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U.S. Approves Highway System for Bikes

U.S. Approves Highway System for Bikes

Thinking of hitting the road this summer? Pretty soon, it’s going to be easier than ever in some areas to take that vacation on two wheels instead of four.

The U.S. bike highway or Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is actually nothing new. The Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) hasn’t approved a new route in 30 years, but just recently gave the OK to new routes in Maine and New Hampshire, Michigan, and four routes in Alaska. Virginia is also updating some older parts of the USBRS that run through that state.

The routes are going to be part of the official U.S. Bicycle Route System. AASHTO is coordinating with state Departments of Transportation and the project is getting funding from Adventure Cycling Association, who raised $31,000 for the project. The AASHTO also kicked in a $5,000 grant to help move things along.

The USBRS still has a long way to go if it’s going to be the national network of bike lanes and trails, but these new trails are a great start, especially after the project stagnated for three decades. You can check out this map of the current system (new routes are highlighted).

Not only is biking better for the environment and our health than driving, but building bike infrastructure creates jobs. In fact, according to a recent report on Reuters, bike infrastructure projects and improvements create more jobs per dollar spent than pedestrian-only and road-only spending.

Are there any USBRS routes near you? Would you consider pedaling to your destination if there was better cycling infrastructure in your area? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Eric.Surfdude

Related:
5 Bike Commuting Tips
Make Your Home Bike-Friendly
6 Tips to Go Car-Free

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

24 comments

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10:26PM PST on Dec 28, 2012

We need to keep developing safety for bicyclists. Tell your local and state reps that you want sensible speed limits near schools and intersections that work for cyclists and walkers.

3:18AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

11:45AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Thanks for info.

12:06PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Thanks.

6:14AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Dangerous!

1:18PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Agree with Lisa B.

10:08AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

I've already abandoned overpriced automobile transportation due to price gouging. Hopefully this will be implemented by people who understand the need rather than government bureaucrats who generate disconnected tally-point trails to nowhere.

6:34AM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

Thanks for the article.

1:02PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

I think bike lanes are good but only in cities and residential areas. I don't think highways are safe for bikes.

11:12AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

It is an stupid law that puts other peoples lives at risk----TANIA your included as a high risk, for no bicylist would allow you to pass them, or will ride around you at full speed putting you and your chair at high risk of an accident.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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