Perry residents, RAGBRAI Committee members, volunteers and city employees are ready and waiting for the whirlwind of 25,000-plus bicyclists and support vehicles to begin rolling into town Monday. The ‘moving city’ will remain in Perry overnight and leave on Tuesday morning.
Riders will be coming to Perry after an overnight stop in Harlan on Sunday. The overnight stop Tuesday is Des Moines, and it is expected even more riders will come to Perry from the metro area just for the fun of riding back to their homes Tuesday.
City officials and Perry RAGBRAI committee chairpersons, from housing to safety and food, say they are in pretty good shape. They also add that for a moving city of that size, they can’t think of all the possibilities that need to be covered, but are confident they can handle whatever comes their way.
City Administrator Butch Niebuhr asks residents to "keep a sense of humor, keep a smile on your faces and remember that people of Perry are ambassadors for the riders."
"It’s not very often that a community quadruples its population," he said. "We need to take advantage of having all these people here by showing off our town and ourselves."
For citizens who don’t want to be part of the festivities, it might be a good time to stay home, or go out of town for a couple days, Niebuhr suggested.
In addition to the obvious people and traffic congestion, there will be street closings and temporary no parking areas. Following are a compilation of last-minute reminders regarding the RAGBRAI visit:
RAGBRAI T-shirts are still on sale at various retail shops around Perry. Average-sized shirts sell for $15, while larger sizes are a bit more. Anyone wearing the shirt will gain free entrance to the beverage garden, which would otherwise cost $5.
Volunteers are still needed for hospitality and Beverage Garden work. Anyone interested in helping out, should call and leave a message at the Perry Chamber office, 515-456-4601. And don’t forget. People may still buy the Perry RAGBRAI T-shirts.
Temporary No Parking Zones: The following streets will be used for shuttle routes and parking will be suspended during RAGBRAI - 18th Street from Willis to Warford on both sides, McKinley from 18th to 16th on both sides, 16th Street from McKinley to North Street on both sides, North Street from 16th to 7th on both sides, 8th Street from Dewey to Pattee on the west side, Lucinda from 4th to 3rd on both sides, Warford from 1st to West 4th Street on both sides and Warford from 4th to 5th on the north side.
Street Closings during RAGBRAI on July 22nd and the morning of July 23rd:
• The center lane(s) on 1st Street from Highway 141 north to the intersection with Willis Avenue.
• Willis Avenue from 1st Street to 10th Street, however 10th Street will be open but Willis Avenue will be blocked on the west side of 10th Street.
• Most of West 3rd and Harold Bailey Way on the south side of Pattee Park.
• Center Street west of Don’s TV to Pattee Park/West 3rd Street.
• Other streets may be closed in areas around the City parks and green spaces dependent upon traffic and parking conditions.
• The route for RAGBRAI riders on Monday is P58 north into Perry on 1st Street, then east on Willis Avenue. The route for RAGBRAI riders on Tuesday is Willis Avenue to 1st Street and then back south on P58. Police Chief Dan Brickner recommends to residents that their afternoon/evening commute on Monday should avoid that area and that their commute on Tuesdaymorning should also avoid that area.
Garbage/Recycle Route Changes: Garbage and Recycle Routes will be picked up as scheduled on Monday, July 22nd. Garbage and Recycle Routes regularly scheduled for Tuesday, July 23rdwill be picked up on Wednesday, July 24th. No yard waste will be picked up on Wednesday, July 24th. Yard waste pick-up will resume on Wednesday, July 31st with pick-up on the SOUTH side of Willis Avenue.