Washington state may have its first official U.S. Bicycle Route later this spring.
Washington Bikes reported that the state Department of Transportation has submitted its plans for USBR 10 to cross the northern part of the state from Anacortes to the Idaho border.
The plans go to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) who look them over and could approve them at their spring meeting in Louisville on May 28-30.
If approved, the route would be recognized as a route for traveling bicyclists. USBR wayfinding signs could be erected along the road and at intersections.
Earlier this year, the Adventure Cycling Association reported that as many as 9 states were considering applications to designate US Bicycle Routes through their states this year. Among them was Idaho, which would extend the USBR 10 across the the state to the border with Montana.
The states and jurisdictions considering proposals are:
Washington — USBR 10;
Washington DC — USBR 50;
Ohio — USBR 50
Pennsylvania — USBR 50
West Virginia — USBR 50
Indiana — USBR 50, 35 and 36
Illinois — USBR 37
Wisconsin — USBR 30
Of these, the states that met the application deadline this week were Washington, Washington DC, Ohio, and Illinois.
What’s cool about this list is that four of the states are working together to create a Bicycle Route that goes from Washington DC, up the C & O Canal Towpath to the Great Allegheny Passage, then west across the rest of Pennsylvania, across the West Virginia panhandle and then all the way across Ohio and Indiana. (Maryland already got approval for its section of USBR 50 last fall.)
The whole point of the US Bicycle Route system is to create good bicycling routes that people can follow as they travel from city to city across the country.
So far, 5,900 miles of US Bicycle Routes have been designated in 12 states – Alaska, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Forty states are working on the routes, which follow corridors the run north-south and east-west.
The submission by Washington state covers the current route of the Northern Tier Bicycle Route, which includes passage through the North Cascades National Park on Highway 20. The state prepared the documents with the help of John Pope of Anacortes, Barb Culp of Seattle and Lynn O’Conner of Colville.