United States Bicycle Route System

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United States Bicycle Route System
1978 marker 2009 marker 2012 alternative marker
1978, 2009, and (alternative) 2012 route markers
System information
Length: 8,043 mi[1] (12,944 km)
Formed: 1978
Highway names
US Routes: U.S. Bicycle Route nn (USBR nn)
System links
  • United States Bicycle Route System

The United States Bicycle Route System (abbreviated USBRS) is the national cycling route network of the United States. It consists of interstate long-distance cycling routes that utilize multiple types of bicycling infrastructure, including off-road paths, bicycle lanes, and low-traffic roads. As with the complementary United States Numbered Highways system for motorists, each U.S. Bicycle Route is maintained by state and local governments. The USBRS is intended to eventually traverse the entire country, like the Dutch National Cycle Routes and the United Kingdom's National Cycle Network, yet at a scale similar to the EuroVelo network that spans Europe.

The USBRS was established in 1978 by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the same body that coordinates the numbering of Interstate highways and U.S. Routes. The first two U.S. Bicycle Routes were established in 1982 and remained the only two until 2011. Steady growth and interest in the system has followed since.[2][3][4] As of September 2015, 21 parent routes and six child routes extend 11,424 miles (18,385 km) across 23 states and the District of Columbia.[5] The system, once fully connected, is projected to encompass over 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of bike routes.[6]

Layout[edit]

Like United States Numbered Highways and many national routing systems, the U.S. Bicycle Route system is designed to roughly follow a grid. Mainline routes are the major cross-country routes and are represented with one- or two-digit numbers. Even-numbered routes are planned to primarily run east-west, with low-numbered routes in the north and high-numbered routes in the south. Odd-numbered routes will primarily run north-south, with low-numbered routes starting in the east and ascending in number toward the west. Three-digit numbers are assigned to auxiliary routes, with the last two digits denoting the parent that the auxiliary connects to. Much like other routing systems, the grid is sometimes violated; for example, U.S. Bicycle Route 76 (USBR 76) is projected to turn to the north in Colorado and end in Oregon as opposed to California, south of (and temporarily concurrent with) USBR 20 but far north of USBR 50.

The existing USBR 1 will be the easternmost route, though USBR 5 will run farther east of it in Virginia and the Carolinas. The westernmost and northernmost routes are USBR 97 and USBR 8, respectively, both of which are in the State of Alaska. Outside of Alaska, the westernmost route is expected to be USBR 95 and the northernmost USBR 10. USBR 90 is expected to be the southernmost route.[7] Despite the analogy the system has to the U.S. Highway system, the USBRS's route numbers do not necessarily trace the same route as the corresponding U.S. Highway number; for example, while USBR 1 will run close to the East Coast and thus parallel U.S. Route 1 (US 1), the projected route of USBR 10 generally follows US 2.

In order for a route to qualify as a U.S. Bike Route, it needs to connect two or more states, connect multiple U.S. Bike Routes, or connect a U.S. Bike Route with a national border.

History[edit]

The USBRS was established in 1978 by the AASHTO for the purpose of "facilitat[ing] travel between the states over routes which have been identified as being more suitable than others for cycling."[8]

The first routes were defined in 1982: U.S. Bicycle Route 1 (USBR 1) from North Carolina to Virginia, and the stretch of USBR 76 from Illinois through Kentucky to Virginia. These two routes remained the only routes in the system until 2011. In the interim, only minor routing changes had been made in Virginia.

AASHTO established a new task force in 2003 to study expansion of the system.[2][9][10] The task force included state and federal highway officials and representatives from bicycling organizations. In October 2008, AASHTO approved a national-level corridor and route designation plan.[11] Other organizations involved in the effort include state departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Adventure Cycling Association.

In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed moving the U.S. Bicycle Route System under the authority of the Federal Highway Administration as part of a new Office of Livability.[12]

In early May 2011, the first major expansion of the system was made. Five new parent routes, two child routes, and one alternate route were created, along with modifications to the existing routes in Virginia and the establishment of USBR 1 in New England.[3][4]

Across 2013, several other additions to the system were made. After approval in 2012, signage for USBR 45 in Minnesota was completed in the summer. An expansion of USBR 76 into Missouri was signed in October, and both Tennessee and Maryland entered the system on November 5 with USBR 23 and USBR 50, respectively.[6] Florida has also begun planning on four bicycle routes, including its stretch of USBR 1 and USBR 90.[13]

List of routes[edit]

As of September 2015, there are 21 official parent routes in varying stages of completion. In areas where a specific route has not been approved by AASHTO, there is only a prioritized corridor. The six existing subsidiary and alternate routes are grouped with their one- or two-digit parents. Approved or signposted routes are currently located in the District of Columbia and 23 states: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Alaska has the most of any state, with six active routes total.

Route number States with approved routes States within corridor Official length Formed Notes
(mi) (km)
US Bike 1 (M1-9).svg
USBR 1
Maine,[14] New Hampshire,[15] Massachusetts,[16] Virginia,[17][16] North Carolina, Florida[18] Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida 1,525.6 2,455 1982 One of the original routes. Unofficial signs exist along some of the planned route from the Canadian border in Maine to Key West, Florida. It is expected to be integrated with the East Coast Greenway.[2]
US Bike 1A (M1-9).svg
USBR 1A
Maine[14] Maine 135 217 2011 This is a seaside alternative to U.S. Bicycle Route 1 in Maine.
US Bike 7 (M1-9).svg
USBR 7
Vermont Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut 26.7 43 2015
US Bike 8 (M1-9).svg
USBR 8
Alaska[19] Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia 290.94 468 2011 The northernmost route in the system, USBR 8 was approved from Fairbanks to the Canadian border, following Alaska Route 2 along the Richardson and Alaska highways.[20][19]
US Bike 108 (M1-9).svg
USBR 108
Alaska[19] Alaska 302 486 2011 A spur of USBR 8 that follows Alaska Route 1 from Tok to Anchorage, at a junction with USBR 97.[19]
US Bike 208 (M1-9).svg
USBR 208
Alaska[19] Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon 39 63 2011 A spur of Route 8 that follows the Haines Highway.[19]
US Bike 10 (M1-9).svg US Bike 10 (M1-9 IA-15).svg
USBR 10
Washington, Idaho,[5] Michigan[16] Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington 666 1,072 2014 Northernmost planned route in the contiguous United States, roughly following the U.S. Route 2 highway. Currently runs through northern Washington State, connecting to British Columbia via Washington State Ferries.[21]
US Bike 10A (M1-9 IA-15).svg
USBR 10A
Idaho[5] Idaho 71 114 2015
US Bike 11 (M1-9).svg
USBR 11
Maryland[16] North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland 34 55 2014 This route generally parallels U.S. Route 11. The first section was established in Maryland on November 24, 2014.[16]
US Bike 20 (M1-9 IA-15).svg
USBR 20
Michigan Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon 310 499 2011 Routing in Michigan has been approved,[20] from the international Bluewater Ferry to Canada in Marine City, Michigan, and is planned to incorporate the Lake Michigan Carferry crossing between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
US Bike 21 (M1-9 IA-15).svg
USBR 21
Georgia Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio 160.8 259 2015
US Bike 23 (M1-9).svg
USBR 23
Tennessee Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama 154 248 2013 Planned to run from south of Louisville, Kentucky south to northern Alabama. Route in Tennessee was approved in 2013.[6]
US Bike 35 (M1-9 IA-15).svg US Bike 35 (M1-9).svg
USBR 35
Michigan, Indiana Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi 1,231.34 1,982 2012 Planned to run from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to USBR 45 on the Mississippi River in Mississippi or Louisiana. Michigan portion dedicated on May 19, 2012.[22] Indiana portion approved in September 2015.[23]
US Bike 35A (M1-9).svg
USBR 35A
Indiana Indiana 30.4 49 2015
US Bike 36 (M1-9).svg
USBR 36
Indiana, Illinois Michigan, Indiana, Illinois 73.87 119 2014 Currently runs from Chicago to the Michigan state line.[21][23] Planned to stretch from Detroit, Michigan to USBR 45 along the Mississippi River in Illinois or Iowa.
US Bike 37 (M1-9).svg
USBR 37
Illinois Wisconsin, Illinois 57.4 92 2014 Currently runs from the Wisconsin–Illinois state line south to Chicago.[21] Planned to begin at USBR 10 near the border with Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Originally planned as part of USBR 66.[24]
US Bike 45 (M1-9).svg
USBR 45
Minnesota Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana 726 1,168 2012 Planned to incorporate the Mississippi River Trail[2] and run from northern Minnesota south to New Orleans, Louisiana, it is unclear whether this route will primarily run along either the west bank or east bank of the Mississippi River. Route was approved May 21, 2012.[25][26]
US Bike 50 (M1-9).svg
USBR 50
District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California 688.8 1,109 2013 Planned to be one of the longest routes, stretching from Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware through Washington, D.C. in the east to near San Francisco, California. The route in Maryland, which follows the C&O Canal Towpath, was approved in 2013.[6][27] The route in Ohio was approved in 2014,[21] and the route in Indiana was approved the following year.[23]
US Bike 50A (M1-9).svg
USBR 50A
Ohio Ohio 32.3 52 2015
US Bike 70 (M1-9).svg
USBR 70
Utah[5] Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California 450 724 2015 Planned to run from USBR 76 in Colorado to USBR 66 in California.
US Bike 76 (M1-9).svg US Bike 76 (M1-9 IA-15).svg
USBR 76
Virginia,[17][16] Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon 2,365.7 3,807 1982 One of the two original routes, this is planned to be expanded to the longest route, running from the existing eastern terminus near the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia west to the Pacific Ocean west of Eugene, Oregon. The number refers to 1776 and the U.S. bicentennial year 1976 when this was the "Bikecentennial" route. Like USBR 1, unofficial signs exist in places along the route, which is officially only from Virginia to Missouri. Route approved and signed in Missouri in October 2013.[28]
US Bike 79 (M1-9).svg
USBR 79
Utah[5] Nevada, Utah, Arizona 332 534 2015 Planned to run from USBR 50 near Reno, Nevada to USBR 90 near Phoenix, Arizona.
US Bike 87 (M1-9).svg
USBR 87
Alaska[19] Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California 14 23 2011 The middle route of three serving the three West Coast states and Alaska. It is planned to use the Alaska Marine Highway to connect Bellingham, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. Currently, the only approved route follows the Klondike Highway.[19]
US Bike 90 (M1-9).svg US Bike 90 (M1-9 IA-15).svg
USBR 90
Florida,[16] Arizona[29] Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California 997.04 1,605 2014 The southernmost route, running from near Jacksonville, Florida west to San Diego, California. The first section was established in Florida on November 24, 2014.[16] The section through Arizona was approved on September 24, 2015.[29][23]
US Bike 95 (M1-9).svg
USBR 95
Alaska[19] Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California 266 428 2011 The westernmost planned route in the contiguous United States, USBR 95 currently runs from Delta Junction, Alaska to Valdez, via the Richardson Highway.[19] It is planned to follow the Alaska Marine Highway from Valdez to Bellingham, Washington, and then it will go south to San Diego, California. It is expected to incorporate the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route.[2]
US Bike 97 (M1-9).svg
USBR 97
Alaska[19] Alaska 448 721 2011 The westernmost route in the system, USBR 97 lies entirely within Alaska. It connects Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward via the Seward and Parks highways.[20][19]

List of prioritized corridors[edit]

Below is an incomplete list of prioritized corridors, "50-mile-wide areas where a route may be developed":[7]

Route number Locale Notes
USBR 5 Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia Planned to run from USBR 76 in Virginia south to Savannah, Georgia, east of USBR 1.
USBR 9 New York Planned to run from the Canadian border in New York to New York City. Initially planned to be designated USBR 3.[24]
USBR 14 Montana, Idaho, Washington Missoula, Montana to Seattle, Washington vicinity.
USBR 15 New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida
USBR 25 Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama Planned to run from north of Detroit, Michigan south to Mobile, Alabama.
USBR 30 Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana Planned to incorporate a ferry crossing on Lake Michigan between Michigan and Wisconsin.
USBR 40 New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming Planned to run from New York City to Yellowstone National Park.
USBR 41 Minnesota, Wisconsin Planned to run from the Canadian border in Minnesota south to the Mississippi River and USBR 45 in Wisconsin.
USBR 55 North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Planned to run from the Canadian border in North Dakota south to the Mexican border in Texas.
USBR 65 North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Planned to run from USBR 10 in North Dakota south to USBR 84 near Lubbock, Texas.
USBR 66 Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California Planned to roughly follow the decommissioned U.S. Route 66 highway from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. Originally planned to continue north to Wisconsin on what is now planned as USBR 37.[24]
USBR 75 Colorado, New Mexico, Texas Planned to run from USBR 76 in Colorado to USBR 90 near El Paso, Texas
USBR 80 North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma Planned to run from North Carolina coast to Oklahoma City
USBR 84 South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico Planned to run from South Carolina coast to El Paso, Texas
USBR 85 Washington, Oregon, California The easternmost of three routes serving the three West Coast states.

See also[edit]

U.S. state bicycle route systems:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adventure Cycling Association (June 17, 2014). "U.S. Bicycle Route System Adds 800+ Miles of New Routes" (Press release). Missoula, MT: Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Lahood, Ray (July 2, 2010). "US Bicycle Route System begins connecting America". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Adventure Cycling Association (May 11, 2011). "AASHTO Approves New U.S. Bicycle Routes Across America" (Press release). Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Sullivan, Ginny (May 11, 2011). "It's Official! New U.S. Bicycle Routes Approved". Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Adventure Cycling Association (May 26, 2015). "U.S. Bicycle Route System Expands 900 Miles, Adds Two States" (Press release). Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Adventure Cycling Association (November 5, 2013). "New U.S. Bicycle Routes Approved in Maryland and Tennessee" (Press release). Missoula, MT: Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Adventure Cycling Association (June 2011). The United States Bicycle Route System: Corridor Plan (PDF) (Map). Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (June 30, 1982). "Route Number Designations". Retrieved May 12, 2006 – via Maine Department of Transportation. 
  9. ^ Moeur, Richard C. "AASHTO Ad Hoc Task Force on U.S. Bicycle Routes" (PDF). American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 25, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2006. 
  10. ^ "AASHTO Task Force on Numbered Bicycle Routes" (PDF). American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  11. ^ Adventure Cycling Association. "Background on Current USBRS Effort". Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved June 28, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009- Committee Draft" (PDF). Retrieved June 28, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Florida Planning U.S. Bicycle Route for Long-Distance Bike Travel". November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Application for Designation of a U.S. Bicycle Route" (PDF). Maine Department of Transportation. January 5, 2011. p. 3. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Application for Designation of a U.S. Bicycle Route" (PDF). New Hampshire Department of Transportation. February 4, 2011. p. 3. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Adventure Cycling Association (December 16, 2014). "U.S. Bicycle Route System Grows to over 8,000 Miles" (Press release). Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "2010 Virginia Bicycling Guide" (PDF). Virginia Department of Transportation. September 23, 2010. p. 5. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ Prasad, Ananth (October 1, 2014). "Application for Designation of a U.S. Bicycle Route (October 24, 2012)" (PDF) (Letter to Bud Wright). Retrieved October 4, 2015 – via American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Application for Designation of a U.S. Bicycle Route" (PDF). Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. September 10, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c Ray Lahood (June 17, 2011). "US Bike Route showing no signs of growing pains". United States Department of Transportation. 
  21. ^ a b c d Vitale, Marty (May 29, 2014). "Report to SCOH" (DOCX) (Report). Louisville, KY: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. "Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting US Bicycle Route 35—Traverse City, MI" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on April 17, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c d Vitale, Marty (September 25, 2015). "Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering Report to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF) (Report). Chicago: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c Woodward, Calvin (December 21, 2008). "New interstate road map takes shape for bicyclists". The Intelligencer (Doylestown, PA). Associated Press. 
  25. ^ Adventure Cycling Association (May 21, 2012). "New U.S. Bicycle Routes Approved" (Press release). Adventure Cycling Association. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Mississippi River Trail receives state bikeway designation, becomes first US Bicycle Route in Minnesota" (Press release). Minnesota Department of Transportation. May 21, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  27. ^ Vitale, Marty (October 28, 2013). "Special Committee on US Route Numbering Meeting Minutes for October 17, 2013 and Report to SCOH October 18, 2013" (PDF) (Report). Denver, CO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  28. ^ Adventure Cycling Association (October 2, 2013). "USBR 76: Missouri Officially Designated and Signed". Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Application for Designation of a U.S. Bicycle Route" (PDF). Arizona Department of Transportation. August 17, 2015. p. 9. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]