In honor of Wisconsin Bike Week 2022, the Bike Fed announces release of the Wisconsin Bikeways Report to facilitate long-distance bicycling throughout the state.
Prepared by Toole Design Group, the Wisconsin Bikeways Report details efforts that began in 2015 by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and Wisconsin Bike Fed (Bike Fed) to create a statewide network of interconnected bikeway routes. These routes include national U.S. Bike Routes (USBRs), which connect to adjoining states, and state-level Wisconsin Bike Routes (WIBRs).
A “Bikeway” is a general term for any road, street, path, or way, which in some manner is specifically designated for bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes. A bicycle route is commonly a designated roadway or bikeway with a unique route designation or with bicycle route signs.
Wheel & Sprocket bicycle shop owner and Adventure Cycling Association board member Noel Kegel explains, “USBR30 mostly follows a well-traveled route within the state; including the first rail-trail in the US, the Elroy-Sparta trail featuring three long rock tunnels. The USBR designation is important to validate the route as part of a larger, national network of official bike routes. Aside from USBR30, Wisconsin is a wonderful place to travel by bike–due to a quirk of our history as a dairy state, many of our rural town roads are paved so that heavy milk trucks can reach the thousands of dairy farms throughout the state. As a result, there are tens of thousands of low-stress, high-quality rural roads perfect for bike travel. USBR30 is exciting in the effort to tell that story that Wisconsin is a great place to ride!”
Noel and his sister, Bike Fed Board Chair Amelia Kegel, have committed to sponsor signage along a portion of USBR 30 through the Chris Kegel Foundation. The Chris Kegel Foundation carries out the vision of their father for “a world where everyone enjoys their ride on a bicycle.”
Jennifer O’Dell, Adventure Cycling Executive Director, shares “The U.S. Bicycle Route System is an exciting project to encourage more people to feel inspired to travel by bicycle. Adventure Cycling is committed to this exciting work to achieve a nationwide bicycle travel system.”
Established in 1978, the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is an evolving national network of bicycle routes which will eventually encompass 50,000 miles of routes and open up new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional touring and commuting by bicycle. Currently, more than 18,500 miles are established in 33 states and Washington DC.
“The Wisconsin Bikeways Report is truly a collaborative effort,” says Preston Cole, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary. “This resource provides a blueprint for creating more state- and federal-level bike routes in Wisconsin, providing more ways to experience our great outdoors.”
“The Wisconsin Bikeways Report is the result of an important collaborative effort to provide and create bicycle connections for people in rural, urban, and suburban communities for travel, transportation, and recreation,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said.