extra extra…

We were recently interviewed for a Daily Iowan article on the new bike boxes in Iowa City. Below we share our extended answers in the first of 8 posts.

Do you feel safe biking in Iowa City, why or why not?

Asa: Yes and no, I grew up in rural Iowa biking on 2 lane highway and gravel roads/shoulders, so Iowa City is way safer than that.  That being said, Iowa City has average-at-best cycling infrastructure, including misplaced bike lanes and sharrows, and driver’s education about how to drive around cyclists and what is expected of cyclists/what rights cyclists have is as poor as anywhere else.

Michael: Iowa City is a fairly safe city to bike in. I feel as though the main reason for this is the sheer number of cyclists that motorists have to interact with. Look no further than how everyone interacts together downtown & around campus versus on the outer parts of town. Iowa City’s bicycle infrastructure is a mixed bag that helps & hinders cyclists. Ill-placed bikelanes & sharrows that are in the doorzones of parked cars are prime examples of the City putting cyclists in harm’s way.

Pete: Yes. I always have. I grew up in a much larger city where riding on the road was always acceptable, and there was a nice blend of dedicated paths. Here in Iowa City, the roads feel safe as long as I ride in a manner that helps ensure my visibility. Riding in the middle/to the left of the lane, bright lights at night, riding quickly with the flow of traffic. I don’t think the same is said for everyone. I don’t think that Iowa City has done much for bicycle ridership, treating it more of an afterthought. I think that Iowa City bike culture has been created and crafted by dedicated riders who have refused to be bullied by their gas guzzling counterparts. I think we would see a dramatic increase in ridership if the city put more of an emphasis on non motorized use of roadways. Better signage, better paint, a more cohesive bike plan, and for that matter, a better flow of car traffic. All of those things would help riders feel more safe on Iowa City roads. But, as in most of America, roads are built and maintained to be used by motor vehicles and everything else is secondary.

Bike lane in doorzone

Debris in bike lane

Awesome sharrows

Thank you to Clinton Garlock for originally posing this question. Extra thanks to Pete for taking the time to share his thoughts while taking a break from the shop. Comment your own answers below, we’d love to hear your experiences and insights!

~ by michael on December 23, 2020.

One Response to “extra extra…”

  1. “Bike lane in doorzone” is why I like narrow drop bars. When the feds cough up whatever it turns out to be I’ll drop by to take some interior pictures and hawk a DeBernardi you might like to sell.

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