Metro Bicycle Master Plan
Since 1968, six bicycle and trail plans have been created by the communities in the Iowa City urbanized area: Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, Tiffin, University Heights, and Johnson County. Today, most of the recommendations identified in those plans have been implemented.
The JCCOG Metro Bicycle Master Plan outlines strategies to create an accessible, coordinated, and comfortable bike network bolstered by targeted education and encouragement programs, and enforcement and policy recommendations that build upon the existing bicycle network. The scope of the plan includes the urbanized area and important linkages to surrounding areas.
This executive summary highlights existing bikeway facilities, community needs, goals and objectives, and recommendations for the urbanized area.
Goals and Objectives
The JCCOG Regional Trails and Bicycling Committee assisted in identifying ten goals to address the findings of this master plan. They provide a framework to plan for the future of the Urbanized Area’s bike network. The goals, in non-priority order, are highlighted below.
Goal 1. Implement the Metro Bicycle Master Plan
Goal 2. Increase the number of people bicycling for transportation and recreation
Goal 3. Improve bicyclist safety
Goal 4. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Goal 5. Improve health and fitness
Goal 6. Education, enforcement, and encouragement
Goal 7. Enhance economic development
Goal 8. Build “Safe Routes to Schools”
Goal 9. Provide bicycle parking
Goal 10. Ensure high quality of service
The plan goals provide objectives that the JCCOG entities should work towards to meet the communities’ current and future bicycling needs. Moreover, the goals respond to suggestions and concerns that arose through the plan development process.
As the bicycle network evolves, prioritizing improvements is a challenge. The master plan recommendations synthesize an inventory of bicycle facilities, input of 24 local staff and elected officials, and priorities identified through the public input process (645 participants). The following system-wide recommendations can be pursued by all communities in the Urbanized Area to become more bicycle-friendly.
Engineering – Install on-street accommodations, which can include the following options depending on site conditions:
- Shared lanes
- Bike lanes
- Wide curb lanes
- Striped shoulders
- Traffic calming
Education – Facilitate bicycle safety through:
- Public service announcements targeted at young adults;
- Drivers’ education classes; and
- Elementary schools’ physical education classes.
Encouragement – Implement a coordinated way-finding system on trails and roadways across the Urbanized Area to assist route finding.
Enforcement – Implement and publicize bike light enforcement program during the fall and offer discount bike lights to encourage safety.
Evaluation – Achieve the platinum “Bicycle Friendly Community” designation from the League of American Bicyclists.
Completion of this plan is the next step toward becoming more bicycle friendly. With careful attention, bicycling will continue to be a viable option both for recreation and commuting.