For the fourth year in a row, Adventure Cycling is kicking off its celebration of National Bike Month by launching its month-long U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) fundraising campaign, Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. Thanks in part to the $150,000 raised over the last four years by this annual spring event, 5,071 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes have been designated so far. This year, Adventure Cycling hopes to raise $100,000 by May 31.
“Last spring, we celebrated with our other partners as AASHTO designated new U.S. Bicycle Routes in Minnesota and Michigan, and approved a realignment in North Carolina,” said Development Director Amanda Lipsey. “The momentum from new route designations has inspired other states to pursue routes. In addition, last year’s fundraising campaign helped us add capacity by bringing on more staff for the project and allowed us to initiate a ‘best practices guide’, which will greatly speed up the process of route designation for states. This support is critical to the success of this project.” Presently, more than 40 states are working on U.S. Bicycle Routes.
“Cycling is a wonderful way to discover America, get to work, and promote physical fitness,” said Bud Wright, executive director of AASHTO. “The goal of USBRS is to connect communities of all types — urban, suburban, and rural — through a network of cycling facilities that everyone can use. We’re proud of this effort. This marks the fourth consecutive year that AASHTO has supported the U.S. Bicycle Route System’s annual fundraising campaign.”
During the campaign last May, AASHTO approved a realignment of U.S. Bike Route (USBR) 1 in North Carolina, designated USBR 35 along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Michigan and approved two sections of USBR 45 (Mississippi River Trail) in Minnesota, leaving a short section of the trail around the Twin Cities to be designated this spring. At its conference next week in Providence, Rhode Island, AASHTO is also expected to approve designation of U.S. Bike Route 76 (TransAmerica Bicycle Trail) in Missouri, as well as re-alignments for USBR 76 in Kentucky.
AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A powerful voice in the transportation sector, its primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system.
“We couldn’t be happier with state progress and the engagement we’ve seen across the U.S.,” commented Ginny Sullivan, director of travel initiatives and coordinator of the USBRS project at Adventure Cycling Association. “State and local transportation agencies are working collaboratively with the cycling and trail community to choose routes that will connect cyclists with the places to which they want to travel.”