Iowa Attempts to Ban Bikes


We the undersigned are Iowa residents who urge our Legislature to support a ballot initiative for the November 2010 election which will prohibit bicyclists from using state and county defined farm-to-market roads.

A farm-to-market road is a state or county road which serves to connect rural or agricultural areas to market towns.

Over the past ten years the number of bicyclists using these farm-to-market roads for recreational purposes has increased dramatically as have the number of preventable accidents and fatalities.

Rural commerce and citizens are significantly impacted when forced to share the farm-to-market roadways with bicyclists. Because of the growth of today’s commerce and agricultural business, shared roadways are no longer safe or practical in today’s society.

So please if you are a resident of Iowa join us and lets make our roadways safe. Thanks for your time and your support.

All questions and comments can be sent to

Found this on Urban Velo. The comments on the site are definitely head shakers.

11 replies
  1. john
    john says:

    Many comments in the spirit of these:
    “The days are long gone when cars can share the road with a bike.”

    “I’m tired of driving along at 45 to 55, then having to hit the brakes behind a group of bicyclists hogging the driving lane.”

    “Bicyclists increasingly are becoming a menace and a danger to themselves and the rest of us.”

    “Keep the bicycles on the bicycle trails, that is why they were built.”

    The POLITICS of mobility marches on and provides more power for car buyers via “clash for clunkers”. The anti-bike attitude marches on and is getting stronger via government subsidies.

  2. Keri
    Keri says:

    Seems like there was a flap around this time last year in IOWA, too. A county tried to kill organized rides after a cyclist fell and died as a result of hitting a road defect during RAGBRAI. His family sued and won a large award. This sent county leaders into a tizzy that they’d have to maintain the roads to a higher standard. Of course, there was never a similar push to ban cars from the roads when motorists have wrecked due to road defects and won lawsuits (a far more common occurrence!).

    Anyway, here’s an alternative petition (with better comments).

  3. john
    john says:

    No doubt there are always two sides to every story and various opinions of what is right and wrong. In another midwest town, cyclists complain thet they are not wanted on roads and now bike paths too? What speed is “too fast” when passing a pedestrian on a cycling path?

    “If I see you traveling at a high rate of speed and you’re passing people, not being considerate of others and causing almost collisions, you can get a ticket and possibly got jail for it,” said Park Ranger Keith Kaiser.

    Deterrence is not banning but it can take many forms from negative attitudes of drivers to law enforcement subjectively defining “responsible riding”. Slow riding and considerate cyclists are being stopped and warned. Meanwhile dog walkers with head phones and leashes crisscross the lanes, walk freely and uninhibited from one side of the trail to the other.

    Just thought you may find this of interest. The problem with such comments as “we’re considering the safety of everyone” rarely includes the inherent problems between 4000+ pound vehicles driving over the speed limits and cyclists attempting to STR.

  4. Eliot
    Eliot says:

    The comments on the petition make me very sad.

    Demands that cyclists need to pay the same fees to use the roads and that cyclists need to be on the “expensive” bike paths are particularly ridiculous.

    As I’ve heard a few times over on Cycle*Dallas, we really do need better advocates.

  5. Keri
    Keri says:

    From John’s link…

    You can be ticketed $1000 because a park ranger thinks you’re going too fast on the trail? How much is the ticket for an automobile driver exceeding the speed limit on the road? And that’s after they get a leeway of 10-15mph…

  6. Ed W
    Ed W says:

    I haven’t read Iowa’s laws regarding petitions, but I’d be surprised if a web-based petition like this is valid in that state or any state. Oklahoma has a law that requires petitions be signed by a certain percentage of the population, and that those signatures can be verified with names and addresses. This means the petitions must be actual physical documents, not a web based application. In addition, those circulating the petition must be residents of the state.

    Now, as I said, that’s the case in OK, but it’s very likely that Iowa has something similar. If so, this petition site is no more than an opportunity to allow certain interests to blow off some steam.

  7. Ed Hillsman
    Ed Hillsman says:

    I am saddened by the petition and the comments on the petition site. I lived in Iowa for 5 and a half years while I was in graduate school. Lacking a car, I got around by bike, including some long rides out of town to see what all was out there. Cycling was no big deal. The Iowa of that time was a lot more tolerant and civic-minded than what I read on the petition site.

  8. rodney
    rodney says:

    They must be inhaling the ethanol fumes out there in “corn country”!

    Wait until fuel gets so limited and expensive that bicycles will be the only way to get the produce to market.

  9. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    THIS should be the #1 fight for all advocacy groups — anything that is banning cyclists from their rights to the roads needs to be fought by ALL cyclists. All other advocacy issues come in a distant second to this ….

Comments are closed.