[Talk-us] US Bicycle Routes in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA

Minh Nguyen mxn at 1ec5.org
Mon Mar 11 05:54:45 UTC 2013

On 2013-03-08 12:48 PM, KerryIrons wrote:
> All,
> I am heavily involved in the development of US Bicycle Routes (see
> www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs) and it has come to my attention that
> OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap have proposed maps for US Bicycle Routes 21, 25,
> 80, and 84 in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA.  The routes are shown as dashed lines
> but with the USBR numbers on them.  At the same time USBR 76 is shown as
> proposed but in fact it has officially been designated in KY.
> As of now there are only proposed corridors for these routes (50 mile wide
> areas where a route could be developed) and so showing specific proposed
> routes is beyond the current status of any of these USBRs.  It could be
> argued that USBR 25 will likely follow the Adventure Cycling Underground
> Railroad route but none of the states involved have applied for designation
> of these routes with AASHTO, the official body in charge of the USBR system.
> I would like to get in contact with the mapper(s) who put these routes into
> OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap and clarify this.   We are always looking for
> enthusiastic folks who want to work on the USBR system but in this case
> putting detailed routes on maps is a source of confusion.
> Please contact me at your convenience if you have been involved in putting
> these routes into OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap.

I can't speak to the states you've listed, but I've helped to map the 
proposed USBR 50 in Ohio and hope to someday map other USBRs once plans 
move further along.

ODOT has gotten a number of county parks districts and city councils, 
going from west to east, to commit to a specific route and pass a 
resolution (based on ACA boilerplate) in favor of a USBR 50 designation. 
However, since ODOT hasn't gotten all the way to the West Virginia state 
line, I don't think they've filed an application with AASHTO yet.

Even so, I went ahead and mapped out portions (as a proposed route) 
where the local authorities have passed a resolution and posted it 
online. For the most part, there's only one path the route could 
conceivably take: along a series of popular, paved multi-use paths, most 
of which are part of regional route networks already. But I had to leave 
out downtown Dayton, for example, because the street-level route there 
isn't obvious. (I used the resolutions for evidence that the route has 
reached this "proposed" stage, but not for any route maps, due to 
copyright concerns.)

I hope my approach to mapping proposed USBR 50 in Ohio won't catch 
anyone by surprise. In this state at least, Map Maker contributors seem 
to be much more proactive/aggressive than OSMers in tagging proposed 
bike routes. In any case, one straightforward way to (automatically?) 
garner the attention and cooperation of OSM mappers would be to give 
permission to map finalized routes using official route descriptions or 
maps, under the terms of OSM's license.

Regarding USBR 21, I think it would make sense to keep the route in 
there but replace `ref=21` with `ref=UGRR`, reflecting the fact that 
Nathan actually mapped the Underground Railroad Route. He did this in 
Southwest Ohio already.

Minh Nguyen <mxn at 1ec5.org>
Jabber: mxn at 1ec5.org; Blog: http://notes.1ec5.org/

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