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Topics - GSullivan

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Corridor 35 Implementation / USBR 35 in Michigan
« on: May 20, 2009, 12:37:38 pm »
The City of South Haven is working together with neighboring communities to create a bike trail connection between South Haven and Saugatuck, Michigan.  This would be a route along the lakeshore through a very attractive tourist destination.
Are there any larger bike routes that we can coordinate with, connect with or otherwise use as a reference in grant writing?
Also, I noted that US Bike Route 35 stops at the northernmost tip of the lower peninsula of Michigan.  It seems like it should continue to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, which is a border crossing to Canada.  I'm not sure who the person is to make this comment to.  Can you direct me to whoever is putting the plan together and would be the appropriate contact for this comment?
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Paul VandenBosch
Project Manager
City of South Haven

Great News! It's Finally Ready!

On May 15, 2009, the Application for establishing U.S. Bicycle Routes was approved by the Special Committee on Route Numbering (SCRN), the committee that reviews USBR applications, and the over-seeing Standing Committee on Highways!

Watch for the application to be posted on the SCRN website
in the next month. In the meantime, you will find the application and updated Purpose and Policy Statement on the Adventure Cycling site as soon as next week. While you're there, be sure to download the recently updated Corridor Map (we added the cities to help orient corridors) and the document entitled "Corridor Criteria" with suggested route criteria. An Additional resource page will be posted soon as well.

The planning can officially begin!

Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Looking for Contacts in Kansas
« on: May 08, 2009, 03:43:58 pm »
I am the leader of a large bicycle club in Wichita, Oz Bicycle Club, and we have a couple of questions we would like to ask you.  The first is about the effort to create a national network of bicycle routes, as mentioned in the Bicycling Magazine last month.  Can you help us find the Kansas contacts so we can help with this effort?  Second, we live and ride in the greater Wichita area.  It is in the path of the old Chisholm Trail, a very historic cattle ride route from Fort Worth TX to Abilene KS.  There is a loose network of communities and various organizations working to create a scenic byway designation for automobile use.  I have been approached to help make this route bicycle friendly.  Many of us in the club really enjoy these little cattle towns, and all the many reenactment activities such as cattle drives.  We think it would make a great north-south bike route through the midwest, offering a way for cross country riders to sample some of the Ol West history, and see the beauty of the small towns out here on the plains.  Is there someone I could talk to about working with ACA to develop this bike route, or else get some advise about independent development.  One of the members got the bright idea to have a tailwind ride, coordinated by bike clubs all along the Chisholm Trail, and let people enjoy the benefits of our prairie winds to make the 400+ mile ride.  Can you help us or work with us on this?  Regards  Delores Craig The Wixard of Oz Bicycle Club

Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors / Minn Trails
« on: May 08, 2009, 03:37:36 pm »
I received this email quite some time ago. Great information!

            I found you have been working with the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials to develop a transcontinental network of Bike Routes.  I was wondering if you know if there are many trails that have been developed between states already.  I am Chairman of the Friends of the Jackson County Trails Association, a non-profit group that is working to build trails throughout Jackson County MN.  On August 1, we are holding a Grand Opening of a Trail that we built that connects some of our County Park system with Dickenson County Trail system.  In my research so far I see plans for many interstate trail systems but have not found any completed ones.  I would think there must be a number of trails that cross state lines. Today I go before a state legislative sub committee to ask for permission to discuss State Trail designation for a trail we would like to build from Iowa to another State Trail in Minnesota. I was interested in information on the Proposed interstate bike trails that you are proposing. It is very interesting.  Keep of the good work.

Chuck Lucht

Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Volunteer in Arkansas
« on: April 23, 2009, 05:43:13 pm »
This is Bob Robinson.  I read in Bike Bits that you are looking for volunteers to select routes for the USBRS. I just wanted to offer my help in any way you need it. Just let me know what you need in the Arkansas area.
Thanks for all you guys are doing to promote cycling.
Author of Bicycling Guide to the Mississippi River Trail

Research and Resources / Local Agency Input to USBRS
« on: April 23, 2009, 03:32:10 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?


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


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)

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.

Scott Anderson

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 ( 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!

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).
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  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  A link to the application for states and eligible cities and counties is available at

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