One day you'll be able to head out on the highway WITHOUT getting your motor running first. Take that, Steppenwolf! Last week the Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials breathed new life into a long-fallow plan to build an interstate bicycle system, approving new routes for the first time in more than 30 years.
AASHTO has identified a number of likely corridors for a nationwide system of interstate bike paths, and got started on building them in the 1980s. But the project fizzled after establishing only two bike interstates: U.S. Bicycle Route 1 from Virginia to North Carolina and U.S. Bicycle Route 76 from Virginia to Illinois. Now, AASHTO has approved six new routes — four in Alaska, one spanning Michigan's lower peninsula, and one from New Hampshire to Maine.
Right now, all but eight states have expressed at least some interest in adding to the bike interstate system, and 15 have moved beyond the planning phase. (The holdouts are Alabama, Hawaii, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, if you want to shake your fist at them.)
Get Grist in your inbox