Saturday, March 12, 2011

US Bike Route 1 meeting

One of the meetings held during the week of the National Bike Summit was an update to work being done on US Bike Route 1. Representatives from organizations working on the route gathered at AASHTO headquarters in DC.

Any changes to the route must be approved by AASHTO. Currently there are only two official US Bike Routes, USBR 1 extending from Virginia thru North Carolina, and USBR 76 extending from Virginia to Illinois. Adventure Cycling Association is leading development of a complete network of US bike routes, extending the existing routes to the national border and creating several other cross-U.S. routes.

The USBR 1 meeting was mostly a discussion of the status of the route through the states north of VA and south of NC, and changes to the VA and NC segments. In VA the route through Ft. Belvoir has been closed since Woodlawn Rd was closed to through traffic after September 11 (map). A new road, Mulligan Road, is being built that will extend across Ft. Belvoir from Route 1 to Telegraph Rd that will be open to bike traffic with wide outside lanes and a shared use path. According to VDOT, construction of Mulligan Rd will be complete in 2012.

The alignment of USBR 1 as it enters VA from the north was also discussed. Documentation of the official route is being sought to determine if it enters VA using the Arlington Memorial Bridge or the 14th Street bridge. With the Memorial bridge crossing cyclists ride along a paved trail leading to the Mt Vernon Trail. This connector trail crosses fast moving traffic at two places, the entrance ramp from Washington Blvd, and GW Parkway. The 14th Street crossing has a more direct connection to the Mt Vernon Trail.

 During the meeting Virginia Sullivan of Adventure Cycling announced the availability of a new interactive US Bike Route map. Click on a state to see a summary of the current status of work on routes in that state. Liz McAdory of VDOT is the Virginia coordinator. Liz.McAdory(at)VDOT(dot)Virginia(dot)gov. Much of the on-the-ground work is being done by members of Virginia Bicycle Federation, several of whom attended the meeting.



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