Former congressman ‘planting seed’ for rail and trail linking Amana-Cedar Rapids-Iowa City

A former Congressman who now has a leadership role on Iowa’s transportation commission says a transportation “triangle” of rail and trail between Amana, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City would thrive, particularly from a tourism perspective. Leonard Boswell, who was appointed to the Iowa Transportation Commission in January after a 16-year run in Congress, wants to see the Amana Colonies, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City connected by light rail with a bike trail that runs alongside. “It’s just not rocket science,” he said. “I think they could have as big of an attraction in those three communities (as in Central Iowa). The three communities are close enough that if Amana does well, Iowa City does well, Cedar Rapids does well. they all do well.” The three cities are each roughly 30 miles apart. As a U.S. representative, Boswell served on the House’s transportation and infrastructure committee, and now he is applying some of that background as vice chairman of the commission, which oversees the Iowa Department of Transportation. In his new role, Boswell has mentioned multiple times that a light rail system and an expanded bike trail network in Eastern Iowa would create economic development opportunities that could bring in people and money and benefit the whole region. “I’m trying to plant the seed over in that direction, I’m trying to plant the seed for a triangle,” said Boswell, of Davis City. “I still think it is an idea that has merit. If those communities put their resources together with a little help, they would have a goldmine.” Over the years, local leaders have discussed but backed off thoughts of a light rail system in…