Cedar Rapids pushing for a more friendly bicycling community - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids pushing for a more friendly bicycling community


Why drive, when you can ride?

"It's something to do, and it's physical activity, and it's improved my mood," said Alexandra Zagalskaya of Cedar Rapids.

Zagalskaya is happy to see her city invest in the bicycling community.

"It's a great place to bike," she said. 

City leaders would like to see an even greater investment in the future.

Thursday morning Cedar Rapids mayor Ron Corbett was among many taking part in National Bike to Work Week.

It comes at a time city leaders are celebrating a three year fight to be recognized as a bicycle friendly community.  Cedar Rapids became the fifth entity in the state to receive that designation earlier in the week.

"It's a great first step.  We know we still have a lot of work to do, but definitely excited about the designation," said Ron Griffith, project engineer and bicycle coordinator with the city.

The city council has shown its devotion to the issue, creating a bicycle advisory committee and adopting a comprehensive trail plan to be funded through 2040.

So why all the attention?  Many city governments are finding bicycling as a catalyst in creating a vibrant community.

"It's wellness, it's sustainability, you look at the cost of fuel prices.  We're trying to do more with less," Griffith said. 

Further south, Iowa City also boast the title of a bicycle friendly community.  Advocacy groups are pushing for even better accommodations for cyclists, including more designated space on roads, better signage, and better trail connectivity.

"Big cities, like Portland, Oregon, they're a huge cycling community.  They're able to attract a lot of cyclists and progressive thinkers, and I think that's where Iowa City is headed as well," said Nate Van Der Weide, president of Bicyclists of Iowa City.

So what may be a recreational activity twice a week for some, may be a whole lot more accessible to many more in the not too distant future.


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