Traveling bicyclists can follow more than 8,000 miles of signed bicycle routes around the country after an association of state highway officials approved more than 2,000 miles of corridors in 2014.
The latest round of approvals in December by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials comprises 1,200 miles added to the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan. In June, the group added 816 miles in Washington state, Massachusetts, Ohio, Washington DC and Illinois.
The approvals bring us closer to the goal of 50,000 miles of interconnected signed bicycle routes set by the Adventure Cycling Association more than 5 years ago. The nonprofit helps coordinate efforts by volunteer bicycling advocates in 40 states to create the bike route system.
In addition to identifying the bike friendly routes across states, the USBRS aims to connect the routes from one state to another so touring bicyclists can travel long distances by following the signage on the roads.
One of the longest such routes is Bicycle Route 76, which begins in Virginia and heads west through Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri all the way to the Kansas border.
The approvals by AASHTO in December extended Bicycle Route 1 for 584 miles down the east coast of Florida. Other portions of Bicycle Route 1 are approved in Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia and North Carolina.
That Route 1 in Florida runs from the Georgia border to Key West, following the East Coast Greenway and Adventure Cycling’s Atlantic Coast route. Also approved in November was the 438-mile-long Bicycle Route 90 in Florida, which runs between the Alabama border and St. Augustine.
Directions for the Florida bike routes can be found at Florida Department of Transportation.
Another 18 miles of Bicycle Route 1 was added in Massachusetts, bringing the total length of BR 1 in that state to 38 miles.
Also in November, Michigan added 193 miles to Bicycle Route 10, connecting the eastern and central parts of the Upper Peninsula. Meanwhile, Maryland added 34 miles to Bicycle Route 11, spanning the state from Pennsylvania border to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
The US Bicycle Route System now taking shape is similar to the La Route Verte in Quebec and the EuroVelo in Europe. Adventure Cycling’s executive director Jim Sayer says that the project’s momentum could make it the “largest official bicycle route network” on the planet.