Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013
Posted: Mon, May 13, 2013
Iowa Public Transit Photography Contest Deadline is June 1st
You have less than three weeks to submit photos documenting the great public transit activity in Iowa! It is a perfect time of year for outdoor photography, so grab the camera and get some pictures of your transit system in action! If you already have good photos on your computer or camera, get them entered!
Information on how to submit your photos is available at http://www.iowadot.gov/transit/2013TransitPhotoContest.pdf.
Whether your photos represent rural or urban transit, mobility management, employee transportation, medical transportation, customer service, facilities, vehicles, bus stops or another transit related category, we want to see and share your transit photography!
Posted: Tue, April 30, 2013
The Iowa Department of Transportation is pleased to announce the release of two new interactive websites for planning travel adventures on Iowa's byways and bicycle trails.
These full-feature sites are ideal for planning trips to explore Iowa's two national scenic byways and nine state scenic and heritage byways along with Iowa's many bicycle trails that crisscross and complement the byways. The byways website is: http://www.iowabyways.org; the bicycle website is: http://www.iowadot.gov/interactiveiowabikemap.htm. Iowa byways website and tour guide
Discover your Iowa adventure at the Iowa byways interactive website. It is loaded with information about the byways, including a route description and its history, contact information, and listing of local events, attractions and travel services. The stunning photography will undoubtedly draw visitors to discover Iowa's scenic, natural, historic and cultural resources. The website is updated regularly by local byway organizations. Come see what Iowa's nationally recognized byways have to offer. You can plan, map and share your adventure, save notes or even send an e-postcard.
The Iowa Byways website offers several unique features:
- Customize your search: This is not your ordinary search option. Visitors can search the site by type (event, attraction or travel service); category (arts and culture, dining, events and festivals, historic sites, natural areas, recreation, and shopping); or cost. The search results can be added to the user's trip; saved as a favorite; or shared using social media.
- Plan your trip details: Sign up for free and then create trips by selecting events, attractions and travel services of interest; or add something from your list of favorites. Once you've finished, you can print an itinerary for your trip; share your trip plans via Google Plus™, email or as a tweet; export the information; or save it for later use.
- Share an e-postcard: Choose a postcard photo from one of the byway galleries. Then add a personalized message and email it to a friend or family member.
- Create your favorites list and make notes: Once you've discovered an interesting attraction or event on the site, save it as a favorite. Then you can add it to a trip, print a list of your favorites, come back to it later or retrieve the information en route using your smartphone.
You can also order a free copy of the Iowa Byways travel guide, or simply print a copy. Iowa interactive bicycle map
One of Iowa DOT's most popular publications, the Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists, is now online. Explore this interactive map to plan your trip and find bicycle trail routes and amenities, right down to available rest stops and restaurants.
Features include trailheads, parking, rest rooms, bicycle shops and other key features.
- Plan your bike trip ahead of time: Simply enter the starting address and destination address and a suggested route will be generated.
- Discover Iowa's bicycle facilities: This interactive map shows bike lanes, paved trails, unpaved trails, roads with paved shoulders, sidepaths and bicycle-friendly roads.
- Locate bicycle amenities: Features such as trailheads, restrooms, and water fountains along trails of 5 miles or longer.
- Need repairs: Bicycle shops are also shown.
You can also request a free Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists.
Posted: Mon, April 29, 2013
With the weather finally warming up, more and more of us, as well as our friends and neighbors, will be pedaling down the streets on two wheels. The Iowa Department of Transportation is joining the League of American Bicyclists to promote May as National Bike Month.
Check around your workplace or community for activities related to these dates:
- Bike to School Day - May 8 (Be sure to register at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/)
- Bike to work week May 13 - 17
- Bike to work day - May 17
If you are heading out on two wheels, here are a few safety tips.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear bright colored clothing, rather than dark colors, especially at dusk and dawn.
- Ride on the right. Ride in the right lane, except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards.
- Never ride against traffic. Always ride with the flow of traffic.
- Obey traffic signs and signals. Use hand signals to advise motorists you plan to turn, change lanes or stop.
- Make eye contact with motorists. Never assume a motorist sees you or that you have the right of way. Expect the unexpected such as: parked vehicles pulling into traffic; vehicle doors opening into your path; and debris on the road.
- At night use a headlight, taillight and reflectors.
- For motorists, safely sharing the road with bicycles includes the following:
- Do not honk your horn at bicyclists. They may be startled and lose control.
- Use extra caution when passing bicycles. Move entirely into the left lane; on a two-lane road, do not pass a bicycle if oncoming traffic is near.
- Be aware that bicyclists might swerve to avoid road hazards. Common road hazards for bicyclists are potholes, debris, drainage grates, railroad tracks and narrow bridges.
- Be careful when opening your vehicle door. Road widths often force bicyclists to ride close to parked vehicles where they may be injured by an opening door.
- When in doubt, yield to bicycles.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is working across the state this spring and summer to determine how many cars, trucks and other vehicles are using the state's roadways.
This year's efforts are concentrated in northeastern Iowa, but occasionally crews will work elsewhere in the state. Many employees will spend peak hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. at one location counting the morning, noon and evening traffic. They count and classify vehicles, record vehicle turning movements, tally helmet usage by motorcyclists, and gather other data necessary to plan the future of Iowa's roadway systems. During off-peak hours when they are not counting vehicles, these employees may be seen around the community.
Other employees will be placing and checking portable traffic recorders in the same general areas. When the recorders are set, they usually record data for one or two days and are checked periodically. Employees responsible for the recorders work various shifts, so their vehicles may be seen at local motels while most of us are going about our regular daytime activities.
Another data collection method involves capturing images of state highways. This program covers half of the state yearly and utilizes a van with two mounted cameras that collect 200 images per mile. At the same time, precise location information is collected through a global positioning system. That data is stored along with the images on the van's onboard computer system. This van may be seen operating on state highways in the northern half of Iowa this year.
Other statewide work scheduled for this summer includes the installation, upgrading and maintenance of permanent, automatic traffic recorders and weigh-in-motion equipment.
All of this work is critical to the future of the state's transportation system. The information gathered allows transportation officials to better predict traffic trends, thus allowing them to plan improvements that will give Iowans the most benefit for each dollar spent.