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LaHood trumpets US Bike Route System
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHaood's remarkable streak of promoting bicycling and walking continues today in anticipation of this Fourth of July holiday weekend. The secretary writes on his blog about the US Bicycle Route System, which our friends at the Adventure Cycling Association have been working on with the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) since 2005. The planned nationwide network of routes and trails will connect communities all over the country, creating alternatives to car travel and countless recreational opportunities.
States can apply to incorporate their trail network into the Route System. The secretary reports that 19 states have already begun planning and implementation.
In addition to describing the process and progress, the blog post lays out about as cogent and succinct transportation case for the Route System that I've yet heard:
The USBRS is not just a bunch of bike paths; we're talking about a transportation system. It will facilitate travel between communities and to historic and cultural landmarks. It will give people living in more rural areas a way to travel into a nearby urban area by bicycle. Urban and suburban residents will have better access to rural recreation areas. And--like our interstate highway system--it will facilitate long-distance travel by bicycle, whether across one’s state or across the country.
Hopefully, your plans for this long weekend include a nice long bike ride. And if all goes according to plan, in a few years you'll be able to start a trip on July 4th and stay on one planned route for just about as long as you could possibly want. Just don't get lost.
(Thanks to Richard Moeur for sending the up to date route map above.)
Some of the many major trails the US Bicycle Route System will help connect (Map from fastlane.dot.gov)