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