The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a developing national network of officially designated, numbered, and signed routes that use existing roads, trails, and other facilities appropriate for bike travel. It will eventually encompass 50,000 miles of routes and open new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional touring, and commuting by bike. It also benefits communities by providing new bicycle routes, enhancing safety, and increasing tourism and economic activity.
The three new routes are USBR 610 in Idaho, USBR 11 in Pennsylvania, and USBR 121 in Tennessee. In Minnesota, USBR 20 has been extended and USBR 45 and USBR 45A have been adjusted to incorporate new trails and improve safety. Alaska’s network will now connect to Washington State via the Alaska Marine Highway System using ferries, the first time a ferry has been designated as part of a US Bicycle Route.
“Twice each year, state departments of transportation play a significant role in the expansion of the U.S. Bicycle Route System by designating new routes,” explained Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
“Those bike routes are critical to enhancing and expanding the active transportation opportunities within the nation’s multimodal mobility network,” he said. “State DOTs play a key role in helping foster more and safer bicycle travel options for all Americans and goes to the heart of AASHTO’s longstanding partnership with the Adventure Cycling Association.”
Digital maps for all designated U.S. Bicycle Routes are available to the public for free on the Adventure Cycling Association website.
With the new designation and realignments, the U.S. Bicycle Route System now boasts nearly 20,000 miles of routes in 34 states and Washington, D.C. At least 38 states are currently developing additional U.S. Bicycle Routes.
“It’s exciting to see how the U.S. Bicycle Route System mirrors our European counterpart bicycle travel network, EuroVelo in a new way: ferries!,” said Jennifer O’Dell, executive director of Adventure Cycling Association. “By incorporating the Alaska Marine Highway System into the USBRS, cyclists’ horizons are widened beyond the Lower 48.”
The nonprofit Adventure Cycling Association promotes bike travel and is the only organization that coordinates national development of the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Adventure Cycling staff offer technical assistance, volunteer coordination, and outreach to help states achieve official designation of routes.