Pop Up Bike Lanes CR

Pop Up Bike Lanes CR

The City of Cedar Rapids will be installing Iowa’s first protected bike lanes! AND we will be having a sneak preview of the lanes this coming Sunday, August 2nd Noon to 2pm (weather permitting). The protected bike lanes will be installed on 3rd Ave between 3rd St SE and 6th St SW. Part of the one-way to two-way conversions scheduled to complete this October, the City of Cedar Rapids will be adding bike lanes to 3rd Ave inside of the parking and against the curb. This style of bike lane or a “parking protected bike lane” will increase safety and comfort by decreasing the chances of being hit by an opening car door and provide distance and physical separation from moving motor vehicles. Pop-Up Bike Lanes! This Sunday August 2nd between Noon and 2pm we will be holding a real life mock-up of what is to come on 3rd Ave. Between 3rd St and 2nd St, we will be spray chalking in the protected bike lanes and parking cars to create the needed separation. Additionally, the green turn boxes that will provide a safer way to turn left, will be chalked in and guided demonstrations will be provided to all those who stop by during the two hour event. Lastly, we’ll have a get together and raffle off a portable sized bike pump and a pair of Bontrager cycling gloves to all those who stop by and get a raffle ticket. So come down to Red’s Public House (112 2nd St SE, Cedar Rapids) and enjoy a few refreshments and conversation about an Iowa first: The 3rd Ave Protected…
Second Annual MPO Bike Ride

Second Annual MPO Bike Ride

The MPO will be holding its 2nd Annual MPO Bike Ride this coming Saturday, May 30th at 9am. We’ll be meeting at NewBo City Market and riding south down Bowling to a tour of Kirkwood Community College’s hotel and restaurant. From there we will meet up with Ely’s Mayor and tour Ely including a look at the new Hoover Trail Extension coming to Ely next year. We’ll stop at local businesses for refreshments, snacks, and conversation. From Ely we’ll head north on the trail and stop to discuss the prospects of a new trail bridge over the Cedar River into NewBo. After that we’ll wrap up in Czech Village.   The ride will be at a leisurely pace and all are welcome. We will be riding rain or shine (unless there are thunderstorms). RSVP on the Eventbrite page or by emailing Brandon Whyte at...
This weeks #Urbanist Goodreads are about changing the rules

This weeks #Urbanist Goodreads are about changing the rules

This week we learn about the urbanization of the D.C. suburbs, what happens when you tear down elevated freeways, ask if cyclists and drivers need to follow the same rules of the road, learn about why segregation persists, and discover the secret to the longevity of Roman concrete. Skyscrapers in the Subdivision - Next City “More than half of Americans live in suburbs, and about 75 percent of postwar construction has happened in the suburbs. That is a lot of people, and a lot of built environment, for urbanists to just wish away. One hundred and fifty million or so suburbanites have to live somewhere, and preferably not too far from their places of work, which are mostly in the ’burbs, too: More than three-quarters of jobs in U.S. metropolitan areas are located outside the urban core, and 43 percent are at least 10 miles away.” The suburbs are here to stay. As they age how should they redevelop? What Other Cities Learned - D Magazine “In the 1950s and 1960s, cities pushed for highway expansion into their urban cores only to watch those roads facilitate the rapid disintegration of the social and economic value of the inner city. Now, many cities are fighting to remove those same roads. Dozens of cities around the world have torn out or are actively working to remove their urban highways, and in nearly every case, the results are the same: rising property value, increased investment, greater walkability, a decrease in environmental pollution, and a greater desirability in the neighborhoods adjacent to the former road. “ What happens when you tear down a...

Thoughts after a 30 mile bike ride

Saturday, October 4th, I went on the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization bike ride through the Cedar Rapids and Marion metro area. We biked 30 miles, with an 800 foot elevation change, starting at New Bo Market and winding our way through Marion before finishing at Lions Bridge Brewery for some well-deserved beers. Initially my takeaways were; I will never be warm again, and if I ever hear anyone call Iowa flat I will crush them between my newly powerful thighs. Now that I have had time to reflect I have come up with some takeaways that are more constructive for a general audience. I saw a lot of good stuff on the ride The MPO has big plans in the works to increase bicycle infrastructure throughout the area. New bike lanes, trails and bike boulevards are planned as part of a comprehensive trails package. MPO Multimodal Transportation Planner Brandon Whyte and Marion Bicyclist and Pedestrian Coordinator Kesha Williams hosted the ride. The MPO has a huge slate of upcoming projects. Whyte knew his stuff, and talked eloquently and passionately about the variety of what’s coming up. It’s heartening to see that we have a dedicated expert on multimodal transportation in a position to advocate for infrastructure improvements. The ride took us up the future path of the CeMar trail, which will connect downtown Cedar Rapids and Uptown Marion. Right now the official, completed part of the CeMar trail is a half mile of separated trail through a Northeast side neighborhood. When the CeMar is complete the trail will be a mix of separated asphalt trails, bike lanes and boulevards....
22 takeaways about bike commuting in Eastern Iowa

22 takeaways about bike commuting in Eastern Iowa

For some, every week is bike to work week. But, since communities around the country celebrated the nationally designated “Bike to Work Week” on May 12-16 the timing is right to take stock of what resources we have and what we need to truly be bike friendly, and why this is something being pushed by our communities. A group of cyclists in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas agreed to participate in a group discussion about their experiences bike commuting through a Google Hangout on Friday morning. Participants Peter Kaboli, who bike commutes from the east side of Iowa City to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City near the city line with Coralville. Paul Fiegen, who bike commutes mainly on the bike trail from Ely to Intermec Technologies in Cedar Rapids. Matt Barnhart, who lives on the northside of downtown Cedar Rapids and bikes to work at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Helaina Thompson bike commutes in both Cedar Rapids, where she works at NewBo City Market, and Iowa City where she attends University of Iowa. Mark Wyatt lives in Iowa City and bike commutes to the Iowa City Bicycle Coalition offices on the Coralville Strip (Highway 6). And, me. I wrote some last week about a personal challenge to go “car-less in the corridor,” and I shared some of those experiences as someone who lives in Iowa City but spends time in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Why do it? Health: A few people mentioned they like the exercise aspect, and bike commuting is a good way to work fitness into the day. One participant said he started bike commuting as...