General plan

General plan

Working site for TN Route network

Each section of the network will have its own blog entry with links to relevant resources. Comment boxes are for suggestions and updates that may then be incorporated into the main post. Note: Proposed Routes are listed On the right panel. You may click on these and comment as in a regular post. However, it is a good idea to send me an email a bruceeday at gmail dot com

2014 USBR 23 Spring Ride

Several of us are testing the route with an actual ride from Kentucky to Alabama on USBR 23 April 24-29. It has its own blog.

USBR 23 is official

Adventure Cycling Association (note the image scroll and click on the image of the cyclist at Nashville's Riverfront when it appears) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials(AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO's Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved U.S. Bike Route 23 in Tennessee.    

U.S. Bicycle Route 23 in Tennessee
Newly designated U.S. Bicycle Route 23 (USBR 23) in Tennessee covers 154 miles between the Kentucky border, where it joins Kentucky's existing Mammoth Cave state bicycle route, and Alabama. Heading south from Kentucky, USBR 23 begins in rural Robertson County before passing through the community of White House with its marked bicycle lanes. From there the route enters metropolitan Nashville, traveling through residential neighborhoods and past unique culinary establishments through East Nashville, Downtown, The Gulch, and Midtown. The route then cuts through the heart of Nashville's music scene past the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and dozens of local clubs, as well as skirting several universities including Vanderbilt, Belmont, Libscomb, and Fisk. Leaving Nashville, cyclists have the option to take a three-mile spur to connect with the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, or continue on USBR 23 south through Franklin, which features several Civil War historic sites and a wonderful downtown. The route south of Franklin is rural and very scenic; there, a second spur connects to food and lodging at Henry Horton State Park, Chapel Hill, and Lewisburg. Further south, cyclists may travel for an hour or more and not see an automobile. U.S. Bicycle Route 23 enters Alabama at Ardmore, a city whose main street is also the Tennessee-Alabama state line.
“The designation of U.S. Bicycle Route 23 presents a great opportunity to partner with local agencies and nonprofits in order to promote Tennessee’s vibrant tourism industry and rich cultural heritage,” said Jessica Wilson, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator at the Tennessee Department of Transportation. “Communities across the state are embracing new ways to attract visitors while still preserving the natural beauty of Tennessee.”
We now look forward to working with all the communities along the route to sign the route, encourage its use and publicize the community and business services available to all bicyclists.

Bruce Day                                                            David Shumaker

US BR 23 ever closer

Ok, so I have not cleaned up the blog and probably won't.  But that does not mean nothing is happening.  Thanks mostly to David Shumaker we now have resolutions or letters of support from Robertson Co, the City of White House, Sumner County, Metro Nashville/Davidson county, Williamson County, Marshall County, The city of Lewisburg, and finally Lincoln County. The only jurisdiction lacking is the City of Franklin with whom we have had well received meetings and are confident of getting support after a presentation to the city officials on Aug 27.  We may make the 2013 Fall filing deadline of Sept 9.

We have yet to get a single negative comment once the concept is explained.  We have had a few "We wish you spent more time in our community." comments.  Jessica Wilson, TDOT Bike/Ped coordinator,  is preparing the formal submission and has requested the promised letter of support from Kentucky.  Alabike, Alabama's state wide advocacy group, recently sent delegates to an Alliance Effective Campaigns workshop and has chosen establishing a north/South USBR as its first campaign.  We only need one contiguous state to support us but having a connection through Alabama will make the route more useful. Not to mention, Alabama also has a lot of natural beauty. (Disclaimer, I was born and raised on Sand Mountain and still have Red Dirt between my toes.)

The recent letter of understanding between the National Park Service and Adventure cycling to make the national parks more bike friendly has given USBR 23 additional impetus.  The Natchez Trace Parkway is a national park and has been chosen as the first facility on which this new partnership will work. USBR 23 will require only a three mile spur over a reasonably bike friendly road to connect with the Northern Terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

This blog needs work

As work continues on getting local jurisdiction approval for USBR 23, we have two in the can, four in process and four in the que, nibbles for USBR 21 and USBR 80 are arriving.  This has caused me to note this blog needs major work.  Most of the TN designated routes can now be given potential USBR numbers and the East West route from Bristol to Memphis is now all USBR 80.

Route 23 Evaluation Ride results.

The rides are done and had a total of about 100 riders for both rides.  The results were a surprise to me so once again the world has put me in my place.
There was overwhelming consensus for each day.  To the north, the route through East Nashville and Goodlettesville was favored. To the South the more westerly route via Old Natchez Trace and Del Rio Pike was favored. Both favored routes had constructive comments that resulted in several changes.  These have been incorporated and a few of us will be riding the most recent routes in both directions before publishing as final. The link will be posted where once it is done. 

After that it is back to the phones to garner support from all the jurisdictions.

Thanks to all who have supported us and propelled the process to this point.

Nashville Area Evaluation Rides

USBR 23 Route Evaluation Rides

During the last few months, Bruce Day and Dave Shumaker have met with city officials and bicycling community stakeholders to obtain suggestions and support for USBR 23. This will be the first USBR in Tennessee and will provide a designated bicycle route connecting Bowling Green, KY through White House, Nashville, Franklin, and Lewisburg, TN to Huntsville, AL. We have now consolidated suggestions into two separate North/South routes from White House to Franklin.  

We plan a final evaluation of both routes.  The Nashville center point for both of the routes is Cumberland Park, on South 1st Street at the eastern end of the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.  
We invite you (and others you wish to invite) to join us to ride and critique these route options.  The rides will start at 9:00 AM each of two consecutive Saturdays.  These rides will be conducted at touring pace with rest and water stops along the way.  

USBR 23 NORTH Routes Evaluation Ride
9:00 AM, March 16, 2013
Cumberland Park
54 miles, 3149 Ft Elevation Change

USBR 23 SOUTH Routes Evaluation Ride
9:00 AM, March 23, 2013
Cumberland Park
49 miles, 2650 Ft Elevation Change

We hope to see you for the rides at 9:00 Saturday, March 16th and March 23rd starting in Cumberland Park, Nashville.

White House, Franklin, Nashville and USBR 23

Much is happening. David Shumaker set up meetings with representatives of the cities of White House, TN, Franklin, TN and Nashville, TN.  We met with White House City Administrator Gerald Herman and Director of Parks and Recreation Ashley Smith. The city already has the route striped as a bicycle lane and suggest they would install USBR signs when the route is approved.  We are to have a meeting with the Leisure Activities committee in the next couple of months to discuss how White House can be even more bicycle friendly.

In Franklin we met with Mayor Ken Moore and Assistant City Administrator Vernon Gerth who also expressed full support for the project. Franklin is a bit tougher with no obvious best route. It will need to be done in close coordination with Nashville.  The plan is to get input from the very active and well respected Harpeth Bicycle Club, submit some options to the city, and they will review and act on them.  We also picked up names of persons to contact in Williamson County.

A meeting with stakeholders in the Nashville Metro area is scheduled for 6 pm at the Oasis House on Feb. 12, 2013. Adams Carroll of Walk Bike Nashville has taken the lead. It is hoped this meeting will produce a route from White House through Nashville and Franklin into rural Williamson County. From there we will contact representatives of the jurisdictions in the southern counties.

One final note, Kerry Irons with Adventure Cycling who is handling the initial corridor designations prefers to leave USBR 25 as it is and name the route from Louisville though Nashville and into Alabama USBR 23. No big deal since it will be a while before signs are erected.

Update on Route through Nashville, Adding USBR21

A lot is happening. David Shumaker is moving the Franklin, KY to Ardmore, AL route along. He has set up a meeting with the Mayor of White House, TN,  to discuss the route with him and his office.  White House has been very proactive with cycle infrastructure, having one of the first multiuse paths in the area and recently getting bike lanes striped on the shoulders of US 31 W  through the city.  We expect a friendly house but are still nervous about our first go at whipping up community support.  Dave has also solicited the support of Walk Bike Nashville in setting a route through Nashville. Walk Bike Nashville plans a meeting with community input for January, 2013.
Next, Rick Robinson of London, KY, has contacted us about moving along USBR 21 which would connect Lexington, KY with Knoxville, TN, Chattanooga, TN then on to Atlanta, GA.  I know very little about that part of Tennessee but hope to get some support from cyclists in the area.
The renewed activity causedme to revisit the Adventure Cycling USBR website. They have a lot of new, useful information. Worth spending a few hours with.

Back in Business

After a long hiatus, the plan is back on.  The action plan is to review the Franklin, KY to Ardmore, AL route for reasonableness, then solicit input and support from potential communities along the way.

Not dead

The inactivity on this blog is embarrassing.  There has actually been less activity.  With the new Tennessee State administration the documents to submit to AASHTO have languished with no real hope of action.  Unless there is a drastic change in the political and advocacy landscape I'll soon abandon this blog and place the proposed routes on some other site, such as the Fogbees or Bike Walk Tennessee where the lack of action will be less noticeable.