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Iowa City resident Bob Oppliger is advocating for the creation of a bike advocacy committee for Iowa City to more effectively represent the interests of all ranges of cyclists in future city development and policymaking.

Oppliger is a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County’s Regional Trails and Bicycling Committee and is a board member of the League of American Bicyclists, a nonprofit organization promoting bicycle education and bicycle-friendly urban development in cities across the nation.

Iowa City also has an internal Bicycle Advisory Committee that Oppliger is not on, he said. He thinks the Regional Trails and Bicycling Committee and the Bicycle Advisory Committee should merge into a single, more effective committee, he said.

Iowa City was designated a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists in 2013, a title the city still holds seven years later.

The League plans to re-evaluate Iowa City in 2021 to renew its Silver Level standing or give the community a new ranking based on how well the city represents what the League calls the six “E’s”: Engineering, Education, Equity, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation.

Oppliger said the creation of a more cohesive bike advocacy committee could help Iowa City reach the League of American Bicyclists Gold-Level distinction.

Iowa City implemented a comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan in 2017 to set the framework for becoming a Gold-Level in the future, which lays out detailed maps of relevant bike data and objectives for fulfilling each of the League of American Bicyclists six “E”s.

In a letter to the Iowa City City Council, Oppliger said the pursuit of a friendlier biking environment has additional benefits for the larger community, beyond those directly impacting cyclists.


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