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Waterloo Council to consult with CF on bicycle ordinance changes

Waterloo Council to consult with CF on bicycle ordinance changes

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WATERLOO — The city put the brakes on a new bicycle ordinance in hopes of reaching a consensus with Cedar Falls.

Waterloo City Council members agreed Tuesday to postpone voting on the ordinance for two weeks after concerns were raised about neighboring cities having different rules for cyclists.

“I strongly recommend that you table this ordinance until you can have a consensus view with other entities in the Cedar Valley,” said resident and avid cyclist Bob Recker.

“It would be nice for the public to know that the rules are the same no matter where you go,” Recker said. “I do think that presents the image of the Cedar Valley that we would like to present to the public.”

Roger White, who serves on a number of cycling boards in the area, said an ordinance a committee proposed to the city of Cedar Falls is different than the one presented in Waterloo. Cedar Falls City Council members have not voted on that recommendation.

White attended the Waterloo meeting because he was concerned about what he viewed as inadequate requirements for cars passing bicycles on the road, a ban on electric bikes on trails and a right-turn signal. Those issues were all addressed in the proposed Cedar Falls ordinance.

“Generally I am certainly applauding what you started here,” White said of the proposal.

Council members Steve Schmitt and Sharon Juon both voiced support for working with Cedar Falls on the ordinance. Mayor Quentin Hart asked White to help coordinate a dialogue between the cities.

“The season is coming up pretty quickly,” Hart said.

Councilman Pat Morrissey, who has worked to replace the city’s vintage 1941 bicycle ordinance, first pushed for its adoption, noting the ordinance could be amended in the future if necessary.

“I believe Cedar Falls and any other community would be proud to have this ordinance on board, the basics that we have here,” he said. “… This is all about bicycle safety and setting guidelines and rules of the road for bicycles, something that the 1941 ordinance didn’t provide.”

The proposed Waterloo ordinance consolidates state requirements for bicycle operations on public roads but adds additional safety regulations.

Some of the new rules included safety flags for low-profile bikes, age limits for electric assisted bicycles and equipment requirements.

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A proposed ordinance relating to bicycles and their use is up for consideration by the Waterloo City Council.

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