​We have been notified that Dubuque County is drafting an events ordinance to require permitting of large scale events similar to the one adopted in Iowa County, Wisconsin in the past year.  Details are not clear at this time.  The Iowa Bicycle Coalition has left messages for Dubuque County officials, but have not had a call returned at this time.

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition has many questions on this ordinance, but the immediate question is why take such an action?  The Times Herald article says, “All we’re trying to do is make sure people who are going to be using the roads will work with the sheriff’s department and the highway department.”, but, “Dubuque Sheriff’s Capt. Dale Snyder said he usually is notified in advance…”.  

Another primary concern is if the ordinance will comply with the Code of Iowa.  321.236 states local authorities have the power to regulate bicycle operations, but cannot conflict with 321.234 giving bicycles the same rights and duties as motor vehicles.  If a group of cars can use a public road, then a group of bicycles, following the​ same​ traffic laws should be able to do the same.

We have more questions than answers at this point. We are eagerly awaiting more information from Dubuque County officials.  We hope there are opportunities to work with Dubuque County to create a set of guidelines to enhance bicycle related events and increase the positive economic impact to the area.

Dubuque County Special Events Ordiance – click to read.