Road closures, transit and parking for Iowa City RAGBRAI


Help safely welcome thousands of riders and visitors from across the country when RAGBRAI stays overnight in Iowa City on Friday, July 27, 2018.

Cyclists will be enjoying all parts of the City and University of Iowa campus, so caution is urged when driving near the route and in the Downtown area. Plan your commute and travel accordingly. Expect delays due to street closures, and heavy cyclist and pedestrian traffic.

Drivers will notice vehicles on Park Road Bridge. It is still under construction, but will be temporarily accessible to RAGBRAI registered vehicles only. No pedestrians, cyclists or local traffic is allowed on the bridge at any time. Avoid the Dubuque Street and Park Road Bridge area. Traffic will be heavy due to RAGBRAI support vehicles.


Be cautious and on the lookout for bicyclists while commuting to and from work as riders make their way into Iowa City and through the Downtown area, starting early Friday morning. Riders may begin arriving as early at 8 a.m., with the majority arriving between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Support vehicles will begin arriving as early as 5 a.m. and will be using Dubuque Street. Drivers should avoid it.

Iowa City RAGBRAI map

Ride Route

Motor vehicle drivers are asked to avoid the ride route. Some areas will be completely closed, and other portions will intermittently close throughout the day. Entering and crossing roads along the route will be difficult. Traffic cross points on the route include McCollister Boulevard, Highway 6, Kirkwood Avenue, and Burlington Street.

Iowa City RAGBRAI route:

  • South Sand Road/Gilbert Street
  • South Gilbert Street north to Market Street
  • Market Street* west to Madison Street
  • Madison Street south to Iowa Avenue
  • Iowa Avenue west to Riverside Drive
  • Riverside Drive north to Park Road and the main entrance to campgrounds in City Park

*The route in and out of Iowa City is nearly identical. The only difference is that riders will enter using Market Street on Friday, and exit using Jefferson Street on Saturday. View the route map.

Route Street Closures

  • Gilbert Street from Highway 6 to Burlington; expect closures with the flow of bikes
  • Gilbert Street from Burlington to Market Street; closed
  • Gilbert Street from Jefferson to Highway 6; closed to southbound traffic on Saturday only
  • 300 block of E. Market Street between Gilbert and Linn; closed to traffic
  • Iowa Avenue westbound will be reduced to one lane between Madison and Riverside Drive, open to passenger vehicles no large trucks.
  • Riverside Drive from Highway 6 to River Street; closed to northbound traffic

Note: several large charter groups will host thousands of cyclists in the Mercer Park area. To access the camp space, riders will travel Highland Avenue to Lower Muscatine Road to Mall Drive to First Avenue to Bradford Drive. It is advised that drivers avoid this area.

RAGBRAI support vehicle route:

  • Interstate 80, exit south on Dubuque Street (exit 244) to the Park Road Bridge* and across to City Park
  • Once on Dubuque Street, RAGBRAI traffic will be directed to stop at a checkpoint where they will receive further instructions on how to proceed
  • For overflow support vehicles: Take Highway 218, exit north on Old Highway 218 (exit 89), then east on McCollister Boulevard

*Park Road Bridge will only be accessible to vehicles registered with RAGBRAI. No pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles will be allowed on at any time. RAGBRAI Drivers should take note that the bridge is still under construction and proceed with caution. The bridge will close to RAGBRAI registered traffic at 6 p.m. and reopen only to them at 5:30 a.m. before closing again at noon on Saturday.

Map of Friday closures

Accessing Downtown

Downtown Iowa City will host the Book it to Iowa City Bash with headline artists The Jayhawks and Blitzen Trapper. Guests will be allowed to visit local bars and restaurants and openly enjoy food, beverages and special programming within the event’s designated area.

Street Closures 

Set up began at 6 a.m. on Thursday with closures on Iowa Avenue between Clinton and Dubuque streets, as well as Clinton between Jefferson and Washington streets.

All other closures will begin at 3 a.m. Friday morning:

  • Clinton Street from Bloomington to Burlington streets; closed
  • Dubuque Street from Jefferson to Washington streets; closed
  • Linn Street from Iowa Avenue to College Street; closed
  • Iowa Avenue from Gilbert to Clinton streets; closed
  • Washington Street from Gilbert to Clinton streets; closed
  • 300 block of E. College street only accessible from Linn Street


Visitors coming Downtown Friday are encouraged to park in the following ramps:

  • Capitol Street, 220 S. Capitol St.
  • Dubuque Street, 220 S. Dubuque St.
  • Harrison Street, 175 E. Harrison St.
  • Court Street, 150 E. Court St.

The first hour is free in ramps on Capitol and Dubuque streets. The PassportParking app can be downloaded and used for mobile payment at all City meters and some parking garages. To learn more, visit

Visitors should avoid using the Tower Place Ramp, 335 Iowa Ave., due to street closures and volunteer parking, as well as the Chauncey Swan Ramp, 415 E. Washington St., due to the Rummage in the Ramp event, and the Farmers Market, which opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday.


Iowa City buses will offer free rides all day on Friday, July 27. The Downtown Interchange has temporarily relocated to the Court Street Transportation Center, 150 E. Court St., starting Thursday, July 27. Normal service will resume Monday, July 30. More info at

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Give bicyclists room. Do not pass closely. Allow at least 3 feet or move into an adjacent lane.
  • Be patient. Wait to pass bicyclists until you are able to do so safely.
  • Reduce speed when passing. Even if there is a bike lane, an opening car door or crack in the road may cause a bicyclist to swerve unexpectedly.
  • Check blind spots. Make sure to check your blind spots before making turns and before opening car doors if parked on the street.

Stay Connected

For the latest updates, RSVP to the Book It to Iowa City Bash Facebook event, and follow Iowa City RAGBRAI on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To learn more, visit

Special thanks to our event sponsors Hills Bank, Promote Iowa City Area, INC, Mercy Iowa City, MediRevv, Iowa City Area Association of Realtors, The Graduate Hotel, MC Ginsberg, UIHC Men’s Health, MidWestOne Bank, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, West Bank, University of Iowa Health Care, Big Grove Brewery and Taproom, FilmScene, GEICO, OPN Architects and the Iowa Soybean Association.

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