August 13, 2009
I have rewritten sections of the procedure to try to make it easier to read. I have added detail about the meeting process.
Following is a draft procedure for establishing a United States Bicycle Route (USBR) within a corridor as proposed by AASHTO.
For more information on the USBR program, please see: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/nbrn/usbikewaysystem.cfm
This procedure was written with USBR 35 in mind. It was written in a way that it could be used by other corridors as well.
Your comments are requested.
United States Bicycle Route Establishment Procedure
a. AASHTO - American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
b. Approved Route - A Route approved by AASHTO as a USBR.
c. Corridor - An area proposed by AASHTO for a potential USBR route.
d. Corridor Committee - A committee of Destination municipalities formed by invitation to consider establishing a USBR.
e. Destination - A municipality through which the Route must pass.
f. Destination Criteria - Destinations are municipalities in the USBR corridor which have as a minimum: lodging, restaurants and grocery stores. Historic cities and villages have priority in selection of Destinations. Destinations shall be selected so as to form a route which is roughly parallel to the corridor.
g. DOT - A state department of transportation.
h. Draft Route Amendment - A change to the turn by turn description of the Route.
i. Metropolitan Planning Commission - a regional governmental planning organization which coordinates transportation planning over a number of municipalities and road commissions.
j. Notice of Intent - A letter stating that the Corridor Committee has been formed and that it intends to establish a USBR.
k. Route - A turn by turn description of a bicycle path which connects Destinations, from the starting point to ending point of the state corridor.
l. Municipality - A city, village or township.
m. Road Organizations - An entity which has the authority to design, construct and maintain roadway or trailway, typically a city, road commission or DOT.
n. Proposed Route - A Route which has received assent by all Road Organizations, either by approval or by nonaction.
o. Route Application - An application for a USBR prepared on a form provided by AASHTO.
p. Route Criteria - Route Criteria as outlined in the May 11, 2009 memo from the Task Force on US Bicycle Routes:
Specific Route Criteria: Considerations when Choosing Roads and Trails
Primary Considerations – Specific Routes should meet as many of the following as practicable:
(i) When applicable, meet the planning, design, and operational criteria in the AASHTO Guide for Development of Bicycle Facilities.
(ii) Offer services and amenities such as restaurants, accommodations, camping, bicycle shops, and convenience/grocery stores at appropriate intervals.
(iii) Go into the centers of metropolitan areas, using low-traffic and/or off-road bikeways when possible. Bypass routes could be considered to accommodate users who don't wish to enter the city or who are seeking a less urban experience.
(iv) Include spurs to target destinations (universities or other educational institutions, recreational areas, or other attractions) and to multimodal nodes such as airports and rail, bus, and transit stations.
(v) Follow natural corridors and provide terrain suitable for cycling, avoiding extremely hilly and limited visibility winding roads when feasible.
(vi) Consider appropriate combinations of low daily traffic, low truck traffic, wide paved shoulders, lane striping, adequate sight distance, and traffic speed in order to be bicycle friendly.
(vii) In urban areas, be suitable for utility cycling (commuting, access to shopping, schools and universities, recreation centers, etc.). Consideration should be given to bicycle routes that can be used as evacuation routes for emergency situations.
(viii) Include major existing and planned bike routes, including both on-road facilities and off-road shared use paths and trails that are suitable for road bikes.
(ix) May include short stretches of high quality unpaved roads if needed to connect highly desirable paved road sections. (These roads should maintain the standard of road bike suitability).
q. Route Hearing - A publicized posting of a route on an internet site with notification to other entities. A Route Hearing may include public meetings.
r. State Bicycle/Trail Organization - A statewide recognized non profit organization whose purpose is to promote bicycling and/or bicycle trails. (In Michigan, this would include both the League of Michigan Bicyclists and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance).
s. USBR - United States Bicycle Route as promulgated by AASHTO.
2. Route Approval Procedure
a. Forming a Corridor Committee
(i) The governing body of a municipality located in a Corridor may invite other municipalities to form a Corridor Committee. A Corridor Committee may be formed for a state or may be formed with members from more than one state.
(ii) A Letter of Invitation shall provide background information on the United States Bicycle Route Corridor and request that the municipality approve a resolution joining the Corridor Committee and appointing a representative to the Committee.
(iii) A Corridor Committee shall be formed by the adoption of resolutions joining the committee of not less than 7 and not more than 11 municipalities.
(iv) A Corridor Committee may meet and vote in person, by conference call, by internet forum or other means of communication. The Corridor Committee shall adopt by-laws which include election of a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary. A record of meetings shall be made as minutes, which shall be publicly available.
b. Notice of Intent
A Corridor Committee shall send a Notice of Intent to AASHTO, the State DOT, Metropolitan Planning Commissions in the Corridor area and to State Bicycle/Trail Organizations. In areas where a corridor crosses a state boundary, a Corridor Committee shall send a Notice of Intent to the DOT of adjacent states or provinces, and to the Road Organization and Metropolitan Planning Organization of the areas in the adjacent state impacted by the corridor. A Corridor Committee may send a Notice of Intent to other stakeholding groups, such as local bicycle groups.
c. Selection of Destinations
A Corridor Committee shall propose Destinations along the Corridor, through which a Route shall be established. A Corridor Committee shall consider Destination Criteria. A Corridor Committee may create a mission statement for the Route to assist in the selection of Destinations. A Corridor Committee shall by majority vote establish Destinations for the Corridor.
d. Notifying Interested Organizations
(i) The following organizations shall be notified that a draft route is being prepared, and request that a volunteer from the organization attend a Route Planning Meeting:
(1) Road Organizations
(2) Destination Municipalities
(3) Metropolitan Planning Commissions
(4) Adjacent State/Province Metropolitan Planning Commissions
(5) State Bicycle Trail Organizations
(6) Other Stakeholder Groups
(ii) The Corridor Committee shall transmit Route Criteria to the organizations.
(iii) The Corridor Committee may work with any of the organizations or volunteers to prepare a preliminary draft route prior to the Route Planning Meeting.
(iv) A Corridor Committee shall provide a list of contacts which it has made to all contacted groups and organizations to encourage cooperation in preparing a Draft Route.
e. Route Planning Meetings
The Corridor Committee shall divide the route into sections and shall schedule a route planning meeting for each section. The route planning meetings may be organized and hosted by the Corridor Committee municipalities. The focus of the route planning meeting shall be to develop a turn by turn route in the section. The route shall be coordinated with adjacent sections and adjacent state or province, if applicable. There may be as many route planning meetings as necessary to complete the task. When complete, the section committee shall transmit the turn by turn route to the Corridor Committee.
f. Draft Route Hearing
(i) Upon receipt of turn by turn routes from all sections within the Corridor, the Corridor Committee shall compile the route and shall set a Draft Route Hearing. Road Organizations, Destination Municipalities, Metropolitan Planning Organizations in the corridor area, the State Bicycle/Trail Organization and other stakeholder groups shall be invited to participate in the Draft Route Hearing. The Draft Route Hearing shall be held by publishing a Draft Route on an internet site and providing a means to post comments. The Corridor Committee is encouraged provide notice through press releases, State Bicycle/Trail Organization websites, newsletters, and other means. The Draft Route Hearing shall be available for review and comment for no less than 21 days. There may be a public meeting held in one or more locations, with no less than ten days notice prior to the meeting to Destinations, Road Organizations, Metropolitan Planning Organizations in the corridor area, the State Bicycle/Trail Organization and stakeholder groups. Draft Route public meetings, if held, shall be subject to the Open Meetings Act.
(ii) Upon completion of the Draft Route Hearing, the Corridor Committee shall prepare a map and turn by turn route which meets the requirements of AASHTO for application to the USBR program. The Corridor Committee shall consider the Draft Route and may approve it by majority vote.
g. Road Organization Review of Draft Route
(i) Upon approval of a Draft Route, the Corridor Committee shall transmit the Draft Route to all Road Organizations which have authority over roads or trails included in the Route. Affected Road Organizations will be requested to amend or approve the Draft Route. If an Amendment is proposed to the Draft Route, the Corridor Committee shall transmit the amendment to the two Destinations which are connected by that portion of the Draft Route, Road Organizations which have jurisdiction of portion of the Draft Route between the aforenamed Destinations, the Metroplitan Planning Organization, DOT and the State Bicycle/Trail Organization. The Corridor Committee may transmit the proposed amendment to stakeholder groups.
(ii) A Road Organization shall respond within 90 days of transmittal of a Draft Route by either approval of the Draft Route, or by submitting a Draft Route Amendment. A Draft Route Amendment shall show a change in the Draft Route in a similar form as a Draft Route is presented. If a Road Organization does not respond within 90 days of transmittal of the Draft Route with either a Resolution of Approval or a Draft Route Amendment, then the Draft Route may be certified as an Approved Route by the Corridor Committee without Road Organization approval. A Road Organization may request in writing an extension of an additional 90 days for review of the Route.
h. Road Organization Draft Route Amendment
(i) If a Road Organization proposes a Draft Route Amendment, a Draft Route Amendement Hearing shall be held by the Corridor Committee by publishing the amended routes on an internet site and providing a means to post comments. The Draft Route Amendment Hearing shall be available for review and comment for no less than 21 days. There may be a public meeting held in one or more locations. Notice shall be provided, no less than 10 days prior to the hearing, to Destinations, Road Organizations, the Metropolitan Planning Organizations within the corridor, the State Bicycle/Trail Organization and stakeholder groups prior to the meeting.
(ii) Upon completion of the Draft Route Amendment Hearing, the Corridor Committee shall request that the Road Organization resubmit the Draft Route Amendment to the Corridor Committee, with or without any changes which the Road Organization desires to make. The Corridor Committee shall accept the decision of the Road Organization on the Draft Route. If there is a disagreement between two Road Authorities regarding a connection point on the boundary between jurisdictions, the Corridor Committee shall attempt to mediate and facilitate an agreement on the route. If there is no agreement after six months of mediation, the Corridor Committee shall then select a route which best meets the requirements of the Route Criteria.
i. DOT Review
Upon completion of all Draft Route Amendment Hearings, the Corridor Committee shall publish the Proposed Route on an internet site. The Corridor Committee shall complete an application to AASHTO for establishment of the Route in the USBR system. The Corridor Committee shall transmit the completed application to DOT for DOT review.
j. Application Submittal to AASHTO
The DOT shall review the Proposed Route. Upon DOT acceptance of the Route Application, DOT shall sumbit the application to AASHTO. If any changes are desired, whether to the application or to the Route, the DOT shall transmit those desired changes to the Corridor Committee. The Corridor Committee shall consider those changes and may amend the application, except that any change to a portion of the Route must also be approved by the Road Organization with authority over that portion of the Route, following the procedure outlined in the Road Organization Amendment of Draft Route.
k. Disbandment of the Corridor Committee
Upon AASHTO approval of the Route, the Corridor Committee shall disband.
l. Amendment of Route after AASHTO Approval
Any person or organization which desires to amend an Existing Route approved by AASHTO shall request that the Road Organization with jurisdiction over that portion of the Route publish and consider the amendment using the Draft Route Amendment procedure, except that the Road Organization with jurisdiction shall take on the responsibilities of the Corridor Committee for the amendment process.
m. Amendment of Destinations
Any person or organization which desires to change Destinations on the Route shall request that the Corridor Committee reform with representatives from the original member Municipalities to consider removal or addition of a Destination to the Route.