Planning staff collecting community survey through December

The Iowa City metro area soon will be cycling into a new era for its bicycle policy, programming and infrastructure.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County is putting together a new Metro Area Bicycle Master Plan to guide improvements that would make cycling safer, easier and more convenient in Coralville, North Liberty, University Heights, Tiffin and portions of unincorporated areas. The effort will compliment Iowa City’s 2-17 Bicycle Master Plan and be adopted next summer.

The new plan would be an update to the 2009 master plan because most of those goals, such as facility upgrades like the Mahaffey Bridge trail, have already been started or even completed. Sarah Walz, an assistant transportation planner, said in the last 10 years there’s been more interest in bicycles, especially with RAGBRAI stopping in Iowa City last summer and the Cyclocross World Cup event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

“I just think communities are little more interested in kind of pushing things a little bit further,” Walz said. “Now it’ll just be looking from getting people from that spine that is the trail system and then out into the neighborhoods and to the other places that they need to go.”

The planning organization will be collecting online public survey results through December. Staffers will follow that up with public meetings in both North Liberty and Coralville in February.

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