NEEDLES — The city of Needles is trying to join the bicycle tourism mania that has spread out to all of the United States. Needles City Council has approved a a resolution that authorizes the posting of signs within the city identifying a bike route through the community.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has designated a corridor crossing California to be developed as United States Bicycle Route 66 (USBR 66). The Adventure Cycling Association and the California Bicycle Coalition, with the cooperation of Caltrans, have proposed a specific route to be designated as USBR 66. The proposed route comes through Needles and can therefore provide benefits to residents and businesses.

“Caltrans is identifying a Route 66 bike route. There will be no cost to the city and everything will be done entirely by them,” said Rick Daniels, city manager. “They’re the ones that are going to be putting up the signs, (creating) marketing pieces, and putting together the route that people can follow. So there’s no cost on our part but they needed our permission to get the signage up around the city.”

The general route for USBR 66 in California is from Santa Monica pier to Needles. The route continues through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois to Chicago. This bike trail is part of ongoing efforts to connect states through cycling routes.

“To date, over 11,000 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes have been officially designated in 24 states,” the Adventure Cycling Association states on their website (https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/us-bicycle-route-system/). “When complete, the USBRS will encompass more than 50,000 miles of routes and open up amazing new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional bicycle touring, and commuting by bicycle. This developing bicycle route network will not only create better riding conditions and more visibility for cycling across the country, it will also grow bicycle tourism and local economies with very little investment. With more than 40 states working to develop routes, the U.S. Bicycle Route System is connecting people, communities and the nation.”

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