116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - Officials from Iowa City are crafting a bicycle master plan and they are looking for input.
Area residents can weigh in during an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St. Sarah Walz, an assistant transportation planner with the city, said staff members hope to hear from avid cyclists and residents who casually ride bikes, as well as secondary school and university students.
'The idea is to get as broad of feedback as possible,” Walz said. 'People shouldn't feel like they have to be avid cyclists to participate.”
The meeting is to begin with an overview of the planning process and then residents should have the opportunity to give input at various stations. For example, attendees can identify problem areas on maps or learn about potential facilities that could be included in the master plan.
Anne Duggan, president of Think Bicycles of Johnson County, said her organization has worked with city officials to consult on cycling issues. She said it's important to engage residents who may be interested but nervous about biking around town.
'If they ride only downtown to the music in the summer, that's totally cool,” Duggan said. 'There's just a huge range of people that ride bikes and we're trying to reach a lot of them.”
Duggan said the city's bikability over the years has 'waxed and waned” but she's seen things improve recently - the city installed a large bike parklet downtown and added bicycle friendliness to its strategic plan. She said, however, there are still a few problem areas the bicycle community is concerned about, which could be addressed in the master plan.
She said much of it has to do with safely connecting parts of the city for those on bicycles - especially if cyclists want to get from the west side into downtown. She also mentioned that those riding bikes to the Johnson County Fairgrounds may feel nervous riding next to fast-moving cars on Riverside Drive and Old Highway 218.
'I'm hoping to pull together all the parts of the city so people feel comfortable to ride wherever,” Duggan said.
For residents who cannot attend the open house but would still like to give input, the city designed a bicycle master plan page on its website, icgov.org. There, residents can take a survey and map out ideas for about one more month.
Walz said she expects additional public input sessions beginning in March but those will be more focused on refining specific ideas than creating them.
Walz added she believes it's a good time to focus on the bicycle community because she's heard other communities in the area are doing the same and events like RAGBRAI and Iowa City's cyclocross World Cup competition last summer bring attention to cycling.
'I feel like there's a lot of momentum and this is a really great time to be doing the plan,” Walz said.
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If You Go
' What: Open House to collect input on Iowa City's bicycle master plan
' When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday
' Where: Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St., Iowa City
' Info: icgov.org