The effort to create new segments for the U.S. Bicycle Route System is gaining momentum in communities in Indiana.
Richmond, Indiana, located on the Ohio border, has approved a route for U.S. Bicycle Route 50 (USBRS 50) through the town. Volunteers elsewhere are working to gain support to take the bicycle route clear across Indiana to Terra Haute, near the Illinois border.
City Planner Scott Patterson told Pal-Item.com:
“This brings people through our community and gives us the opportunity to show off what’s here. It brings people to our community who are interested in recreational opportunities. This reminds us that tourists come to our area and they don’t all come by car.”
Adventure Cycling Association member Kent Beisner is quoted:
“What we’re doing is giving cyclists who are using these maps the best routes through the area. And it is important to Wayne County and the state of Indiana. Bicyclists spend a lot of money when they tour. We believe it will be a big economic benefit to the area.”
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a program to create a nationwide network of signed bicycle routes that will link major cities, landmarks and other destinations.
The Adventure Cycling Association is coordinating the efforts of volunteers in 40 states to create the bicycle route system. The nonprofit is working in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which approves routes that are nominated by individual state transportation departments.
“U.S. Bike Route System: Top 10 accomplishments of 2012” — Adventure Cycling Association
So far, people in 41 states are working toward the goal of the US Bicycle Route System, comprising more than 50,000 miles of bicycle routes.
Two new bicycle routes were approved in 2012 — USBR 35 in Michigan and USBR 45 in Minnesota. In 2011, the agency approved six new routes — USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska.
The only other approved routes are USBR 1 through Virginia and North Carolina and USBR 76 through Virginia and Kentucky.
It’s good to see that USBR 50 is making some headway in the heartland and let’s hope that it wins approval soon. This is the kind of momentum needed to create a true nationwide bicycle route network.