Posts Tagged ‘Scott Anderson’

Secretary LaHood touts U.S. Bicycle Routes

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

U.S. Bicycle Routes planned for Michigan

The Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has posted this on his blog yesterday:

If you’re traveling by car or airplane this 4th of July weekend and would rather be packing your luggage onto your bike, you may be interested in the US Bicycle Route System.

Well that’s got my attention, Mr. Secretary.

You’ve probably heard me compare where our high-speed and intercity passenger rail system is today with where America stood 54 years ago when President Eisenhower began implementing the US Interstate Highway network. But America also has a national interstate network of bicycle routes in a similar state of initial development.

For more than 20 years, not much happened. But in 2003, AASHTO revived the USBRS with a Task Force on US Bicycle Routes. The Task Force includes state transportation agency staff, Federal Highway Administration employees, and bicycling organizations. One group, Adventure Cycling Association, began providing staff support to the project in 2005 and developed a map called the National Corridor Plan.

As a side note, the original national corridor plan had no routes to Detroit. MTGA worked with Adventure Cycling to remedy that by modifying some existing routes and adding new ones. The result? The plans for Bicycle Routes 25, 30, and 36 now run through Detroit.

Beyond Detroit, Michiganders need to thank Scott Anderson, MTGA, and MDOT for really pushing hard to get U.S. Bicycle Route 20 across the mitten. Despite the heavy competition from other states, this might be the first new U.S. Bicycle Route in decades.

In Michigan USBRS 20 is underway, with USBRS 35 soon to follow. The people of Michigan are excited to be leading the way on America’s interstate bikeway system.

As Scott Anderson, state coordinator for the bicycle route, said, “We went county to county, community to community, to talk with each one and got enormous support. We even had cities and towns that weren’t on the route pushing to get included.”

Anderson and Michigan’s communities also see the business and employment possibilities the USBRS offers: “We see an economic opportunity here. We’re hoping to promote tourism and there are a lot of bicycle tourists out there.”

And the Secretary wraps up his blog saying:

The USBRS will generate economic activity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote a healthier America. And because bicycle infrastructure is relatively inexpensive, the USBRS can achieve these benefits cost-effectively. It’s a win for states, a win for local communities, and a win for America.

Have a great July 4th weekend.