The City of Waterloo, Iowa, has taken the first step in creating a fully integrated bicycle transportation system. The system will eventually connect the entire city and beyond through the trails network, designated bike routes, and bike lanes.
The Park Avenue Bike Friendly Corridor is a 0.85 mile stretch of road from South St. to Walnut St. in the heart of downtown Waterloo. Formerly, the street offered four lanes of motorized vehicle traffic. The new Bike Friendly Corridor incorporates two lanes of motor vehicle traffic with two designated bike lanes. Parking has been moved away from the curb and serves as a barrier between vehicles and bicycles.
The goal of the Bike Friendly Corridor is to increase bicycle accessibility to all areas of the city by creating a central connection point linking trail systems, designated bike routes, and bike lanes, while improving safety.
A fully integrated bike transportation system will better meet the needs of a growing number of citizens who choose or rely on biking as a means of transportation. The Park Avenue Corridor also provides better access to popular venues and events frequented by visitors and recreational bike riders.
The Park Avenue Corridor project also heightens awareness of the growing number of bicycles sharing the roadways and provides opportunities to educate motorists and cyclist on proper use of the roadway.
The City is launching Bike Friendly Waterloo, a campaign to inform and educate the public on the proper use of the Park Avenue Corridor and general bike traffic awareness. The campaign will include a series of demonstration events, educational videos, a digital media strategy including Facebook and website, and print pieces outlining detailed instructions for motorists and cyclists.
Throughout the month of August six demonstrations will be offered, led by seasoned cyclists from across the Cedar Valley. A booth will be set up at each event where residents can review materials and ask questions. It will serve as a gathering point for demonstrations. The demonstrations will be bicyclist-focused, with information provided for drivers as well. Some of the topics to be addressed include: understanding symbols and signs, following pavement markings, proper parking procedures, and intersection interaction.
The first demonstration will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 17th, at the Riverloop Expo Plaza. The demo will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Ambassadors at the corner of Park Avenue and Bluff Street. Cyclists who participate in the weekly ride from the Waterloo Bicycle Works will depart through the cut ribbon for a loop to Cedar Falls, returning to SingleSpeed Brewing Company for the weekly Bike Night event where educational materials will also be distributed. The public is invited to attend.
On Friday, August 18th demonstrations will be available in Lincoln Park during the first hour of FridayLoo from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, August 19th demonstrations will be available at the Waterloo Downtown Farmers Market in the Riverloop Expo Plaza from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
On Friday, August 25th demonstrations will be available at the Riverloop Amphitheater for the first hour of the Riverloop Rhythms event from 5:30 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
On Sunday, August 27th demonstrations will be available from 10:00 a.m. – Noon at SingleSpeed Brewing Company, 325 Commercial Street, Waterloo.
Those who cannot participate in the scheduled events and would like a private demonstration may send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Traffic Department at (319)291-4440 for scheduling with volunteers. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00am-3:00pm.
Educational pieces and videos, and more information about the Bike Friendly Waterloo Park Avenue Corridor project can be found www.cityofwaterlooiowa.com/bikefriendlywaterloo.