An initiative undertaken by the Adventure Cycling Association, the U.S. Bicycle Route System is a network of signed bicycle routes that spans the nation. The routes primarily utilize existing roadways, but can also include multi-use trails and greenways.
Though segments of U.S. Bicycle Route System have been designated, much of it remains conceptual. The National Corridor Plan above demonstrates what a nationwide network of bicycle routes could look like.
In 2014, Bike Walk TN successfully advocated for the official designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 23 in Tennessee. The route runs north-south from Kentucky, through Nashville, to Alabama. Here is a blog that followed the work on USBR 23 of the imitable Bruce Day and David Shumaker.
Currently, Bike Walk TN is working on the official designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 21, which will run north-south from Kentucky, through Knoxville and Chattanooga, to Georgia. The potential route is one of the most scenic rides in America, paralleling the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest. With potential spurs to Townsend and Tellico Plains, and passing throuhg numerous rural communities along the way, USBR 21 has great economic impact potential on a regional scale. We hope to complete USBR 21 designation within the next 6-12 months.
We are also beginning the initial phases of designating USBR 80, which will traverse the whole state east-west, connecting across the Harahan Bridge from Arkansas and creating additional traction for the Big River Strategic Initiative. Passing through Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville and crossing into Virginia or North Carolina in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
This work is time intensive. It takes close coordination with TDOT and transportation departments in other states. It requires scouting routes, cataloguing amenities, and building relationships with local jurisdictions. But we have a bold vision for the economic development potential that a designated, developed, and promoted U.S. Bicycle Route System in TN holds for communities across the state.
If you are interested in supporting this work, please consider making a donation or contacting Matt Farr at firstname.lastname@example.org.