AASHTO’s USBRS Proposals, Spring 2024 Round (new national bicycle route proposals)

Hello fellow cyclists and mappers, it is that time again! (Each year, AASHTO has Spring and Autumn Rounds for USBRs).

State Departments of Transportation (state DOTs) have proposed to AASHTO the following new United States Bicycle Routes (USBRs) for the USBRS Spring 2024 Round:

USBR 15 in Florida (extension to connect to USBR 1 in Homestead, fully entered)
USBR 76 in Wyoming (new route; fully entered)
USBR 51 in Arkansas (new route; now being entered, “has dibs” already)
USBR 85 in California (new route): NEEDS SOME OSM MAPPER LOVE!
USBR 95 in California (awaits a final April meeting in Santa Cruz County, “has dibs” already)

The Proposed section of our USBRS wiki [1] has a link for this Round to the DOTs collateral (map graphics, turn-by-turn spreadsheet…), along with AASHTO’s permission link and instructions on the tagging [type=route, route=bicycle, network=ncn…] to correctly enter USBR 85 in California into OSM. This route is “seeded” so its relation number is linked in the wiki’s Proposed table (85 row).

If you need help building a bicycle route relation in OSM, ask for help in the Talk page (or here), and we’ll get you started with whatever assistance you need. Entering USBRs can be fun, though at 788 miles, USBR 85 is a lengthy route, so some assistance at entering these data into OSM is welcome!

Let’s complete USBR 85 by July 4th! Thank you for volunteering USBRs to OSM again.

[1] United States Bicycle Route System - OpenStreetMap Wiki

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Wow! Thanks to @aighes fast mapping, OSM already has a substantial portion of the northern segment of USBR 85 entered — awesome!


The route should be complete now.


Holy smokes, it is! Thank you so much, your efforts are widely appreciated.

USBR 95 completing in California will set the length record for USBRs (at 1071 miles, I’m working on that now, but there is some research involved and a local-to-me Transportation Commission meeting about five weeks away that needs to finish the final routing in one last county), but USBR 85, at 788 miles, is certainly a long route. So, USBR 95 is the last one this Round “yet to complete,” but let’s celebrate USBR 85!

I worked for several hours on this earlier today (as it is clear you did, too!) and together, we proved yet again (not only in OSM, but everywhere), that “many hands make light work.”


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Btw. is there any overview about all the routes (not based on OSM), so we can reference OSM-data against any official source? I only found them on ridewithgps.com.

There is what is found in Wikipedia, there is lore, there is what people like Minh and I talk about what’s going on here: some people figuring it out. It is true that Kerry and I collaborate. He is what I call the architect of the System (USBRS).

What seems to have happened is we ran into each other in the mail-lists. It works.

Roots extend back to the Bikecentennial of 1976, a beautiful morph of Bicentennial (1776, Declaration of Independence). We are both originally from Michigan, it turns out. It works. There’s a history to it, a few people (Kerry, really and others around him who help) and a Rolodex of DOT staff that is a million kilometers long…

It’s a long tradition of helpful people of a good idea. Something like that. Welcome.

P.S. RWGPS is the platform Kerry uses at a multipoint of he and I, between RWGPS and OSM. We built that together several years ago.

Happy to answer questions.

Edit: There is also From Sandbox to Construction Zone to a Beautiful National Network of Bicycle Routes | OpenStreetMap US , a newsletter article I was asked to write a couple of summers ago by our local chapter describing the history of this project.

To be clear, state-DOT-submitted-to-AASHTO applications for a USBR to become official ARE “the official source” (of route data). A USBR is submitted to the national organization of state highway officials (AASHTO) by state highway officials as “what the People (in a state) wish to see become a USBR.”

First, Kerry and others in the ACA work with the DOT so that the route achieves the objectives of being careful and bicycle-friendly (certain criteria must be met) as well as fitting into the overall System (by, for example, working out concurrencies and/or future meeting points on a state border).

Kerry and ACA (for the last several years, since their website has evolved) uses RWGPS as a kind of “GIS chalkboard” to work with the DOTs, developing, refining, editing until the route is satisfactory to the state (its People and cyclists) and the System. Then Kerry works with the DOT to put these agreed-upon route data into the paper / electronic forms that become the application, and those documents are submitted to AASHTO, becoming “on ballot” (for either the Spring or Autumn Round). Kerry courteously emails me copies of USBR applications as they become officially submitted, I (and others, because I share them like I did 85 this Round) enter them with the state=proposed tag (as “under construction in OSM”) and when Approval happens by AASHTO (at the end of the Round), this tag is removed. Done.

That’s the simplified version, but only minor exceptions have evolved over the years so that now the way it all works is pretty much “clockwork” as outlined in our wiki.

Any sort of evolving, longer-term system of routes, or kinds of things that can be mapped, can be modeled in OSM like this. Take time, think through what it takes for things to “go right,” share with others in OSM, be transparent and open with others as to how it is all unfolding (via wiki, Talk pages, this forum, private emails if necessary…) and promptly deal with issues as they arise (they’ll be minor if you’ve done your homework). Over the years, your system will grow in OSM while OSM grows with it.

It is my honor to participate in building these; I thank all who share the efforts with me.