The Prudent Cyclist alerted me to this video about Oregon’s “Scenic Bikeways”.
I love the idea of developing a statewide network of scenic bikeways. In some ways, we’ve already been doing this for years, since planners and engineers tend to assume that cyclists always prefer scenic (rather than direct) routes. It’s not immediately clear to me how the scenic bikeways idea is wholly different than the U.S. Bicycle Route System that is already well underway (other than the obvious statewide vs. national scope). Minnesota’s first contribution to the USBRS is the Mississippi River Trail, which is clearly intended to be a scenic bikeway, as opposed to filling any sort of utility transportation need. We can reasonably assume that anyone traveling over x miles is doing so primarily for recreational purposes, but there is still some value in developing separate systems for both scenic and transportation bicycle travel, though there is likely to be much overlap.