Iowa In Motion


Walking and biking are proven ways to improve the quality of life for all of us, providing healthy alternatives for people to get where they need to go. Many Iowans have embraced bicycling and walking for both recreation and daily transportation. Iowa’s extensive trails system continues to evolve and recreational events such as Iowa's RAGBRAI event each July continues to grow in popularity.

The Iowa DOT and the Iowa Transportation Commission have made a commitment to develop a Bicycle and Pedestrian Long-Range Plan to expand opportunities and further improve conditions for bicycling and walking across the state.

This plan builds upon the State Transportation Plan, Iowa in Motion 2045, which identifies comprehensive transportation objectives as well as specific needs and recommendations for non-motorized transportation.


Our mission is to provide a transportation system that gets people there safely, efficiently, and conveniently. Walking and bicycling are proven ways to improve the quality of life for Iowa’s citizens, providing an essential option for people to reach their destinations. To ensure we remain able to meet our mission over time, we continually evaluate the needs of all users of the transportation system, including bicyclists and pedestrians. In examining these needs, initial stakeholder and public input identified three key objectives for this plan. The plan will:

  1. Serve as the primary guide for Iowa DOT decision-making regarding bicycle and pedestrian programs and facilities.
  2. Help achieve improved project-level coordination within the Iowa DOT.
  3. Provide consistency and mobility for bicycle and pedestrian users statewide.



The most critical concept outlined is the idea of mainstreaming safe bicycling and pedestrian accommodations. That means that as part of our multimodal mission and our regular business practices, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations should be considered in the design and scope for all transportation projects that involve new or improved facilities unless it’s demonstrated that accommodation is not needed. Historically, bicycle and/or pedestrian accommodations were only considered when a need was demonstrated or when promoted by external stakeholders. This plan aligns our policy with federal regulations that require bicycle and pedestrian accommodations be considered in every project that involves a new or improved facility.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that bicycle and pedestrian accommodations will be a part of all transportation projects. There are circumstances where that would not be advisable for various reasons. This plan will help us consistently identify and evaluate cases where it would not be wise to implement those accommodations, so we neither under-include or over-include reasonable accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians. Our overall goal is a flexible approach that balances the needs of all users.


For additional information contact:
Milly Ortiz
Iowa Department of Transportation
Systems Planning Bureau
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-233-7733