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  • Jack Berning
  • Tue December 13 2016
  • Posted Dec 13, 2016

The University of Iowa and Iowa City government are encouraging local residents to reduce their carbon footprint through efforts to make the campus and Iowa City community more bike-friendly.

The city recently hired a biking consultant to complete the city’s “Bike Master Plan,” which will be heavily dependent on public input. The consultant is to begin on the first of the new year, and the plan is expected to be completed by July 2017.

“The city has already put several plans in place, one of those being a ‘road diet’ on Clinton Street,” said Kent Ralston, a city transportation planner. “The road will undergo a lane conversion from four lanes down to three to make room for bike lanes.”

The city is also planning a “road diet” for Madison Street in 2018 and is investigating a similar arrangement for Gilbert Street.

In addition to making bike travel easier on the roadways, the city is also committed to increasing recreational bike paths.

“We are creating a bike path to run from Sunset Street to Mormon Trek Boulevard along Highway 1,” Ralston said. “The city also has a project in the works to complete a trail along Highway 6 between Sycamore and Heinz. [The Highway 6 project] aims a little further out however, scheduled for 2021.”

Data from the 2008-12 American Community survey show that Iowa City ranked sixth in the Midwest for the percentage of people who bike to work, at 3.23 percent. Iowa City also ranked 14th in the country among cities with similar populations, between 65,000 and 100,000.

“I actually don’t even bring my car to school,” UI student and avid bike rider Jack McDaniel said. “With downtown and campus so close to one another, there is really no need to deal with parking, gas, and the other difficulties that come with having a car.”


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