Official national bicycle network expands to 8,992 miles with addition of three new routes in Idaho and Utah; eighteen states now have U.S. Bicycle Routes.

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Official national bicycle network expands to 8,992 miles with addition of three new routes in Idaho and Utah; eighteen states now have U.S. Bicycle Routes.

Missoula, Montana, May 26, 2015Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO has approved 919 miles of new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBRs): USBR 10 in Idaho and USBR 70 and 79 in Utah. The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) now encompasses 8,992 miles of routes in eighteen states and the District of Columbia.

“Today’s announcement carries even greater significance because of where the new routes are located,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO’s executive director. “Utah and Idaho are only the second and third Western states to be added to the US Bicycle Route System, but we’re confident more will follow as we connect the entire nation from coast to coast.”

The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a developing national network of numbered and signed bicycle routes that connect people, communities, and the nation. Similar to emerging international and regional networks, such as Europe’s EuroVelo network and Quebec’s La Route Verte, the U.S. Bicycle Route System provides important recreational and transportation options for the active traveler. Currently, more than forty states are working to develop route corridors into official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be approved by AASHTO at their spring and fall meetings.

”Adding almost 1,000-miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes is a testament to the growing interest in bicycle travel all over the country,” said Jim Sayer, executive director of Adventure Cycling Association. “These designations are the result of hard work by the states and their local partners along with support provided by Adventure Cycling staff. It’s a true partnership for active travel and transportation across America.”

U.S. Bicycle Route 10 in Idaho (137 miles with Alternates)

U.S. Bicycle Route 10 includes a 66-mile section that travels through northern Idaho to Montana using U.S. 2, Idaho 200 and local routes. Along the way, the route parallels historic water paths in the Panhandle region and follows railroad beds established more than a century ago.

The route travels between the Bonner County communities of Oldtown and Sandpoint on U.S. 2, Sandpoint and Clark Fork on Idaho 200, and between Clark Fork and Heron, Mont. on River Road and Clark Fork Road.

Brian Shea, the Statewide Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator for the Idaho Transportation Department, said, “We are excited to share this new route which includes some of the most beautiful areas of our state with bicycle travelers who, in turn, will provide economic opportunities for our local businesses and communities.”

The route features services in Oldtown, Priest River, Dover, Sandpoint, Ponderay, Kootenai, Hope, East Hope and Clark Fork such as restaurants, bike shops, lodging, campgrounds, grocery stores and emergency services to accommodate the needs of touring cyclists. There are many scenic vistas and points of interest along the corridor as well as alternate routes and side trips aligning with or giving access to the growing trail system in Bonner County.

USBR 10 parallels historic water routes in the region, including the northerly bank of the Pend Oreille River between Newport, Wash. and Sandpoint, the northerly and easterly shoreline of Lake Pend Oreille, and the south bank of the Clark Fork River into Montana. Albeni Falls Dam near Oldtown and Cabinet Gorge Dam near Clark Fork can be viewed and visited along the route.

The route uses three Scenic Byways: the International Selkirk Loop, the Panhandle Historic River Passages State Scenic Byway and the Pend Oreille National Scenic Byway.

USBR 10 follows the Great Northern Railway bed between Oldtown and Sandpoint and the Northern Pacific Railway bed between Sandpoint and Montana, both established in the 1890s and in operation today as main rail freight corridors. The railways opened up the Lake Pend Oreille area some 80 years after the early fur trader, David Thompson, established a trading post near what is now Clark Fork.

The area is rich in trading, mining, timber, fishing, and tourism history. Many seasonal events occur throughout the area during the touring season ranging from farmers’ markets to cycling events at Schweitzer Mountain Resort to The Festival at Sandpoint, Sandpoint’s music festival. Area businesses welcome touring cyclists and encourage travelers to enjoy the many features of Bonner County.

In endorsing the route, Bonner County’s Board of Commissioners stated, “We recognize that bicycle tourism is a growing industry in North America, contributing $47 billion a year to the economies of communities that provide facilities for such tourists. This community stands to benefit from this opportunity economically and from the health and environmental benefits of encouraging bicycle travel in our region.”

More information and a link to the map can be found on the ITD website.

U.S. Bicycle Route 70 and 79 in Utah (782 miles)

U.S. Bicycle Routes 70 and 79 combine to create a transverse route across southern Utah that connects the Nevada and Colorado borders. The U.S. Bicycle Route 79 portion of this route travels 130 miles in a southeasterly direction through the high elevation desert of the Basin and Range Province, providing travelers with a unique scenic experience and unmatched solitude. The route follows paved, two-lane highways through a landscape dominated by sagebrush, piñon pine, and expansive views, and connects to Route 70 in Cedar City, where cyclists can access food, water, and bicycle shops.

The Route 70 portion of this route travels 450 miles through the unique red rock landscape of southern Utah, passing through sinuous canyon country, through high elevation pine forests in the Dixie National Forest, and crossing the Colorado River near Lake Powell. Route 70 also travels past Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park, two of the crown jewels of Utah’s iconic “Big Five” parks. The red rock hoodoos at Bryce and the sprawling vistas at Capitol Reef are truly once in a lifetime sights that all travelers should have on their must-see list. This route follows paved, two-lane, county, state, and U.S. roads, which pass through small, rural towns that provide cyclists with the opportunity to re-supply with food and water.

USBRS 70 and 79 offer cyclists the opportunity to experience Utah’s stunning red rock landscape and make these routes a truly unique part of the U.S. Bicycle Route network.

“The Utah Department of Transportation is pleased that the efforts of all of Utah’s communities and transportation partners are being recognized with the approval of USBR 79 and USBR 70 in Utah,” said Carlos Braceras, UDOT Executive Director. “In Utah we know that biking plays an important role in Keeping Utah Moving, which is helping drive our great quality of life and economy. National bike routes such as these play a significant role in providing active transportation options for the citizens of Utah and the rest of the United States.”

For more information about bicycing in Utah, visit the UDOT website.

U.S. Bicycle Route 45 realignment in Minnesota (26 miles added)

Originally designated in 2013, The Minnesota Department of Transportation has realigned U.S. Bicycle Route 45 to incorporate changes in coordination with the installation of guide signs along the entire route.

The route, also known as the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), is now twenty-six miles longer and includes improvements such as: roadway realignments due to construction, improved shoulders on nearby roads, new bridges, opportunities to bring cyclists closer to the Mississippi River, and newly-built off-road paths and trails, which appeal to a broader bicycling audience. The route includes seven percent more off-road facilities, and incorporates long continuous sections of three state trails and numerous miles of regional and local paths.

“MnDOT worked with local communities and Department of Natural Resources partners since 2013 to identify sign locations,” said Tim Mitchell, Minnesota Department of Transportation bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. “In just a few years, our partners made many improvements worthy of a statewide realignment and we are pleased to incorporate them into a route that’s better, safer, and offers an even greater opportunity for adventure and cultural enrichment along one of the world’s great rivers.”

The MRT/USBR 45 connects existing shouldered highways, low-use roads, and off-road paths for bicyclists to closely follow the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Itasca State Park to the Iowa border. The route begins where the Mississippi is just a small stream surrounded by towering white pines. It winds through forests and farm fields, passes through the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and through charming, historic river towns. It offers challenging climbs in the limestone bluffs of southeastern Minnesota, rewarded with long scenic views of the river valley. The route is sometimes on two sides of the river, offering a linear long distance bikeway along with opportunities for short loop rides if crossing from one side to another.

Two ribbon-cutting events and a bike ride will be held this summer to commemorate the project completion. The events will be Aug. 27 in Itasca State Park and Aug. 31 in St. Paul. They coincide with the inaugural eight-day, 470-mile “Headwaters to Hills” tour from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2. For more information about the ride, go to http://www.bikemn.org/headwaters-to-hills.

“With the project completion, it’s time to recognize the partners’ accomplishments,” said Liz Walton, MRT/USBR 45 project manager. “Many MRT cities worked hard to encourage safe bicycling for both for residents and visitors alike and to invite them to enjoy the river and what their communities have to offer. The route celebrates the people, places, and stories that have made Minnesota communities great. What better way to experience all that than on a bike.”

Detailed route maps and other information are available on the MNDOT website.

The Largest Bike Route Network in the World

The U.S. Bicycle Route System will eventually be the largest bicycle route network in the world, encompassing more than 50,000 miles of routes. Adventure Cycling Association has provided dedicated staff support to the project since 2005, including research support, meeting coordination, and technical guidance for states implementing routes. Adventure Cycling recently completed a makeover of the web pages devoted to the U.S. Bicycle Route System with improved layout and easy to find implementation tools, including route criteria, designation resources, and links to official sign guidance documents and studies. Adventure Cycling also provides an updated list of links to maps and other resources for cyclists wishing to ride an established U.S. Bicycle Route on its Maps & Route Resources page.

AASHTO’s support for the project is crucial to earning the support of federal and state agencies. 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, AASHTO’s primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system.

Support for the U.S. Bicycle Route System comes from Adventure Cycling members, donors, foundations, and a group of business sponsors that participate in the annual Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. fundraiser each May.

Learn more at www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs.


The Adventure Cycling Association shows more routes to travel the USA by bike

U.S. Bicycle Route System grows to over 8,000 miles

Adventure Cycling Association Logo

U.S. Bicycle Route System grows to over 8,000 miles

Official national bicycle network expands to 8,042 miles with addition of five new routes

MISSOULA, MONTANA, November 16, 2014 Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved 1,253 miles of new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBRs): USBR 1 in Massachusetts and Florida, USBR 10 in Michigan, USBR 11 in Maryland, and USBR 90 in Florida. Realignments were also approved for USBR 76 and USBR 1 in Virginia, which were originally designated in 1982. The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) now encompasses 8,042 miles of routes in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

“We continue to be impressed by the strong work of state Departments of Transportation and congratulate them on their designations,” said AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright. “We also wish to acknowledge our partnership with Adventure Cycling Association and the expertise they bring to the process.”

The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a developing national network of numbered and signed bicycle routes that connect people, communities, and the nation. Similar to emerging international networks, such as Europe’s EuroVelo network and Quebec’s La Route Verte, the U.S. Bicycle Route System provides important recreational and transportation options for the active traveler. Currently, more than 40 states are working to develop route corridors into official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be approved by AASHTO at their spring and fall meetings.

“With each new route and each new state in the U.S. Bicycle Route System, we will soon see this network reach every corner of America, from urban to rural areas” said Jim Sayer, executive director of Adventure Cycling Association. “Given the project’s momentum, we expect that, over time, the USBRS will become the largest official bicycle route network on the planet.”

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Florida (584.4 miles)

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 follows Florida’s Atlantic coast from Key West to Jacksonville, where it ends at the Georgia State Line. Much of USBR 1 follows the East Coast Greenway and Adventure Cycling Association’s Atlantic Coast Route. The route includes many scenic beaches and intersects cities and towns along the way.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad commented, “We’re very pleased that Florida now joins other states in establishing U.S. Bicycle Routes. Milepost 0 in Key West will now be the starting point for U.S. Bicycle Route 1 as it is for U.S. Highway 1. The Sunshine State invites cyclists to enjoy our great state.”

State Bicycle Coordinator DeWayne Carver said that FLDOT plans to designate more U.S. Bicycle Routes in the near future.

U.S. Bicycle Route 90 in Florida (423.8 miles)

U.S. Bicycle Route 90 is an east-west route that connects the Alabama border to Florida’s Atlantic Coast in Butler Beach, just south of St Augustine. The route partly follows Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier route and traverses rural north Florida through pastures, forests, and small towns, with a few “big city” stops in Pensacola and Tallahassee.

Florida DOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “cyclists can now follow USBR 90 across Florida from the coast to Alabama. We’ll guarantee to keep the route free from snow year-round and provide plenty of sunshine.”

Bicyclists interested in riding U.S. Bicycle Routes in Florida can find maps, turn-by-turn directions and other information at http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/policy/usbr.

U.S. Bicycle Route 11 in Maryland (34 miles)

US Bicycle Route 11 runs for 34 miles from the Pennsylvania state line northwest of Hagerstown to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. There are a variety of urban and scenic attractions along the route, which follows a combination of rural roads, state highways and off-road trails. Cyclists can stop in downtown Hagerstown and explore its historical and art museums located in the picturesque Hagerstown City Park. For bicycle travelers interested in civil war history, there are many historical attractions along or near the route, including the National War Correspondents Memorial in Gathland State Park, the Antietam National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. USBR 11 also traverses the traffic-free, scenic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath (also designated as U.S. Bicycle Route 50) for 2.6 miles until it reaches Harpers Ferry.

“US Bicycle Route 11 will be a great asset for bicyclists and Washington County businesses,” said Richard Cushwa, Acting Chair of the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. “By connecting with U.S. Bicycle Route 50, this designation will help enhance safety, travel, and tourism throughout Western Maryland and beyond.”

For more information on bicycling in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian site at http://1.usa.gov/1uLsgp3.

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Massachusetts (18 miles)

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has designated two new segments along U.S. Bicycle Route 1, adding 18 miles to the route, which now totals 38 miles. The two new segments offer a glimpse of what makes Massachusetts a special place for local and long-distance travelers alike, with an array of landscapes and settlements along urban and rural byways.

The more northerly segment of USBR 1 in Salisbury and Newburyport straddles the majestic Merrimack River. USBR 1 here offers views of watercraft, and reminders of the area’s rich nautical history. While the Salisbury Old Eastern Marsh Trail provides proximity to expansive Atlantic Ocean beaches, Newburyport’s Clipper City Rail Trail reminds riders that the City’s clipper ships were once the fastest on the seas, spawning a global maritime trade. Both communities also offer nature preserves and museums in close proximity to USBR 1.

Further south, USBR 1 traverses through the communities of Topsfield, Wenham, Danvers, and Peabody, which are removed from the Atlantic and offer a different experience of Massachusetts. The Topsfield Linear Common and Wenham Swamp Walk wind their way through these communities, and riders are treated to a number of river crossings. Wetlands remind cyclists of glacial epochs long past, and boardwalks provide opportunities to explore these landscapes and natural history. Timeless town centers and deep woods also attract riders. Further south, USBR 1 enters busier settlements via the Danvers Rail Trail and Independence Greenway where cyclists can buy needed provisions.

U.S. Bicycle Route 10 in Michigan (193 miles)

U.S Bicycle Route 10 stretches for 193 miles along U.S. 2 and connects the eastern and central portions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The eastern terminus connects with U.S. Bicycle Route 35 in St. Ignace. As the route travels west to Iron Mountain, Michigan, travelers are presented with stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge, rolling sand dunes along Lake Michigan, and tourist attractions like the famous Mystery Spot. The gently rolling route passes numerous parks, state and national forest lands, and scenic overlooks. Along the way, small lumber towns and rural communities offer everything a bicycle traveler could need every 20 to 30 miles.

A recent study initiated by the Michigan Department of Transportation showed that bicycling brings $668 million per year in economic benefits to Michigan’s economy. The state’s third U.S. Bicycle Route designation, USBR 10 will bring bicycle tourism revenue and new economic growth opportunities to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The designation is also part of a regional effort to complete U.S. Bicycle Routes around Lake Michigan and market the area as an active tourism destination.

Kerry Irons, a USBRS coordinator for Adventure Cycling based in Michigan, noted that “with the addition of USBR 10, Michigan is now tied with Florida for second place among states for USBR mileage (1,008 miles), with Alaska having the highest mileage (1,414 miles). We’re looking forward to the connection of USBR 37 to Wisconsin and the completion of USBRs all the way around Lake Michigan.”

U.S. Bicycle Route 1 Realignment in Virginia (6 miles added)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has realigned U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Northern Virginia to provide a safer and more reliable route for cyclists. Increased traffic volumes, changes to access through Ft. Belvoir, and the closure of a bridge on Gunston Cove Rd were all factors which triggered a re-evaluation of the existing route. The realignment improved the scenic appeal of the route by adding more mileage along the Potomac River.

USBR 1 in Northern Virginia travels by several interesting and historic sites including Historic Occoquan, Mt. Vernon (Home of George Washington), Woodlawn Plantation, the Pope-Leighey house (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), George Washington’s Grist Mill, and Old Town Alexandria. The route now ends at the 14th St Bridge in Washington DC.

United States Bicycle Route 76 Realignment in Virginia (6 miles removed)

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has realigned U.S. Bicycle Route 76 in the Staunton District to provide a safer, more direct route for cyclists. The route was realigned just north of Lexington to Route 56 near Vesuvius and matches the existing Adventure Cycling TransAmerica Trail route. The new route follows roads with lower-volume traffic and avoids two interstate interchanges.

This section of USBR 76 passes through the historic city of Lexington, home of the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. For eastbound cyclists, this section of USBR 76 is the last part of the route in the Shenandoah Valley and skirts the western foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The northern end of the realignment ends at Route 56 which then quickly climbs 2000 feet over four miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 17-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway offers numerous scenic views and is consistently noted as one of the highlights of the TransAmerica Trail by cross country cyclists. Maps of the TransAmerica Trail are available at Adventure Cycling and more information about the USBR 76 route changes is available on the VDOT website.

The U.S. Bicycle Route System will eventually be the largest bicycle-route network in the world, encompassing more than 50,000 miles of routes. Adventure Cycling Association has provided dedicated staff support to the project since 2005, including research support, meeting coordination, and technical guidance for states implementing routes. Adventure Cycling also provides an updated list of links to maps and other resources for cyclists wishing to ride an established U.S. Bicycle Route on its Use a U.S. Bicycle Route page.

AASHTO’s support for the project is crucial to earning the support of federal and state agencies. 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, AASHTO’s primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system.

Support for the U.S. Bicycle Route System comes from Adventure Cycling members, donors, and a group of business sponsors that participate in the annual Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. fundraiser each May. The U.S. Bicycle Route System is supported in part by grants from the Tawani Foundation, Lazar Foundation, and Climate Ride.

Learn more at www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs.