National Support for Bicycle Travel

Good rumble strip application.

This is an overview of our work to build national support for bicycle travel and address roadway concerns for cyclists on the Adventure Cycling Route Network, U.S. Bicycle Routes, and other routes.

National Support & Federal Funding

We work in partnership with national and local organizations and participate as a member of the America Bikes Coalition in order to build broad support for bicycling. The goal is to secure dedicated funding for bicycling in the federal transportation bill, gain support for bicycle networks at the local and state level, promote adoption of U.S. Bicycle Routes, and boost recognition of the benefits bicycling brings to communities of all sizes.

Roadway Concerns

Rumble strips, chip sealing, lane widening, and other “roadway improvements” often have adverse effects on cyclists safety. Land use issues and increasing traffic conditions are also of concern. It is especially important to us to protect routes in the Adventure Cycling Route Network and/or the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Issues brought to our attention are appreciated and we do what we can to support local advocacy efforts or intercede for better conditions. Here are a few of the issues for which we have issued comments or letters of support:

Federal Rumble Strip Guidance

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released updated guidance on rumble strips in the spring of 2010 that was a big step back for cyclists’ safety. Partnering with the League of American Bicyclists and America Bikes Coalition, we were able to work with FHWA to improve their guidance for cyclists.

Bicycle Bans and Mandatory Side Path Laws

Periodically federal, state, and local governments propose bans or mandatory side-path laws that would inhibit bicycle travel. We work with our national, state, and local partners to educate officials on why these laws are bad for cyclists, tourism, and local economies. Some of these laws directly affect our routes, such as the Black Hawk ban which was overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

In Montana, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is permitting a new mine near Butte, MT. After residents complained about potential noise, traffic and dust on the dirt roads near their homes, the USFS is considering an alternate route that will intersect the Continental Divide Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Mining trucks and heavy equipment will change the dynamic of the trail and the roads it follows. We requested the USFS to consider the impact of this decision on cyclists and hikers. A representative from the mining company met with us and will work to ensure cyclists safety and comfort during the 5-year mining operation.

California Pacific Coast Bicycle Route

The Pacific Coast Bicycle Route is one of our most popular bicycle routes, however, cyclists safety is sometimes compromised by highway improvement projects. We've partnered with local and state advocacy groups on protests against rumble strips and large aggregate chip seal.

Baaken Oil Fields in North Dakota and Montana

Oil drilling and frakking extraction is booming in northwestern North Dakota and northeastern Montana, bringing an explosion in population and traffic. With no plans to increase road capacity in the areas by the state governments, a drastic route change was required for the Lewis and Clark Bicycle Trail and the Northern Tier Bicycle Route to ensure cyclists safety.

Kearl “mega-load” Project

We opposed a project to ship "mega-load" oil production equipment from Lewiston, Idaho, along narrow, curvy state highways in Montana and Idaho to Alberta, Canada. The loads would affect three Adventure Cycling routes: TransAmerica Trail, Lewis and Clark Bicycle Trail, and the Great Parks North Bicycle Route. We were concerned that these scenic roads would become large equipment and trucking corridors and that the construction of wide turn-outs and bridge structures would forever change the character of the roadways.

Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route & California SR 89

After release of the Sierra Cascades Route in 2010, we started to hear about issues from cyclists regarding California State Highway (SR) 89. With no shoulders along this stretch of highway and an abundance of logging trucks, we reached out to cyclists and looked at potential re-routes. With no feasible alternative route available (though a rail-trail is in the works), we engaged trucking companies with educational materials and a request to watch for cyclists and pass carefully.

Local Support

We support local efforts that improve bicycle travel conditions: trail development, bike lanes, bike share systems, shoulder widening, transit integration, bike/pedestrian infrastructure, the development of bicycle tourism studies and more.

Rumble strip application on US 20, Wyoming. Photo by Doug Robin