Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

July 31, 2013

Interstate bike route coming through region

Route will pass through Miami, Howard and Tipton counties

KOKOMO — Since the American colonies were formed, one constant is how to transport people and goods from one location to another in the fastest and cheapest format.

Rivers and canals were among the first, followed by railroads, roadways and the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s.

There is a national effort to create interstate bicycle routes that will crisscross the country to allow riders the opportunity to explore the nation with an alternative form of transportation.

Work has started on the designated United States Bike Route 35 that will extend from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to either Mississippi or Louisiana, a distance of 500 miles. The Michigan route was dedicated in May 2012.

Route 35 is routed through Miami, Howard and Tipton counties. All three counties and the cities of Tipton and Peru have approved resolutions in support of the route.

Mario Vian with Indiana Trails said the process has taken more than two years to have the route designated in Indiana.

“We hope to have all the designations in the counties done and apply for certification by the end of August,” he said. “At that time [Indiana Department of Transportation] will review the route.”

Vian said there is a 30-day comment period for the public once the review by INDOT begins.

“The idea is to shift people through cities,” he said of the Indiana route. “In that way, the riders will be able to purchase needed supplies, find a place to stay overnight.

“This will be a part of an international route that starts in Canada,” Vian said. “We want to bring money into the communities located along the bicycle route.”

Vian said Route 35 will enter Howard County through Cassville on the Nickel Plate Trail, then connect with county roads and eventually join Ind. 19 through Tipton County.

During the request before the Tipton County commissioners for the designation of the route, Commissioner Phil Heron said he thought it was “neat” that the county was included in the route.

“I like the fact it is coming through Tipton,” Commissioner Joe VanBibber said.

Two other interstate bicycle routes are being planned for Indiana.

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