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," commented Josh DeBruyn, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT). "Management supported the idea that this project would be a grassroots effort, and it’s worked out tremendously."

In coordination with the Michigan DOT, and working as volunteers for Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, supporters Scott Anderson and Kerry Irons pioneered Michigan’s grassroots model for implementing U.S. Bike Routes: first by winning buy-in from local communities and transportation agencies, and then securing route number approval from AASHTO, a required step for all U.S. Bike Routes. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A powerful voice in the transportation sector, its primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system. AASHTO’s support for this project is crucial in earning the support of federal and state agencies, and provides a major boost to bicycling and route development for non-motorized transportation.

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