Making it easier to use is key, officials say

Imagine there’s a gate across your driveway, blocking your ability to come and go as you please.

If that gate only opens once an hour, tasks like going to work or getting groceries become an inconvenience. But if the gate opens every 30 minutes or even every 15, it becomes much more manageable.


Efficiency of bicycles

Buses are just one part of the public transportation equation. Cities also are putting resources into bicycle infrastructure.

Brandon Whyte, multimodal transportation planner for the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization — which serves the Cedar Rapids metro area — the city of Cedar Rapids is committed to have more on-street facilities for cyclists.

As streets are improved across the city, bikeways are also implemented. And a network of trails will be completed in the next few years that will better connect cyclists to their destinations.

“Cycling is the most efficient way to travel because you’re burning your own fat,” Whyte said. “There’s efficiency from a dollar perspective and efficiency from simply energy in and energy out. It’s good for the planet from a pollution perspective. It’s good for the road itself in that cyclists don’t create any damage to the road.”

The city of Iowa City also has beefed up its cycling infrastructure in recent years, with more improvements to come.

But Sarah Walz, assistant transportation planner for the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County, said creating a cycling culture is important, too.

That’s why when the League of American Cyclists annually rates how “friendly” a city is to bikes, support of cycling organizations is part of the rubric, Walz said.

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