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. Continue reading

New website promotes Iowa’s energy-saving efforts

A new website looks to promote the energy efficiency efforts of central Iowa cities. ShareGoodEnergy.org was created as part of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant received by Des Moines, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Ankeny. The Des Moines register reports that in addition to displaying the energy-saving accomplishments of these four cities, the website also offers advice on how other cities can enact similar environmental practices:

The creation of the site is the result of a more than $1.1 million from the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. As recipients of the grant, the cities were required to communicate with residents and business owners about their efforts to reduce energy consumption, West Des Moines city planner Aaron Chittenden said. Continue reading

Ankeny family builds top notch eco-friendly home

Tammie Krausman and Derek Dautremont outside their home with their two children, Sophia and Oliver. Photo courtesy of the Des Moines Register.

Tammie Krausman and Derek Dautremont did not necessarily set out to build a home that would set the green bar so high. But they wanted a home that would last and wound up with an award-winner. 

The Des Moines Register reported last Friday that the couple had received a five-star Energy Star certification and a bronze green certification from the National Association of Homebuilders. 

It’s green amentities include a furnace that runs on 80% less energy, which has cut their heating bill to a mere $106 per month.  The contractors from Emerald Homes worked with the couple’s budget to create a home they could grow into that would resist erosion and last a lifetime.  Continue reading