United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS), a non-profit bike path and trail program, has attracted the interest of 30 states across the country, 14 of which have already starting implementing a network of bicycle routes.
The USBRS program was established in 2006 and is run by the Montana based Adventure Cycling Association, which were founded in 1973. The goal USBRS project is to build a network of well-marked roads, trails and paths that will allow cyclists to ride their bikes easily between states and across the country.
“One reason that many states have come on board is that it’s an American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) endorsed project, so state Departments of Transportation see it as part of their transportation planning,” said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director USBRS. “Another reason is that there is already enthusiasm in these states for cycling.”
Sullivan says that the project doesn’t cost as much as planners and transportation officials expect, because it leverages existing local and state routes or those that are already in the planning phase, thus budgeted.
USBRS, when finished, is expected to be one of the largest bike route system in the world, and stand next to the European Cyclists’ Federation’s EuroVelo. USBRS also, continuously, promotes bike-friendly environment and cycling as a primary form of transportation.
States that have already started implementing the project include Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
“A handful of states have said that they’re just not interested at this time,” Sullivan said. “Some do not have the staff resources at this time. But, it looks like most states will come on board eventually.”
According to a recent press release, USBRS launched a new online map to track state-by-state progress. The resource displays the National Corridor Plan map for the USBRS, which links to a progress report on every state’s work to establish official routing system.
“It’s an opportunity for the states to show all their hard work in the context of the larger project,” Sullivan said. “It’s also good for AASHTO to be able to see this project and know where states are in the process. And for cyclists, it will be good for all the USBRS resources, such as maps, to be accessible from one place.”