The effort to make Des Moines a more bike friendly city is taking a new turn.
More and more Iowans are using bikes as another way to get around town. Now the city of Des Moines says it wants to connect the dots between recreational areas and downtown businesses.
“I save money, I commute, I can’t think of a better way to get from one point to another,” says biker Bill Lorenz.
The Iowa Department of Transportation gave the Downtown Bicycle Facility Project a $240,000 grant. The money will be used to improve streets, making them safer for bikers.
The upgrades will include new bike lanes and shared lane use in downtown. Seven streets are targeted for changes. New lanes will be added on both Grand Avenue and Locust Street running between East 4th and East 17th Streets. Plans also call for extending the current bike lane along Ingersoll Avenue to 17th Street. Walnut Street will get a lane between Water Street and 5th Avenue. Another bike lane would go in along Cottage Grove between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and 19th Street.
“So instead of those bicycles and vehicles mixing in the same lane as much it’s going to provide a dedicated…to call out a place where bikes should ride and call out a place to motorists visually, this is where I expect bicycles to be,” says Jennifer Bohac, Des Moines Traffic Engineer.
The project will start this July.