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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Plan for Official U.S. Bicycle Route System Approved by National Transportation Authority

National Bike Trail System
a National Bike Trail System
is the vision of Adventure Cycling
excerpted from a news release of Pedal Pushers OnLine

The United States is on a path to creating what could become the largest official bicycle route network in the world, thanks to the approval of a new plan by America's leading authority on national route designations. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has just approved a National Corridor Plan laying out the framework and guidelines for the development of this system.

The plan identifies corridors connecting America's urban, rural, and suburban areas. The corridors cover well over 50,000 miles, which, if transformed into routes along roads and trails, would create the largest official bicycle route network in any country or on any continent. By comparison, the planned Euro-VĂ©lo network in Europe is projected to be 60,000 kilometers or 36,000 miles.

The U.S. plan has been under development for nearly four years under the auspices of an AASHTO task force on national bicycle routes, with representatives from federal and state transportation agencies and nonprofit organizations. The plan has gone through more than a dozen revisions—with input from hundreds of federal and state officials, cycling advocacy groups, and individuals—as well as review and approval by AASHTO's committees on traffic engineering, design, and non-motorized transportation.

The development of a U.S. route system follows the path of many other countries and regions that are establishing bicycle networks for transportation, recreation, and tourism. The United Kingdom has rapidly grown its National Cycle Network from 4,000 miles in 2000 to more than 12,000 miles today. Other European countries with major networks include Germany (approximately 7,000 miles), Denmark (2,400 miles), the Netherlands (2,700 miles) and Switzerland (3,000 miles). Other notable networks can be found in Western Australia and the Province of Quebec, which unveiled its very popular 2,400 mile La Route Verte (the "Green Way") in August 2007.

Research is showing that well-designed cycling networks generate major increases in non-motorized trips.

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See AASHTO
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