|Current draft bicycle routes corridor plan. Click to enlarge.|
The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has been working with Adventure Cycling Association and several other organizations to develop a corridor-level plan for a national US bicycle routes system.
Attendees at the recent meeting of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways (SCOH) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin received an update on the status of the bicycle routes system project. For the first phase, state and national bike routes and trails across the US were inventoried; now, the second phase is the drafting of the new corridor plan.
The goal of the plan is to develop recommended corridors (± 50 mile radius) where a route in a logical national system should exist.
The primary criteria for the corridor are:
Meet the planning, design, and operational criteria in the AASHTO Guide for Development of Bicycle Facilities.
Access destinations and regions with high tourism potential, including routes that incorporate important scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational values.
Link major metropolitan areas in a reasonably direct manner to connect key attractions and transportation nodes.
Make natural connections between adjoining states, Canada, and Mexico when possible.
Have more or less even distribution, though route density will need to consider both population density and available, suitable roads.
Include major existing and planned bike routes, including both on-road facilities and off-road shared use paths suitable for road bikes.
Upon completion of the draft plan—which also includes the development of a logical system of designations for US bicycle routes—the plan will be reviewed by the Joint Technical Committee on Non-motorized Transportation, Subcommittee on Design, and Subcommittee on Traffic Engineering.
The final revised draft will then be reviewed by SCOH for endorsement as “an official corridor plan”.