With classes back in session, the City of Iowa City is eager to welcome new cyclists to our community. As Iowa's only Silver-designated Bicycle Friendly Community, we have miles upon miles of trails for cyclists to explore, and plenty of infrastructure to get you to and from school, work, or home safely. 

Here are some tips to help keep yourself and your bike safe:

When Riding

  • Wear a helmet and other safety gear when riding bikes, scooters or skating and skateboarding. Studies show helmets can cut the risk of head injury in half.
  • Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing. 
  • Know and obey the rules of the road, learn more at www.bikeleague.org.
  • Always ride with traffic, never against it. 
  • Parents should be aware of where their children are going. 
  • Cyclists must respect traffic signs and signals, travel the right direction on one way streets, stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and use lights at night.

Protect Your Bike

  • Register your bike with the Iowa City Police Department. The ICPD can use your registration information to help recover your bicycle if it is lost or stolen. Stop by the Police Department at 410 E. Washington St. to register and pick-up your registration sticker. You'll need the serial number, which can typically be found under the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet.
  • Take a photo of your bike. Be sure to note any distinguishing features or equipment. This will help officers locate your bike should it be stolen.
  • At home, keep your bike inside or lock the frame to a permanent fixture. 
  • When downtown, use approved bike racks.  
  • Remove accessories when the bike is unattended. 
  • If your bike is stolen, report it immediately and provide the serial number on the report.

Biking Downtown

According to City ordinance, riding bikes, roller skates, in-line skates, skateboards or other similar 
wheeled devices are not allowed on sidewalks inside the Central Downtown Business District (CDBD) of Iowa City, including the Pedestrian Mall.

The CDB District is the area bordered by East Burlington Street to the south, North Capitol Street to the west, East Jefferson Street to the north and South Gilbert Street to the east.

Those who are found to be using a bike or other unapproved wheeled vehicle on downtown sidewalks are subject to a fine.

More Resources

For more information, including trail maps, how to navigate bike boxes and lanes, Bicycle Rules of the Road offered in multiple languages, and informational videos on a variety of topics including registering your bike and hand signaling, visit this resource page.

Date of publication

Thursday, August 26, 2021

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