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Report: Central Iowa trails busiest in May – Bike Month


The month of May – Bike Month – was the busiest month of the year in 2016 for the paved trails of Central Iowa, according to the Trails Count 2016 report.

More than 1.3 million uses were counted at 38 locations throughout the region in 2016 as part of the Central Iowa Trail Count Program of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Brown’s Trail Head was the most frequented location of a trail counter, with an average of more than 400 uses per day. The High Trestle Trail in Ankeny, the Raccoon River Park Loop in West Des Moines, and the Clive Greenbelt at Chautauqua Grounds were also highly used, each of them averaging more than 200 uses daily.

“The trails are a significant attraction for people in Central Iowa – and an important asset for the region,” MPO Executive Director Todd Ashby said. “Trails contribute to public health, economic development, and workforce attraction.”

The program targeted trail locations outside the city of Des Moines, which counts trail uses separately. The city estimated more than 5.5 million additional uses on trails within its city limits in 2016.

The full report is at For more information, call or email 515-334-0075 or

Prep Iowa

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) acts as a regional forum to ensure coordination between the public and local, state, and federal agencies in regard to planning issues and to prepare transportation plans and programs. The MPO develops both long- and short-range multimodal transportation plans, selects and approves projects for federal funding based upon regional priorities, and develops methods to reduce traffic congestion.

REMINDER: The Planners’ Bike Ride and unveiling of the new Iowa Data Bike is coming up on Saturday, May 20.

WHERE: Event and bike ride start at Carney Marsh Nature Reserve, 580 SE 54th St., Ankeny; parking is available nearby at the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, 1735 NE 70th Ave., Ankeny

Bike ride ends at Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company, 101 Main St. NE, Bondurant

WHEN: Saturday, May 20

2 p.m. – Iowa Data Bike Unveiling

2:15 p.m. – Depart Carney Marsh

~3:30 p.m. – Arrive at Reclaimed Rails (return to Carney Marsh at your own pace)

WHO: Ben Champ, American Planning Association, Iowa Chapter

Todd Ashby, Des Moines Area MPO

Andrea Boulton, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

RSVP: Please RSVP at Media can RSVP at

WEATHER The event will proceed as planned if there is light to moderate rainfall. The event will be cancelled if there is heavy rainfall or lightening.

WAIVER: Participants in the bike ride will be required to sign a waiver

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