Central Iowans push for standardized bike laws

Photo by turtlemoon, Flickr

As Iowa continues to look for ways to increase state cycling, cities around Des Moines are contemplating the change to standardized bike laws. Currently, the cities’ varied laws force cyclists to both know and adopt new sets of rules each time they cross into a city. Des Moines area cities have had a mixed response to the proposal.

The Des Moines Register reports:

Des Moines, Urbandale, Clive, West Des Moines and numerous other cities are considering a “model bicycle ordinance” developed by the Metro Advisory Council, a panel of elected leaders from Polk, Dallas and Warren counties. The Iowa Bicycle Coalition has also been a partner.

The goal is to make central Iowa’s trail system truly regional, with the same laws throughout, said Ruth Randleman of Carlisle, a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Roundtable.

“When you do the trails, you’re not looking for those jurisdictional lines,” Randleman said.

Cities have been slow to adopt the model bicycle ordinance, although Carlisle passed it recently. Most cities have long-standing bicycle laws already on the books. The Ankeny City Council declined to adopt it, saying its current ordinance is very similar to the one proposed by the Metro Advisory Council.

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