A bicycle route that would lead through Mason and Robertson counties could soon become a part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System, Maysville Mayor David Cartmell said Thursday.
USBRS would give cyclists the ability to ride an officially numbered and signed bicycle route from their home to anywhere in the United States, according to adventurecycling.org, a nonprofit organization which is facilitating the project.
Stephen Berry recently attended a Buffalo Trace Area Development District meeting, to explain the route and plans to add area routes to the system, Cartmell said. Berry is the geographic information systems professional for Clark County.
Berry said the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is the group which actually designates the routes in cooperation with Adventure Cycling, which has been creating the route since the 1970s with Route 76 as the first.
Currently, Kentucky and Tennessee are working to establish two routes in the state -- Route 23 which crosses Western Kentucky and Route 21, which, if approved, would include the local area, and move into Ohio at the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge, Berry said. The route would follow a trail through Nicholas County, into Robertson County at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, to Sardis and on into Maysville before crossing the bridge. A pass through Fleming County may also be added, he said.
Berry said before any designation is made information must be gathered and presented at the ASSHTO fall meeting. That information must include turn-by-turn directions and the bike comfort level of the proposed route. The BCL takes into account the size of the roadway, speed of traffic and volume of traffic traveling the route. The information is used to grade the route from A to F, with A as the best and F as the least desirable. Cities and counties through which the route passes are also asked to pledge support since roads and streets are involved, Berry said.
The search is now on for a group or individual to take on the task of gathering the information, including reaching out to what Berry called "stake-holders," including local cycling groups and others who may be affected, for their input. Berry said he has volunteered to gather the information for Clark County and transportation officials in Nicholas and Bourbon counties are doing the work in their respective counties.
Berry said there is no expense to the designation since existing routes are used. The only cost would be signage and who will bear that expense is still to be decided, he said. There has been some indication the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet may apply for federal grants for signs along the route, he said.
For more information on USBRS visit www.adventurecycling.org.