The Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) added six new routes, including four in Alaska, to the U.S. Bicycle Route System earlier this month. These are the first official new routes added to the system since 1982.
Alaska submitted its original application to AASHTO last fall, but route numbers for the state hadn’t been developed yet by the Task Force on U.S. Bicycle Routes. In the weeks leading up to the AASHTO spring meeting on May 2, the task force worked with the State of Alaska on the numbering system that was accepted and endorsed by the committee.
“We are excited to be able to promote bicycle tourism in the state of Alaska,” said Bob Laurie, a transportation planner and the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. “We have fabulous vistas and low-traffic highways that beg exploration. Connecting to Washington State via the ferry system and collaborating with Canada is next on our list.”
The Alaska Highway — from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, through Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, through Delta Junction and terminating in Fairbanks — has been designated USBR 8, which comes with two alternate routes. An alternate route from Tok to Anchorage along the Glenn Highway has been designated USBR 108. The Haines Highway from Whitehorse through Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, ending in Haines, Alaska, was designated as alternate USBR 208. The Alaska Highway unofficially is part of the Pan-American Highway, which extends south to Argentina.
USBR 95 is the Richardson Highway from Delta Junction to Valdez, where the route connects to Washington via the Alaska Marine Highway System.
USBR 97 follows the Parks and Seward Highways from Fairbanks through Anchorage to Seward. This route picks up the entrance to Denali National Park.
USBR 87 is from Whitehorse to Skagway, home of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. This route also connects to Washington via the Alaska Marine Highway System.
In addition to the four routes in Alaska, the other two new routes added to the system were USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, and USBR 20 in Michigan. When complete, the U.S. Bicycle Route System will be the largest official bike route network on the planet, encompassing more than 50,000 miles of routes.