[Talk-us] USBRs as ncns in OCM

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Tue Jul 2 22:27:17 UTC 2013

After about a month of serious work, I am pleased to say that 
OpenCycleMap (OCM) is now a significantly accurate representation of 
the United States Bicycle Route (USBR) system, both as it actually 
exists today, and as it displays state-by-state proposals to AASHTO 
of further USBR applications now underway.

OCM also displays two significant national bicycle routes which are 
not part of the USBR system:  the East Coast Greenway (ECG, which 
both shares and diverges from segments of USBR 1) and the Mississippi 
River Trail (MRT, which in Minnesota, is identical to USBR 45). 
These two quasi-private (not government) bicycle routes (ECG & MRT) 
are determined to be so "national in scope" that their inclusion in 
OSM's national cycleway network (as ncns) is asserted. The MRT may 
continue (as it did in Minnesota) to become USBR 45 in several other 
states, though there are no active proposals to do so.

Actual USBR numbered national bike routes display in OCM as solid red 
lines.  Proposed USBR routes (ongoing proposal discussions at a state 
level distinctly moving towards AASHTO application as USBRs) display 
in OCM as dashed red lines.  This was not the case a month ago, as 
dozens of routing errors were wrongly asserted to be national routes 
along corridors when there was no active proposal in those states. 
But now, as those errors have been (largely or completely) corrected, 
OCM can begin to be used as a valuable development tool for USBRs in 
those states which wish to press ahead to identify specific routes in 
the AASHTO-identified corridors.  Further growth in the USBR network 
is both well articulated and facilitated.

This is a real feather in the cap of OSM.  Congratulations and kudos 
to Kerry Irons of Adventure Cycling Association who tirelessly and 
patiently answered a barrage of emails over several weeks to 
facilitate this, not to mention is a font of state-level bicycle 
contacts and resources.  Additional thanks go to Andy Allan and Sarah 
Hoffman who provide renderings of the underlying OSM data.  Further 
state-level development of additional corridors to promotion of 
actual USBRs is now well supported by OSM/OCM being a valuable shared 
fabric for geographic-based discussion.

Sarah Hoffman's renderers at waymarkedtrails.org show only actual 
(not proposed) routes from OSM data, so her bicycling renderer 
provides an excellent contrast to OCM, which does display proposed 

While most of my effort here is completed, I welcome corrections, 
additions, plans for future growth and discussion on this topic, 
either in talk-us, OSM message, or email.

As OCM and waymarkedtrails.org now display USBRs from underlying OSM 
data, it is the dawn of a new day for nationwide bicycle routing in 
the USA!


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