The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Posts Tagged ‘Bicycle-friendly status’

New era begins in Cedar Rapids transit: Forget ‘remanufactured;’ city buys four new buses; and, of course, they come with bike racks

In City Hall on July 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

The city has added four brand-new buses to its bus fleet, a move that marks the city’s first purchase of new, heavy-duty, non-experimental buses in more than 20 years, reports Brad DeBrower, the city’s transit manager.

The four new buses replace ones built in 1978.

DeBrower’s predecessor was an advocate of “remanufactured” buses, which are used buses that are overhauled before being returned to the streets.

The city did launch a trial in 1996 with nine new experimental electric buses, but the venture never worked. The city unloaded the buses a year ago for salvage.

The four newly arriving buses each cost $322,000, 83 percent of the cost of which is being paid by the Federal Transit Administration.

The new buses will sport bicycle racks as do 85 percent of the city’s bus fleet.

With a plan to secure bicycle-friendly status on its mind, City Hall moves to fix year-old flood damage to city trails

In City Hall, Floods on June 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm

There has some talk here in recent weeks and months about the city’s ambition to win a designation from the League of American Bicyclists as a bicycle-friendly city.

The city intends to submit a formal application to the League in August.

The enthusiasm in trying to secure such a cool-factor designation stands in contrast to the speed in which the city has moved to a repair section of the heavily used, flood-damaged Cedar River Trail below Czech Village.

The pace of the trail repair prompted City Council member Pat Shey some weeks ago to wonder if work couldn’t get moving on the project.

The City Council now has set a public hearing for its June 24 meeting to discuss the plans for repairing flood damage not only to the Cedar River Trail, but also to the Sac and Fox Trail and to the Ellis Trail. The work, estimated to cost $330,000, also will include fixes to the A Street SW levee, reports Rob Davis, the city’s engineering manager.

As now scheduled, bids on the work will be opened July 2. Construction will start Aug. 10 with the priority to be the Cedar River Trail. All construction should be done by September, Davis says.

As sections to the trails are complete they will be formally opened for use.

City’s pursuit of cool, bicycle-friendly status needs you: Thursday evening event will help define where future bike routes should go

In City Hall on April 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

There is a reason that no city in Iowa currently holds the standing with the American League of Bicyclists as a bicycle-friendly city.

It’s hard to accomplish.

The City Council here, though, wants to try to achieve the bicycle-friendly status just as cities like Madison, Wis., Ann Arbor, Mich., Eugene, Ore., and Fort Collins, Colo., have achieved it.

In that effort, the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee is holding a workshop/open house on Thursday evening to work on a plan of action to secure bike-friendly status.

Thursday’s event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the African American Museum of Iowa, 55 12th Ave. SE.

Those who attend will help the committee identify desired bicycle routes and amenities along the routes.

Participants also will address the five “E’s that are part of being bicycle friendly: engineering, education, encouragement, evaluation and planning and enforcement.

For more information, contact Ron Griffith, a city traffic engineer and the city’s bicycle coordinator, at 286-5154 or