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While trains, electric cars, and other non-internal-combustion-engine of transportation cause partisan fights and get high news coverage, there's a quiet revolution happening right under our noses. Bike paths and trails are starting to link cities and regions together. Recently the American Association of State Highway Transportation approved the first United States Bike Routes in 30 years:

The new routes include USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBRs 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska.  All six routes have been in development for years, and the cycling community is excited to see them approved.

On a smaller scale a 25 mile bike trail from Muskegon, MI to Marne, MI is gaining support. The trail will eventually lead all the way to Grand Rapids.

The recently approved USBR 20 runs East-West from Ludington in the West all the way across the state to Marine City.

And last but not least, the development of USBR 35 seems to be on track. USBR 35 follows roads near the West Michigan coastline and would go right past my house, stretching all the way from Sault Ste. Marie in the north of Michigan down to Mississippi.

The quiet movement for a national bike path system has gained traction. And that's a great thing.

Just last month from the US Department of Transportation Blog:

US Bike Route showing no signs of growing pains

In my latest "On the Go" video and in a blog last week, I talked about how bicycles are not just for recreation, but also for transportation.  Today, as schools across America are letting out for summer vacation and families are making travel plans, I want to remind everyone that you can use your bicycles for both transportation and recreation on our U.S. Bicycle Route System.

And I'm happy to report that, since I blogged about our nation's interstate network of bicycle routes last summer, the Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has approved the first new routes for the system in more than 30 years.

[snip]

Thirty states are now working on routes to serve as easy-to-ride trunk lines connecting city, regional, and statewide cycling trails.  These will provide transportation, tourism, and economic development  opportunities across the country.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 12:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse and DKOMA.

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