Bike path expansion could bring younger generation to Davenport

A Pew Research survey found most bike commuters are 16 to 44 years old

DAVENPORT, Iowa - The City of Davenport has unveiled the first draft of its Davenport Go plan. 

It's a mix of bike lanes on the street and mixed-use trails that will work together to connect pre-existing trails. 

There's no word on how much all of it will cost yet, but city leaders hope to finalize the design this month and have an estimate by early next year. 

Tom Donahoe has been commuting to work on his bike for five years. Only extreme hot or cold temperatures can force him into his car. 

"It just puts me in a good frame of mind when I get physical activity on the front and end of every day," said Donahoe, who is also on the steering committee for the Davenport Go plan and a member of the Quad Cities Bicycle Club. "Somebody said once, 'Any day that starts and ends with a bike ride can't be all bad.'" 

Soon more people will be able to easily commute on their bike like Donahoe because the plan creates a grid of pathways for people who don't want to use a car to get around. 

"This really connects the dots so to speak," he said.

Ruby's is a bike bar and repair shop in Downtown Davenport, and a symbol of the bike-friendly movement. 

Owner Ruben Garcia said the plan mirrors ones he's seen in bigger, more bike-able cities. 

"They need a better way to get around town. That's just plain and simple," Garcia said. "They need a better way to get around town. With these bike paths and bike trails, I think it will help."

Garcia said the trails will also help draw a younger generation to davenport. 

A Pew Research survey found most bike commuters are 16 to 44 years old, and these new trails will make it easier for them to commute all over the city on two wheels instead of four.

"You can see the trend," Garcia said. "The trend is turning."

Donahue said the city needs more millennials, whether they are biking to work or not. 

"This plan is something that I think helps us sell our area, or sell this region, to that part of the workforce that we really need to sustain the Quad Cities," he said.


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