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Messages - GSullivan

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46
Research and Resources / Local Agency Input to USBRS
« on: April 23, 2009, 12:32:10 pm »
Hi Ginny,

Is there a process for local agencies and/or the public to provide input on proposed bicycle routes for their area? Is all input channeled through the state?

Thanks!

Joe Fish
Transportation Planner
City of Bloomington, IN

Hi Joe,
While the state DOT is ultimately responsible for submitting the USBR application to AASHTO; I believe most states will seek input from local agencies, their districts and bicycling groups and organizations. For example, the State DOT in Michigan (see the thread in the other topic area under USBR 20) has given Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance the go ahead to develop the route and that group is seeking input from every government agency and city/township along the corridor.

And I have recently been in contact with the Indiana State Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator (see the other topic area under New Route between St. Louis and Louisville). I don't know what IN DOT's plans are with implementing US Bike Routes at the moment, but I am sure Michael would want to work with you and other city planners and local governments as the process moves forward. Whether he spearheads progress or the DOT authorizes a group of volunteers or organization, has yet to be determined. I am working on a short survey which I will be sending out to all the State DOTs to ascertain what level of interest they have in the USBRS and if they need support (and what kind of support). I imagine I will have a lot more information for you very soon!

So the short answer, get in touch with Michael and I will work on this end to find out if we can get a group to help move planning and routing for the USBR in Indiana forward.

All the best,
Ginny Sullivan

 

47
And Finally!

Date 4/14/09

We have discussed the USBR 20 corridor with two nonmotorized advocacy organizations in Michigan and one in Wisconsin, and with MDOT (which has spoken to WisDOT).

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is probably going to propose the exact route within Michigan, and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is going to do the same, then we will each work with the counties and cities/villages along the route to get local buy-in and support.  Once that's done - and we anticipate that will take a while - then we will ask MDOT and WisDOT to jointly apply for designation.

Does that sound like a reasonable plan?

In Michigan the route will 95% follow the ACA routes, with a few local tweaks.  In Wisconsin I don't think there is an ACA route from Manitowoc to the Eau Claire area, so they will have to do more work than we did :)

Cheers,
Scott Anderson
------

Date 4/22/09
Hi Ginny!

We have developed an outreach campaign by which we will be soliciting input and support from MDOT and the County trail/parks people and road people for the Michigan segment. Also, the management of the MI-WI car ferry between Ludington and Manitowoc supports the plan and would be pleased to formally be designated as a part of the route.

We have been looking at the route from ACA, and have done some minor tweaking.  The only major change at this stage (which is still, of course, a draft) is that we want to modify the route from North Branch to Bay City so as to incorporate the community of Frankenmuth, which is a tourist destination with many useful facilities for bicyclists (eateries, places to spend the night, very nice parks and green spaces).  So if we do incorporate that modification, that removes Fairport and Quinacassee from the route, and adds Frankenmuth.  The route length with the change is 0.3 miles shorter than without.

Also, we're busy down here, the Ontario Trail folks are meeting next week and we have asked them to consider how best to develop a connection between the eastern terminus of USBR 20 and the nearest connection to the Trans Canada Trail (which is only 10 miles away).  In my County, which is the easternmost along the route, we have added the route to our County Trails and Routes Action Plan, which is how we document existing and proposed nonmotorized facilities.

Cheers,
Scott Anderson

48
And more correspondence between Michigan Trails, an Adventure Cycling/USBR volunteer (Kerry Irons) who also lives in Michigan and Rich from LMB

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott C. Anderson
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:30 AM
To: KerryIrons; 'Nancy Krupiarz'; 'Rich Moeller'
Cc: 'Josh DeBruyn'; 'Virginia Sullivan'
Subject: RE: US Bike Route 20

Kerry,

Thanks for the input.  I think there are four big advantages to using those ACA routes: (1) they have already been surveyed and mapped; (2) bicyclists are already using these routes (which should help us get buy-in from local planning and road folks); (3) it will be helpful to have the support of ACA as we move forward; (4) the routes are about as direct as you could get to, in order to link the two ferry crossings involved.

The ability to use rural roads as parts of USBRs, without bothering about shoulders, will be critical.  In Michigan, if you want to go any distance on a bike and there doesn't happen to be a rail-trail handy, you almost always end up making routes out of county roads.

Nancy, how far is ACA Lake Erie from the Pere Marquette?  That trail is splendid, and has a lot of advantages for a long-distance bicylists (such as restrooms at regular intervals, a place to get your bicycle worked on, etc.) If it's reasonably close, and if ACA is amenable to amending the Lake Erie route to take advantage of it, then I think everyone will be on the same page.

By the way our friends in WI have not yet chimed in at all.  Any idea how we can nudge that along?

Cheers,
Scott

-----Original Message-----
From: KerryIrons
Sent: Apr 9, 2009 9:18 AM
To: 'Nancy Krupiarz' 'Rich Moeller'
"'Scott C. Anderson'"
Cc: 'Josh DeBruyn' 'Virginia Sullivan'
Subject: RE: US Bike Route 20

All,

I wanted to chime in as a volunteer for both the Adventure Cycling Association and the AASHTO task force.

First, you should know that Adventure Cycling has a portion of the North Lakes route that goes through Wisconsin and uses the Manitowoc-Ludington ferry, connecting with the North Lakes route coming down from Traverse City, and then connecting to the Lake Erie Connector route.  You can see these routes on the ACA web site: www.adventurecycling.org/routes  If you have specific questions about particular roads on a given route, I can supply you with the intimate turn-by-turn details.

Second, we are getting close to wrapping up the first phase of the AASHTO work. There are still some internal issues to sort out, primarily how to change the current requirement that all routes conform to the AASHTO Guide for Development of Bicycle Facilities.  The Guide basically is aimed at urban/suburban bike lanes and separated paths, and the kind of two lane rural roads used by many bike routes won't be in compliance (the requirement for 4 foot shoulders being a prime example).  Hopefully this will get addressed in the next few months and at that point, AASHTO should be ready to accept applications for route implementation.

ACA wants to work closely with DOTs and advocacy organizations in route implementation and if it works for them, provide existing ACA routes.  The route corridors you see on the national map are subject to change by the states  and certainly ACA is interested in suggestions for improvements in routing.  When USBRS routes are implemented along existing ACA routes, we would generally want those two routes to be one in the same and would expect to obtain this goal through a combination of modifying ACA routes and the suggested routing from the DOTs and advocacy groups.

I hope this provides some insight to the possible implementation of USBR 20 in Michigan.  Call me if you have questions.

Kerry Irons

-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Krupiarz
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 4:24 PM
To: Rich Moeller; Scott C. Anderson
Cc: Josh DeBruyn; KerryIrons
Subject: RE: US Bike Route 20

Hi All,

I believe that MTGA also has several mapped cross-state routes which could employ some of our multi-use trails in the numbered routes, if not as segments of the main route, then as alternatives for those who wish to enjoy a more leisurely scenic pace on their trip.  I think we would be remiss if we did not include these as part of the mix.

Attached is our consolidated framework of Michigander routes which we have employed over 18 years.

Nancy

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 3:35 PM
To: Scott C. Anderson
Cc: Josh DeBruyn; Nancy Krupiarz; KerryIrons
Subject: Re: US Bike Route 20

Scott,

I believe that we already have mapped routes for the "new" US Bike Route 20 through Michigan.

Attached is a PDF of the mapped routes currently available in Michigan through LMB.

The Lake Erie Connector available through ACA will take you from the bridges up to the Bay City area. LMB's Mid State Route (attached) will take you from Bay City across to just north of Montague. At that point you can connect via the Shoreline West Route to either the Ludington ferries or the Muskegon ferries.

You are welcome to use these maps as you wish.

Rich Moeller
Executive Director
League of Michigan Bicyclists
"Promoting bicycling and the safety of bicyclists on the roadways in Michigan since 1981."

49
GREAT NEWS! I am posting (in part) the email discussions coming from Michigan and Wisconsin.

Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 3:15 PM
Subject: US Bike Route 20

Rich (of League of Michigan Bicyclists),

Josh DeBruyn and Nancy Krupiarz suggested I include you in this.
Below is a message I sent today to Nancy and to Catrine of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.  Let me know what you think.  I apologize for not thinking of LMB in the first place.  (See attached map as well)

Regards,
Scott Anderson

----
Catrine and Nancy,

I have just had an e-mail correspondence with Josh DeBruyn, Michigan DOT's nonmotorized coordinator, on the subject of the US Bike Route Corridors identified by AASHTO as going into or through Michigan. 

I would like to propose that the two organizations - BFW and MTGA - jointly develop (at a planning level) the US Bike Route 20 corridor. As a high level overview, this route, looking from east to west, starts somewhere in the eastern lower peninsula of Michigan, certainly far to the north of Detroit.  I propose Marine City because there is a bicycle-accommodating international border crossing there.  It then traverses the lower peninsula of Michigan, going through the Saginaw-Midland area then west to Ludington, using the ferry to cross Lake Michigan to Manitowoc.  It then continues going west-northwest  through Wisconsin, ending at the intersection of USBR 10 somewhere in NW WI.

I think there are three steps to this preliminary phase.  First, propose a draft route for USBR 20.  Second, enter into conversations with the state DOT and county/local road agencies and, where trails are used for segments of the route, trail owners/managers, to make sure the route is acceptable to all players.  (At this stage I would fully accept the route to be modified somewhat.)  Third, present the final version to WisDOT and MDOT and ask them to jointly apply for route designation.  Once that's done, assuming AASHTO accepts the route, the next job would be to map and sign the route, which will cost some money; but that is a good way down the road, so I'd prefer not to worry about the endgame yet.

So if you both agree with this idea, let me know, and I would be very pleased to work with DOT people and county/local people, ACA and our two organizations to come up with the first draft.  That will take a couple months, then we can figure out how to address step two.

Incidentally there are three USBR corridors which involve both of our states, those corridors designated as USBR 10, 20 and 30.  I chose USBR 20 for a first cut because I live near the east end of it and can very easily propose a good routing for the first (easternmost) 55 miles of the route with no effort at all; I've traveled it repeatedly myself :)

Let me know what you think!  A conference call might be a good way to start.

Cheers,
Scott Anderson

50
It's always good to get the local perspective on bike routes - here's a perfect example of why we don't sit in offices and figure out where to ride but put people on the ground with local knowledge. thanks again Kevin!

Ginny,

I have a question on the route proceeding on 64 from Mt. Carmel.  Do you mean Indiana 64 or Interstate 64?  I believe if the route goes across the bridge to Indiana 64 you may have a problem.

The road is very, very dangerous.  It is a very heavily congested route between Princeton & Mt. Carmel, Illinois with coal trucks.

There is an alternative.   Coming out of West Salem, continue east through Lancaster.  You have 2 choices.  Bringing the route to Indiana  crossing at St. Francisville at the Wabash Cannonball Bridge then bring the route down south.  Believe me it will be a lot safer.  More scenic also.

 

1.  Go about 5 miles east of lancaster to the Bridgeport Road. (E 1200 Rd) and turn left toward Bridgeport.  The road is marked well and it is a good blacktop road (very good, low traffic).  Go about 3 miles north in Southern Lawrence County to the first stop sign and turn right (east) on N 150 st.  toward St.  Francisville.

You will come to Illinois 1 and cross the hiway to go into St. Francisville toward the Cannonball Bridge.  This is rural area.

 

2.  Second option is to go all the way through from West Salem to Allendale to Illinois Route 1, turn left (north) and go about 6 miles up Illinois 1 to St. Francisville and cross at the Cannonball Bridge.  Not bad, maybe medium traffic for Hiway. 

 

Thank You again for your time.

 

Kevin Schilt


51
And this came via email recently:

52
The following email correspondence came through last week. As you can see I think this would be a fantastic route (and addition to the corridor plan)!

My name is Kevin Schilt. I am a member of the Village  of West Salem Board of Trustees
in West Salem, Illinois. We are located  in Edwards County in Southeastern Illinois.

I am currently working  with the District 7 Office of the Illinois Department of Transportation in  Effingham (IDOT) to establish a Bike Route on Illinois 161 and also on  Ext.161. This route would stretch from New Baden, llinois in the Metro  East St. Louis area and finally reach the eastern part of Illinois in the  St. Francisville, Illinois (Allendale, Illinois). If we was to name this  route I believe G & W Route (Gateway to Wabash) would be a possibility  since this would go from the St. Louis area (Gateway
arch) to the  Wabash River area. Anyway it's to early to name it.

This road would  be favorable because the majority of the traffic travels Interstate 64 in  the Western portion of this area. The eastern part is rural in nature and  there is hardly any traffic from Centralia to the east. There is a state  park located on this corridor along with some other local  attractions.

I have accessed the ACA "A Bicycle Travel Friendly  Town" in hopes we can use this as a model for this Route. I want to ask  this question, Is starting a Route like this in vain or a waste of time??  One reason to consider a route is that we have seen an upswing in  bicyclists in the past couple of years.

----
Here is my response:

Hi Kevin,

 I reviewed the route you are proposing with the IL DOT and I think it sounds fantastic.

I work on a project called the U.S. Bicycle Route System (www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs) and I would like to add this route as a corridor to our Corridor Plan map with continuation of the route from Mt. Carmel on 64 to Louisville . I am attaching one of our older version of the Corridor Plan map (you can find the most recent version on our website – right tool bar under pdfs - but it doesn’t list the names of the cities so it is much more difficult to identify locations). Notice that we don’t had a corridor identified linking St. Louis to Louisville . This could be a really great U.S. Bicycle Route and if you are already working on it in IL, it will really help.
 
With your permission, I would like to contact both the DOT bike/ped coordinators from IN and IL and get them in on this proposed route and see if they would be interested in designating it as a U.S. bicycle route in the future.

To answer your question regarding whether your work is a waste of time…absolutely not! You’re work will help both cyclists and motor vehicles. And it will bring low-impact tourism to the small communities along the route. If we can make it a US bike route, it will help hundreds of traveling cyclists find their way between two important cities. Nice work!

Have you been working with any of the advocacy or biking groups from the state or your area? If so, please let me know.

-----

Stay tuned for more on this topic!
 

53
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Intro Thread
« on: April 16, 2009, 02:48:24 pm »
Thanks again for the volunteer offers. I am gearing up to conduct a quick survey of each state's interest in the US bike route project. I know Maryland and Colorado, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming, New Mexico and California are all interested. I'm sure I am missing a few too. As I call, I will be directing the DOT staff to check out this part of our website to get volunteers. If they are already working with a group, I will post who each state is working with here on the forums so you can all contact them directly with your offers to help. This is a great start and I wanted to thank you all. It will be a process (50 is a lot of states to call on!) so be patient and keep posting!

54
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Intro Thread
« on: April 09, 2009, 03:54:08 pm »
What an excellent testimonial for PA's Route G. I am happy to report that BikePA established that statewide route an we'd like to take advantage of those already established opportunities as much as possible. I will point your post out to the PA DOT and the Bike PA folks - including our own John Schubert.

55
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Volunteer in Western Colorado
« on: April 09, 2009, 03:23:06 pm »
Great Rob,
As soon as we can get something on the ground with the state DOT and a lead volunteer group, we'll be in touch.

56
This week, the U.S. Department of Energy released guidelines for the billions of stimulus dollars available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECGP).
 
Summary
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECGB) program is a new program created in late 2007 and funded for the first time through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The program provides funding for local governments, states, territories and Indian tribes, to support projects that reduce energy use, decrease fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency in all sectors, including transportation.  Because the funding comes through ARRA, additional goals have been added focused on job creation and economic stimulus.
 
Two of the goals of EECBG funding are right in line with bicycle and pedestrian projects and could be beneficial to communities who want to develop bicycling and pedestrian networks:
* Prioritize energy efficiency and conservation first as the cheapest, cleanest, and fastest ways to meet energy demand.
* To maximize benefits over the longest possible terms, entities should look for ways to link their energy efficiency efforts to long-term priorities (especially community economic development, community stabilization and poverty reduction efforts).
 
Eligibility for Funding
ARRA included $3.2 Billion for EECBG, of which $2.7 Billion will be distributed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) via formula grants to all States and at least the ten largest cities and counties within each state.
A list of eligible localities and estimated allocations are available at http://www.eecbg.energy.gov/grantalloc.html.  Click on a state to see the breakdown for counties and cities within the state.

  • States, cities and counties that are listed on the EECBG website must apply to DOE directly to receive their allocation. Applications are due June 26th.
  • Cities and counties that are not listed on the website are only eligible to receive funding from their state's Department of Energy.  States must sub-grant 60 percent of their EECBG funding to jurisdictions that are not eligible to apply directly to DOE. States must apply for their funding by May 25th, and will be developing application procedures and deadlines in the coming months for the sub-grants.
     
 
In addition, at a later date the Department of Energy will be releasing a separate Funding Announcement for $455 million in competitive grants.
 
Uses of Funds
There are 13 eligible activities for EECBG funding, including the ?Development and Implementation of Transportation Programs to conserve energy.? Within this activity, constructing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements is specifically mentioned.
 
What is DOE looking for?
The U.S. Department of Energy is looking for sustainable projects that create and protect jobs as well reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  DOE will prioritize projects that:
  • Leverage other public and private resources;
  • Enhance workforce development;
  • Persist beyond the funding period; and
  • Promote energy market transformation such as revolving loans, low-cost loans, energy savings performance contracting, advanced building codes, building and home retrofit incentives and policies, and transportation programs and policies.
How will success be measured?
Grantees will be required to report regularly to the DOE on five metrics:
  • Jobs created and/or retained;
  • Energy savings on a per dollar invested basis;
  • Renewable energy capacity installed;
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced; and
  • Funds leveraged.
 
 
How do I apply?
For more information or for questions, please visit the DOE?s EECBG website at http://www.eecbg.energy.gov.  A link to the application for states and eligible cities and counties is available at
http://www.eecbg.energy.gov/#lg2.
 

57
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Intro Thread
« on: April 07, 2009, 03:20:50 pm »
You have some great advocates in Michigan and we are going to start working on USBR in your state very soon!

58
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Intro Thread
« on: April 06, 2009, 03:57:42 pm »
Hi Ohio cyclist and Mr. Clay too!

Thanks for your suggestions and offer for help. We have been looking into the Lincoln Highway as a possible route, however, the folks in Northern Indiana are quite concerned about the route through their region and so far no alternative routes have been suggested. I will try and get them to post a comment about their concerns.

As for Route 66, yes, we'd like to see this corridor developed into a route, although there have been similar concerns voiced.

Communicate your interest regarding these routes to your state bike/ped coordinator. Let him/her know that these would be a great cultural and historic routes. You can access the contact information for all the state bike/peds from our Cyclist's Yellow Pages or from the USBRS webpages www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs look at the outside links on the bottom half, right side of the page.

I'll try to get you more information about these possibilities soon! Thanks. Ginny

59
Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors / Re: Intro Thread
« on: March 25, 2009, 04:05:52 pm »
Let me introduce myself, I'm Ginny Sullivan, the routes coordinator at Adventure Cycling Association. I’ve been working as staff support to the USBRS project since 2005. I am looking forward to getting to know people and groups who have great ideas on how to make the USBRS the best interstate bike route system in the world. Feel free to post maps, photos, and join in any of the discussion threads. I’ll be sharing this information with the lead agency/organization (most likely your state DOT and/or bike advocacy group) that will apply for national designation. This is our way of making sure your voice is heard.
- All the best, Ginny

60
Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Intro Thread
« on: March 25, 2009, 04:05:08 pm »
Let me introduce myself, I'm Ginny Sullivan, the routes coordinator at Adventure Cycling Association. I’ve been working as staff support to the USBRS project since 2005. I am looking forward to getting to know people and groups who have great ideas on how to make the USBRS the best interstate bike route system in the world. Feel free to post maps, photos, and join in any of the discussion threads. I’ll be sharing this information with the lead agency/organization (most likely your state DOT and/or bike advocacy group) that will apply for national designation. This is our way of making sure your voice is heard.
- All the best, Ginny

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