News and Tribune

Clark County

March 28, 2012

National bike route comes through Clark County

Trail would stretch from Michigan to Mississippi

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — A national bike route being pieced together through the area comes into Clarksville via the Clark Memorial Bridge.

Cyclists would take Riverside Drive, South Clark Boulevard, Lincoln Drive and Lewis and Clark Parkway. From there, they get on U.S. 31, which will take them through Sellersburg, all the way to Uniontown in Jackson County. They then wind through Columbus, Indianapolis, Peru and LaPorte. The route, known as U.S. Bike Route 35, starts at Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan’s upper peninsula. After coming through Indiana, it connects with Kentucky and eventually connects to another route that runs all the way down to Mississippi.

It’s still being developed, said Ginny Sullivan, special projects coordinator for Adventure Cycling Association.

“Indiana — it will incorporate a number of wonderful trails,” she said. “It could be a really great thing.”

The route hasn’t gotten all the approvals it needs just yet.

Mario Vian, policy assistant with the Hoosier Rails to Trails council, began collecting approvals from the various municipalities last year. The Sellersburg Town Council approved a resolution supporting the route in November 2011. The Clarksville Town Council then passed a similar measure in December.

Going from place to place, Vian said he takes suggestions from municipal leaders that might have amendments for how to change the route. Rails to trails isn’t asking the municipal governments to provide signs for the route.

“We don’t want to burden governments with the costs of signs,” he said.

His organization hopes to have all the necessary local government approvals in place before presenting the plan to the Indiana Department of Transportation for endorsement next month.

“This makes the possibility of going from state to state much more likely,” Vian said. “This is for road warriors.”

The route has to be very well defined, Vian said, not theoretical in nature. To see the Indiana portion of the route as it’s currently proposed, visit indianatrails.com/content/usbr35.

Route 35 is a part of a network of bike routes being proposed to provide connectivity around the country. The Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials are among key partners developing that system.

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