MOTORISTS URGED TO USE CAUTION DURING RAGBRAI
(ATLANTIC) Thousands of bicycles will be hitting the road this weekend for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. This Sunday, riders will be making their way from Glenwood to Atlantic for their first overnight stay.
Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green said they are taking a number of steps to keep people as safe as possible this weekend. He warns motorists to be aware and drive like there are 15,000 bicycles on the roadway.
“The only way we can really keep them safe is for our local public, as well as the RAGBRAI personnel, to just realize that they’re going to have to take their time getting places, that there is going to be congestion and that there are going to be bicycles coming out of nowhere,” said Chief Green.
Chief Green said it would be best to completely avoid Highway 6 from Lewis to Atlantic on Sunday. “The reason being is there is such an influx and such a volume going to be coming up there and the shoulders of the road have rumble strips on them so it’s very difficult for the bicyclists to ride those rumble strips and after that there isn’t much shoulder for them to get over on, so a car coming down the roadway will obviously be a hazard,” said Chief Green. “It would be faster, literally, for people to take a different, longer route, to get to where they are going because they will have to drive so slowly going down highway 6 that it would take forever just to get to Lewis.”
And, with the hot weather forecast for this weekend, keep an eye out for anyone who may look ill. Chief Green said if you notice someone with symptoms of heat illness, give them some water and call for help.
“There are just a lot of things that we can do to put our best foot forward, be good hosts, it’s a large sporting event and for it to come to our town it’s truly an opportunity to put out the welcome mat and show them our best,” said Chief Green.
Chief Green said there will be road closures on 29th Street from Willow to Highway 6, and 22nd Street from Sunnyside to Highway 6. Officers will be in the area to keep watch and direct traffic.
All RAGBRAI support vehicles will use I-80 Exit 57. The traffic will come into Atlantic on Olive and then be directed to their campgrounds from Olive Street. Due to the large number of support vehicles, local traffic should avoid exit 57 and Olive Street.
Other areas of congestion include 10th Street between Olive and Highway 6, Sunnyside Park, Cass County Fairgrounds, and Roosevelt Drive.
On Monday, the riders will be leaving Atlantic by traveling from Sunnyside Lane to 6th Street, north on Front Street, and then proceeding north on Marne Road (Highway 173) to Elk Horn.