Coralville earned a bronze from the League of American Bicyclists for its bicycle friendliness, making it the eighth Iowan community to received a ranking from the league.
“We’re excited,” said Sherri Proud, the director of parks and recreation for the city of Coralville.
Proud said the city has been working on compiling information and statistics for the application for the past couple years and was pleased to receive the bronze award.
“We really see it as a recognition of the biking amenities we have implemented so far,” she said. “It’s a great way to have someone from an outside organization say, ‘Hey, you are doing great in this area, and here are some areas to work on if you want to move in this direction.'”
According to the report card provided by the league, Coralville would need to improve bicycle-related education in schools and for adults, make high-speed and high-volume roadways more navigable for bicyclists and improve the on-street bicycle network in order to move up to the silver level. The report card also suggested increasing the amount of time city staff spend on improving walking and biking conditions and improving bicycle-friendly laws and ordinances.
Proud said that some of the next steps the city might start looking into in the near future are updating bike-related ordinances, like requiring bike parking areas in some new developments, expanding bike education into schools and planning educational activities for adults.
She said the city also plans to continue expanding its trail system and bike-share lanes.
“For riders that don’t feel comfortable on the road, we have over 24 miles of trails and overwide sidewalks,” she said. “We’ll also be looking at the existing sharrows, and looking at expanding those.”
Of the eight Iowa communities to have earned awards from the league, only Iowa City has come away with a silver. The rest are all bronze level.
“We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels,” Bill Nesper, Vice President of Programs at the League of American Bicyclists, said in a press release published by the City of Coralville.
The Coralville City Council will celebrate the award at its meeting this evening (Tuesday, Dec. 13).