Hey, bicycle travelers in Washington state. Pop the corks of your favorite rehydration beverage!
The state has won certification for US Bicycle Route 10 that stretches from Anacortes on the Puget Sound to Newport on the Idaho border.
The approval from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials means that the state Department of Transportation can, among other things, begin posting the USBR 10 route signs shown at left. The route signs tell touring bicyclists that they’re headed in the right direction and will be passing through towns that are welcoming to bicyclists.
The application was filed by the state DOT along with volunteer help from Washington Bikes (formerly Bicycle Alliance of Washington).
Here’s what Washington DOT secretary Lynn Peterson told Washington Bikes:
“This bike route designation is an example of what can be accomplished by working with partners like Washington Bikes and local communities. It’s estimated by the Outdoor Industry Association that Washington could see as much as $650 million annually from bike travel statewide. These are benefits that will be shared throughout the route.”
Said Washington Bikes executive director Barb Chamberlain:
“Washington Bikes works to promote bike travel across the state, and the USBR mapping effort is helping us develop detailed information on a fantastic set of major connections. Identifying the best route provides value not just for those who go on bike tours of Washington state, but also for those seeking everyday bicycle connections town to town.”
The newly designated route follows the current route of the Northern Tier Bicycle Route, which includes passage through the North Cascades National Park on Highway 20.
The route starts in Anacortes passes through Burlington, Mount Vernon (by spur), Sedro Woolley, Lyman, Hamilton, Concrete, Rockport, Marblemount, Newhalem, Mazama, Winthrop, Twisp, Okanogan, Omak, Riverside, Tonasket, Wauconda, Republic, Kettle Falls, Colville, Park Rapids, Tiger, Ione (by spur), Usk, and Newport.
The state prepared the documents with the help of John Pope of Anacortes, Barb Culp of Seattle and Lynn O’Conner of Colville.
The long-term goal is to get USBR 10 to continue through Idaho, Montana and points east.
Started just a few years ago and spearheaded by Adventure Cycling Association, the idea of the US Bicycle Route System is to connect major towns and destinations by a system of bicycle routes. Early planning called for 50,000 miles of bicycle routes on corridors heading north-south and east-west.
More than a dozen routes in the US, including Alaska. Some like USBR 1, USBR 50, USBR 76 are living up to the goal of connecting the corridors from one state to another.
USBR 1, for instance runs through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina. USBR 76 connects Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. USBR 50 runs through D.C. and Maryland, and picks up again in Ohio.
Adventure Cycling says that, in addition to signing the route, official designation allows the following steps to be taken:
- Produce online maps and/or printed maps of the route, possibly as part of informational brochures or bicycle maps.
- Incorporate into the state bicycle plan and maps.
- Add the route to the state highway map.
- Post information on the state agency website.
- Post information on the state or local bicycle advocacy web sites.
- Share online versions with media and social-media channels.
- Publicize the route through tourism agencies and partner organizations.
- Provide maintenance and engineering improvements as scheduled by the DOT or local road jurisdictions.
- Share route with DOT planning and engineering divisions and local road agencies. This helps to protect the route from chip seal or rumble strip projects. Ask agencies to add the routes to local transportation plans. These steps may help gain future improvements such as shoulder widening, bike lanes, and markings or signs.
- Provide downloadable GPS waypoints and maps.