Author Topic: USBR 35 in Michigan  (Read 9831 times)

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Offline GSullivan

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
Ginny Sullivan

Offline GSullivan

Re: USBR 35 in Michigan
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 12:38:35 pm »
From: Scott C. Anderson
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:30 PM
To: Paul Vandenbosch
Cc: Todd Scott
Subject: South Haven to Saugatuck route


Ginny Sullivan forwarded your message to Todd (who officially works for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance) and myself (who unofficially volunteers).  I'm a planning commissioner for China Township in St. Clair County, and I do about fifteen other things, and if I could figure out how to get paid for eight or ten of them I'd be rich.

We have been working on one of the five U.S. Bicycle Route corridors assigned to Michigan, designated U.S. Bike Route 20, which will run from Marine City (where there is a bicycle-accommodating border crossing into Ontario) to Ludington then via ferry to Manitowoc and on westward.  Since we have learned that Wisconsin will first be working on USBR 30, which will connect to Michigan via the Milwaukee-Muskegon ferry, we have added a segment of USBR 35 from Muskegon to Ludington to our honey-do list, and that's where your project comes in, to my thinking.

None of these national bike routes will be "trail-only" projects; that's inconceivable.  For USBR 20 and the part of USBR 35 we've looked at, our basic premise is we use good regional trails wherever we find them on the corridor, and where we don't have that, we use paved rural roads when possible and state roads with paved shoulders where necessary, favoring scenic routes where they exist, and going into communities where we can (so a bicyclist can get lunch or a Coke, use the bathroom, etc.).

U.S. Bike Route 35 on a national level is a very long corridor, stretching from the deep south up through Michigan.  The Michigan portion, as you doubtless are aware, runs up the Lake Michigan shoreline.  The current work we have done only covers the segment from Muskegon to Ludington and is in a very early draft stage.  (I can show you that if you'd like to see it.)  Not very many people have seen it yet or are even aware that we're working on it.  (Josh DeBruyn, from the MDOT Nonmotorized Office, is one of the people aware of this.)

I think - and Todd, feel free to chime in - that the USBR 35 segment we're working on would be much better if it can be extended further north or south.  Certainly if you have an excellent facility, existing or to be built, from South Haven to Saugatuck, it would make sense to consider incorporating that into the route.  Of course, we'd have to connect it to the Muskegon-Ludington portion, somehow.

The process for designating a route and having it approved to be part of the U. S. Bicycle Route System is a fairly long one, complex and largely untried.  This is all brand-new stuff we're doing.  In Michigan, one thing that's likely is that we will need to have lots of local buy-in and transmit that up to Josh at MDOT, who then will apply to AASHTO for route designation on the various routes.  Once that's done, assuming AASHTO approves a route, then it can be signed and mapped as a U. S. Bicycle Route.

From your own point of view, if you are in the grant-application process, I think the potential to establish your project as a segment of a route of national significance might help in the scoring system the various grant agencies use.

Keep in touch!

Scott Anderson
Vice Chair, Planning Commission
Charter Township of China
St. Clair County, MI
Ginny Sullivan

Offline GSullivan

Re: USBR 35 in Michigan
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 12:47:48 pm »
This is an email that I've posted. If you are interested in seeing the maps Paul sent, please email Ginny and I will email them to you. They were too large to post on the forums. Thanks.


Here are some maps we have put together to show bike trail linkages in the Lakeshore area.  Some of the trail is in place.  The proposed routes are based on our research of bicycle plans, recreation plans and master plans approved by various local governments.

The map research is preliminary, we hope to eventually extend our mapping research to St. Joseph and the Indiana State line, and begin discussion on a Lakeshore route with the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission and Berrien County.

The City of South Haven priority is promoting bicycle tourism. Our initial thought is to focus on a route that follows the lakeshore and provides access to tourist attractions in lakeshore communities.  You will notice that parts of the routes that we have included in the map leave the lakeshore. From our point of view, it would be preferred to focus on the lakeshore route, with lakeshore meaning trying to stay within a mile, more or less of Lake Michigan, and connecting all of the harbor/beach/lakeshore towns. I'm not sure if that matches the goals of US35, but if it does we would be willing to try to coordinate the section between Ludington and the Indiana State Line.

Our meeting regarding a Saugatuck - South Haven bicycle trail on the 28th is open to anyone who might be interested.  The group is meeting for the first time, and its focus may shift to a more regional effort.

Paul VandenBosch
Project Manager
City of South Haven
Ginny Sullivan

Offline GSullivan

Re: USBR 35 in Michigan - NPS Assistance?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 12:51:01 pm »
I sent Paul information on the NPS Rivers Trails Assistance Program. They are GREAT people who do AMAZING work. If you have a project that might work for their program, visit their site. Deadline to apply for assistance is August 1!

The National Park Service helps partners plan successful locally-led
outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects.

August 1 is the deadline for the next round of assistance from our
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss project ideas
with RTCA staff before submitting an application.

Visit for more information.

Ginny Sullivan