“We know this route network will not materialize overnight. But then again, neither did the Interstate Highway System.”
— Adventure Cycling’s Ginny Sullivan
Calling it a “very big milestone”, backers of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) are celebrating a key decision that sets a course for creating the largest official bicycle route network in the world.
The system’s National Corridor Plan has just been approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The corridor plan is a 50,000 mile network of 50-mile wide swaths that criss-cross the country and link key destinations (map below).
In an email today, the executive director of Adventure Cycling (the non-profit who has provided staff support on the project), Jim Sayer, wrote that AASHTO’s decision is a major milestone because it, “sets the framework for creating all the intercity, interstate routes, and there’s already interest and activity on that front.”
The effort to create a U.S. Bicycle Route System has been under development for four years and it has been a collaborative effort between federal and state transportation agencies and non-profit groups.
In a statement released today, John Horsley, executive director of AASHTO, praised the plan: “Bicycling is an increasingly popular transportation option that helps our environment and improves the quality of life for many Americans.”
Horsley (a member of the transportation “establishment” in America) also said that the approval means that now state DOT’s can work with local agencies to “begin establishing these routes throughout the United States”.
Adventure Cycling’s Ginny Sullivan (who I caught up with in Seattle back in September) said she’s already seen “tremendous interest” from states and nonprofits that want to work together and develop official routes.
“We know this route network will not materialize overnight,” said Sullivan. “But then again, neither did the Interstate Highway System.”
For more information on this exciting effort, visit AdventureCycling.org/USBRS.