Des Moines Biking 2006
# of bike lane miles Currently there are 0 miles of bike lanes in the City of Des Moines, but the first two miles of lanes should be painted in early 2006 and will connect the State Fairgrounds with downtown Des Moines.
# of off road trail miles The Greater Des Moines Metropolitan Area and surrounding 8 counties contain approximately 300 miles of existing off-road trails, of which there are 30 miles of off-road trails within the City of Des Moines. An additional 100 + miles of trail are planned for construction in the next 5-7 years in central Iowa. Des Moines has plans to add approx 19 miles of trail to the city over the 5 yrs.
# Bike Racks Numerous bike racks are located at businesses around the metro area, but there are approximately 50 bike racks installed in downtown and other public areas. Plans are for the addition of another 100 racks to be placed at parks, pools, libraries, commercial districts and other public attractions over the next year.
Bike Coordinator? Richard Brown, Bicycle and Trails Coordinator
City of Des Moines, Iowa
Parks and Recreation Department
Bike Maps? Each individual community maintains bike and trail maps, which are updated at different frequencies. The City of Des Moines maintains maps that are updated monthly and are available through e-mail, or on our website: Brochures are printed yearly. Currently a regional trails map is being planned and developed as the first trails map to include all the trails in Central Iowa on one map.
Hazard Report Form? None at this time, but the phone book has a number for citizens to call with complaints or questions.
# of bike rack equipped buses As of September 2005 all buses in the Des Moines MTA system will be equipped with bicycle racks capable of holding two bicycles.
Bikes on Trains? n/a
# Bike shops There are 12 bike shops in the Des Moines Metropolitan Area
- Barr Bicycle & Fitness   (515) 223-6111
- Bike World     (515) 222-1880
- Bike World     (515) 255-7047
- Rasmussen Bicycle Shop     (515) 277-2636
- Bike World Warehouse       (515) 271-9161
- Bill's Cyclery       (877) 459-8523
- Precision Cyclery       (515) 226-0172
- Two Guys Bike Shop       (515) 274-2416
- Boulevard Sports       (515) 255-8433
- Modern Bike       (515) 263-2000
- Urban Cyclery       (515) 279-6278
- Williamson's Bike Shop       (515) 284-0518
% of trips by bike? Total trips by bike are less that 1%.
Bike to Work Day? A yearly Bike to Work Week is held each year during Bike Month. Events during this week included: Bike to Farmers Market, Bike to the Ballgame, Bike to Worship, Ride of Silence, a trail cleanup and Bike to Work Day.
# Colleges The Des Moines Metro Area is home to 13 colleges and universities. Drake University is the major university in the metropolitan area and is attended by approx 5,200 graduate and undergraduate students.
# of Rain/snow days Central Iowa experiences less than 0.1 inch of precipitation per day.
# of days below 45 degrees Every November through March the average daily temperature in Central Iowa is below 45 degrees.
Recycled Bike Program? none
Bike bridges? There are currently 2 major bridges that have a separate facility for bicyclists and pedestrians alongside the auto lanes. There are also 3 major road and river bridges that are used specifically for bicycle and pedestrian traffic and 3 more bridges are currently under construction or renovation. An additional 3 bridges are planned for construction or renovation in the next couple years.
Bridges with Separate Facility for Bikes and Pedestrians:
- Cottage Grove Bridge over I-235
- George Washington Carver Bridge over Raccoon River
Bridges only used for Bikes and Pedestrians
Inter-Urban Trail Bridge over Des Moines River
- Meredith Trail Bridge over Raccoon River @ SW 5th St
- Bill Riley Trail Bridge over Raccoon River
Planned Bridges to be only used for Bikes and Pedestrians
Union Pacific RR Bridge over Des Moines River @ Court Ave
- Principal Riverwalk Bridge over Des Moines River @ Center St Dam
- Meredith Trail Bridge over Raccoon River @ SE 1st St
Bike undercrossings? None currently, but the first bike and pedestrian under crossing is planned to start construction in late 2005 and be completed in early 2006. This under crossing at Fleur Drive will allow users of this major east west trail through the metropolitan area to cross this major arterial street in a safe manner. This under crossing will also connect two major regional parks in Des Moines.
Bike Boulevards? none
Population City of Des Moines: 198,682
Des Moines MSA: 511,878
8 County Region: 728,747
Planned The City of Des Moines has plans to add an additional 19 miles of off-road trails within the city between now and 2012. Also planned are approx 6 miles of bike lanes and the signing of an additional 61 miles of bicycle routes.
Local Bike Activist Organizations?
  • Des Moines Bike and Trails Advisory Committee – This committee is an advisory group to the Des Moines Park and Recreation Board and advises on bike and trail related projects and budgets in an effort to improve trails and bicycling in the City of Des Moines.
  • MPO Trails Roundtable Committee – This group is an advisory group to the local MPO and allows for all entities within the local MPO to talk about bike and trail issues in an effort to coordinate planning, development and funding activities.
  • Iowa Bicycle Coalition - The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is a statewide, nonprofit, bicycle advocacy organization working to promote Iowa cycling as safe and enjoyable recreation and transportation. The Coalition is working to improve cycling conditions by uniting the voices of road riders, mountain bikers, recreation riders, commuters, and anyone else who prefers a bicycle for recreation and transportation.
Your Name and Title or Organization? Richard Brown, Bike and Trails Coordinator
City of Des Moines, I0wa
Parks and Recreation Department
405 SE 20th St
Des Moines, IA 50317
(515) 248-6356
The yearly Mayor’s Annual Ride for Trails attracts over 1,000 bicyclists in support of bicycling and trails in Des Moines.
Kruidenier Trail at Gray’s Lake Park

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