February 28, 2018 - Laura Crawford is Adventure Cycling's U.S. Bicycle Route Coordinator
Between the palm trees and the iconic national parks, California is one of those destinations on everyone’s “bike-it” lists. Now there’s another reason to start planning a trip: over the past few months, work has started on designating U.S. Bicycle Routes in California.
According to the National Corridor Plan, there are seven proposed U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBRs) in California. Many of these draft routes are based on the Adventure Cycling Route Network, and U.S. Bicycle Route 95 (USBR 95), for example, follows the Pacific Coast Route. Starting with an existing, high-quality route like this often simplifies the process for transportation officials. (Learn more about the difference between U.S. Bicycle Routes and the Adventure Cycling Route Network.)
While the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is drafting the internal policies and strategies they will need for state-level implementation, over twenty volunteers are working to secure the necessary stakeholder support. Says one volunteer: “My assignment is to get local jurisdiction endorsements for USBR 95. Local jurisdiction endorsements are necessary before Caltrans can approve USBRs in California. So this work is the base work that has to be done in the process.”
That said, it’s not all paperwork and wonkiness, as one volunteer told us: “When I received my route segment assignments, I went out and cycled them. This made me more familiar with the routes and made me feel more comfortable in talking with the local jurisdiction representatives about the routes.”
We don’t yet have a timeline for when these routes will be officially designated. There is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of people to contact, but hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long before we can all get out and ride U.S. Bicycle Routes in California.
Thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers and partners!
BUILDING THE U.S. BICYCLE ROUTE SYSTEM is posted by Laura Crawford and Ginny Sullivan of the Travel Initiatives Department and focuses on the growth of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), a developing national network of bicycle travel routes. For more USBRS updates, sign up for the quarterly eNews.