The Adventure Cycling Association will be able to route bicyclists all the way from Chicago to LA on its soon-to-be released Bicycle Route 66 Map Set after Caltrans agreed to open portions of Interstate 40 to bicycles.
Last month, Adventure Cycling reported that its proposed Route 66 bike route was stalled at the California border because Caltrans wouldn’t give bicycles legal access to use a 144-mile stretch of I-40 from Needles to Barstow.
The map makers had to turn to I-40 because the only other option through the desert, the National Trails Highway, is currently closed to all traffic because flooding has washed out some bridges. Elsewhere, that route was still unsuitable for bicycles because of large, tire-swallowing cracks and potholes.
Adventure Cycling announced Thursday on its blog post, Solution: Route 66 concerns, that Caltrans allowed temporary access to I-40 after phone calls with Adventure Cycling staff members and a personal visit to the site by a board member. The access will be lifted in the future when National Trails Highway road surfaces have been improved the and road reopened.
Update: March 4, 2015 — Adventure Cycling publishes Route 66 Bicycle Route maps
Caltrans said it will modify road signs to show that bicycles will be sharing the road.
Wrote Jennifer Milyko, assistant director of routes and mapping:
“Truly, this is music to our ears! In my over 15 years at Adventure Cycling, I believe these past few weeks will be ones I long remember the most for their frustration, stress, collaboration and finally euphoria with the successful result.”
Adventure Cycling has been working on the bicycle route along the fabled “Mother Road” since about 2010. With these adjustments, it will be ready to go to press soon.
In her blog post Jennifer had a raft of people to thank for resolving the issue:
Caltrans Headquarters and District 8 for taking the time to listen to our collaborators, the public and us in our pleas on behalf of cyclists, so we could come up with a solution that works for all. We hope this is the beginning of a good, long-term working relationship.
Dave Snyder from California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) and Jim Baross from California Association of Bicycle Organizations (CABO) and the California Bicycle Advisory Committee(CBAC) for meeting with the Deputy District Director of Caltrans on our behalf.
CABO for writing to Caltrans and setting up a meeting with headquarters — a meeting that resulted in the final outcome. CABO also shared this issue on their website.
CBC for sharing the Call to Action with their 17,000 members.
Adventure Cycling volunteers/members Walt Farmer, Brian Sousa, and board president Wally Werner.
Alan Thompson from Southern California Association of Governments.
Mark Friis from Inland Empire Bike Alliance.
Eric Bruins from Los Angeles County Bike Coalition.
Steve Bennette from Ventura County Board of Supervisors and Robert Lovingood from San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
And all of YOU who responded to our Call to Action!!