Statewide Bike Routes in Formation
Imagine a national system of numbered bike routes that could guide a cyclist from New York City to San Francisco, or from Mobile to Sault Ste. Marie. Parts of this national corridor plan have already been designated and some are in draft form. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Adventure Cycling Association have proposed a national system of bike routes that would create a backbone for regional bike systems.
In the TMACOG region, bike routes 40A and 25 are proposed, as shown in this map. East-west route 40A would connect the Wabash Cannonball Trail (in western Lucas County) to the North Coast Inland Trail (In southern Ottawa County). A north-south U.S. Bike Route 25 starts in Mobile, Alabama and ends in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. In our region this proposed route makes use of the Slippery Elm Trail and the Bowling Green Bicycle Network and passes through Perrysburg, Maumee and Toledo, and into Michigan. See the map of the proposed national system.
Designating bike routes is not a construction project. The route numbering plan is designed to identify the existing safest, most scenic place to ride a bike today. It is not intended to identify all the bike improvements residents would like to see throughout the state.
The proposed routes are being investigated now. Jurisdictions that house the routes will be asked for formal resolutions in support of the designation in the coming months. ODOT makes a strong case that bicycle infrastructure improves economic development and improves quality of life. ODOT hopes to submit the routes to AASHTO for certification in spring of 2016. For information or to comment on the proposed routes in the TMACOG region, contact Christine Connell: 419.241.9155 ext. 119.