New routes added to the US Bike Route System, now over 18,000 miles

Three new bike paths travel historic Route 66 through Oklahoma, meander among some of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, pass historic sites and landmarks, and take in river views in Delaware, providing scenic experiences for cyclists and improving their safety.

Newly designated routes and the realignment and expansion of additional routes through Indiana and Michigan have added more than 650 miles to the US bike route system, which now has nearly 19,000 miles of routes in more than 30 states and Washington, DC.

The news was announced recently by the Adventure Cycling Association, a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Montana. who has supported the initiative since 2005 through research, technical advice and other resources.

“It’s been 96 years since the iconic Route 66 was opened to vehicular traffic in the United States,” Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), said in a statement. .

U.S. bicycle routes are developed by state departments of transportation and officially designated by AASHTO. “Now riders can follow the historic route for more than 400 miles through Oklahoma using the new USBR 66,” Tymon added.

The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a developing network of officially designated, publicly accessible numbered and signed traffic lanes across the country that utilize existing roads, trails, and other facilities for bicycle travel. According to the Adventure Cycling Association, at least 38 states are currently developing Supplementary United States Bicycle Routes (USBR).

When completed, it should encompass 50,000 miles of routes. The goal, the association said, is to create new opportunities for cross-country travel, tourism and bicycle commuting that will benefit nearby communities by improving cycling connectivity, boosting the economy as well as enhancing security.

In Oklahoma, cyclists on the 429 miles of bike paths follow historic Route 66, through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and past landmarks like the world’s tallest concrete totem near Chelsea, the Round Barn in Arcadia, the historic Bridgeport Bridge from “The Grapes of Wrath,” and Lucille’s gas station in Weatherford along the way.

In Minnesota, 188 miles connect trails, beginning near the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, joining the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail to Osakis, passing numerous towns and several of the 10,000 lakes in the Status along the way.

In Delaware, the new 37-mile route joins the Northern Delaware Greenway and connects Bellevue State Park to Brandywine Park as it enters Wilmington. After passing through downtown, it follows the Jack A. Markell Trail to historic New Castle. Along the Delaware River, cyclists can spot waterfowl, ships, and the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

“We are excited to coordinate this project to build a better future for bicycle travel across the United States,” Jennifer O’Dell, executive director of Adventure Cycling, said in a statement. The latest designations, she added, are a “powerful boost in this long-term effort.”

For more information on the Adventure Cycling Association, click here. For more information on the US Bicycle Route System and for digital maps and state route descriptions, click here and here.

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