It’s Bike to Work Day, and the state transportation department’s doing its part. Transportation planner Stan Peterson says more communities all the time are building bicycle trails. A lot of cities have bike paths but many also have marked bike lanes on their roadways, so a two-wheeler should be aware of the local situation before you go out there. Know your procedures, too, like signaling, and the planner says bikers should know they have rights to the roads. Bicyclists have the same rights as autos and trucks on the highways — under Iowa code, Peterson says they have the same right to be on the highway as any motorized vehicle. One exception — there are no bicycles allowed on the Interstate highway system. There’s a transportation map just for bicyclists, and Peterson says 200-thousand copies have been sent to people who requested them. It shows all the highways in the state and is color-coded according to the average daily of traffic on each road — from green lines indicating very little traffic, up to red meaning there are more than 10-thousand vehicles a day. That’ll give a biker an idea how comfortable they may be riding on roads with that much competing auto traffic. The department’s in the process of compiling its first bicycle-and-pedestrian plan, wrapping up a 60-day comment period as it puts “some more meat on that skeleton” of the rough draft and then will go ask for more comments. Peterson says a biker should be aware of their own capabilities as well as the situation along their route before setting out.
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