First it was country bumpkins in Colorado’s Jefferson County that want to ban cyclists from county roads (or at least have the right to select some roads), now some Iowa ruralites seem to have stuck their head up the same arse.

Radio Iowa is reporting that a group calling itself the “Citizens for Safety Coalition of Iowa” is asking people to sign a petition that asks the legislature to create a ballot initiative for the November 2010 election that would ban bicycles on “farm-to-market” roads. Dan Jones of Van Meter is a spokesperson for the coalition.

Here’s a freakin’ quote for you: “Because of the growth of today’s commerce and agricultural business, shared roadways are no longer safe or practical in today’s society.” Now that’s forward thinking…

In case you’re wondering, “farm-to-market” means non-Interstate highways…basically any highway that connects agricultural and rural areas to towns and cities.  You know, the roads we all like to ride…the ones that so far we’ve had every legal right to ride…the ones that RAGBRAI has used for 37 years for the world’s largest and oldest touring bicycle ride.

If you want to see who to cross off your Christmas list this year, here’s a list of who’s signed the petition.

If you’re a cyclist in Iowa, now’s the time to act.  Call or email your state, county and city elected officials and let them know that you will not support anyone that entertains any legislation banning cyclists from public roads.


  1. kim west on

    we are devoting this sunday’s radio show–from 600 to 700 pm central time–to this guy and his proposal.
    efforts are being made to speak with him, but folks like him don’t see the light of day very often. the guy is
    a gun dealer, too, so that introduces many other conspiratorial side-issues as well.
    listen at or AM1460.

  2. Glenn on

    You know, it’s not that I want to ride on the road with the cars. I would happily ride on a “bike path” if the path went somewhere that I wanted to go. Lets say I want to ride from Cedar Falls to Decorah. Is there a path for that?

    On the subject of licensing? I would pay a license based on weight, just like cars. In Wisconsin, my minivan is $75 a year for license. It weighs about 3800 lbs. So, my road bike should pay a $0.40 license per year. I would be okay with rounding up to a dollar or even two!

    Finally, if this group is truly concerned about health and safety, why aren’t they going after the fast food industry? I’m sure that obesity kills more people in a year than cars. But, I don’t think this is about safety, it’s about their convenience.

  3. Jeff Sovich on

    By Federal law, states, counties, and municipalities are required to make federally funded roadways, except interstate highways, accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. So these proposed bans would be in violation if they include any federally funded non-interstate facilities.

    Also most states define bicycles as legal road vehicles in their vehicular code, although a few specify that bicyclists must ride in bike lanes, sidewalks, or off-street paved trails where they are present. So again there’s a good chance that these proposed bans would run afoul of pre-existing legislation from a higher authority.

  4. Dave on

    The common complaint I read from the pro petitiion crowd was that cyclists were not following the rules of the road & not respecting other road users. I understand we as cyclists have a legislated Right to the road, but unfortunately also a Duty to observe the law & acknowledge the Rights of others. Too often group rides take on a mob mentality & occupy more of the road than that is their entitlement .(please let’s learn to ride in single or double pacelines – it is a skill that distinguishes us AS CYCLIISTS!).

    Discretion will help assure us access to safe road use and minimize these bizzare legilative efforts.


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