Review Planning Resources

Please begin by reviewing the planning resources on the Implementation Resources page and read the FAQs for Planners.

Determine Team & Stakeholders

State departments of transportation must ultimately support implementation of a U.S. Bicycle Route. However, state DOTs may choose to lead the process or rely on partner organizations and volunteers. State DOTs that do not have the capacity to pursue implementation directly can create partnerships and contracts with non-government organizations, stakeholder organizations, and volunteers to achieve implementation. The Best Practice Report case studies on the Implementation Resources page provide examples of three different models used by states to achieve implementation.

DOTs may consider collaborating with these types of organizations:

  • Statewide or local coalitions or advocacy groups
  • Governor-appointed or statewide bicycle and pedestrian advisory councils or boards
  • Trail and greenway organizations
  • Transportation consultants
  • Bicycle touring or recreational bike clubs
  • Parks and recreation agencies or organizations
  • Other federal, state, or local agencies such as departments of natural resources, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and others
  • Tourism and economic development organizations
  • A combination of appropriate NGOs that form a work team or committee
  • DOT districts, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Regional Transportation Organizations, or councils of government (names vary), county road commissions, municipal transportation agencies
  • Local government, politicians, business leaders

Adventure Cycling Association provides training and technical assistance to help work through the implementation process with agency staff and partners. Contact the Travel Initiatives Department at to learn more.

Establish Timeline & Team Communications

Establish a timeline that sets benchmarks and meets goals. For example, to apply for designation at one of the AASHTO meetings, assign dates and responsibilities against that goal. AASHTO applications are due approximately 5-6 weeks prior to the spring and fall meeting dates.

Communication can be achieved through in-person meetings, conference calls, web conferences, emails, or Google Groups. Adventure Cycling can assist with the coordination of these meetings.

Determine Route Evaluation Method

The National Corridor Plan provides a starting point for choosing which corridor will be implemented as a U.S. Bicycle Route. Corridors can be adjusted or added within a state to take advantage of existing or emerging bicycle infrastructure or other routing opportunities. Please contact Adventure Cycling at to inquire about adding or changing a corridor. Read the FAQs for Planners to learn more about corridors and how they're numbered.

Once a corridor is chosen, determine the method for defining and evaluating the route. States may consider setting up a process that involves using criteria, a road inventory based on a bicycle level of service model, or final route review documentation. There are many things to consider, including the road/trail quality, traffic volume, frequency of services along a route, as well as scenic, historic, recreation, and connectivity features. See the Implementation Resources page for links to sample criteria and roadway evaluation methods.

Next Steps: Designation

The designation process begins next, which includes:

  • Reviewing Designation Resources
  • Drafting the Route
  • Securing Local Agreements along the Route
  • Preparing and Submitting the AASHTO Application

Building the U.S. Bike Route System