Happy New Year

This year is an extremely important year for bike commuters in Anchorage. The Anchorage Bike Plan will be going before the Anchorage Assembly around mid February. We encourage every bike commuter, business or organization to get involved. Your involvement is critical and can be as simple as a short email to your assembly person.

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Less Stress - More Fun when you go by bike

eGlennTraffic.43033.original.highlight.prod_affiliate.7The headlines ring out on the ADN – Snow Creates Traffic Nightmare, or Highways Hazardous as Storm Continues. On KSKA I awoke to the same message. Roads terrible. 43 accidents in one day.

 

Photo courtesy of BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News. Northbound traffic on the Glenn Highway continued to move slowly and was backed up to the Boniface Parkway overpass at 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 2009.

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Grand jury indicts woman who struck and killed bicyclist in 2008

anchorageghostbikeIn the fall of 2008, a young man was traveling across C street at 40th Avenue in Midtown early in the morning. He was struck and killed by an SUV. At the time Anchorage Police Department said the bicyclist, Jonathon Johnson, was not wearing reflective clothing and that dark road conditions were a factor. While that may (or may not) be so, it clearly isn’t the whole story and highlights how bicyclists are quickly assumed to be in the wrong.   The driver of the SUV was just indicted on charges of manslaughter and driving under the influence for striking and killing Jonathon Johnson. 

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ADN Compass Piece - It's a Brutal Time for Anchorage Pedestrians and Bicyclists

For those that missed the Compass Piece from last week, It’s a brutal time for Anchorage pedestrians and bikers,  I thought I would re-circulate it and see how bicyclists and pedestrians are faring (you can comment on this article and let us know how your commute has been).  According to the Muni, cuts have not been made to the Maintenance Department this year. However, the Muni did note that when it snows less than 4 inches it would take up to 72 hours to clear all streets and sidewalks.  When it snows more than 4 inches the Muni uses all of its resources to plow streets and sidewalks within 48 hours. As the compass piece notes, however, it took several days to clear the last snowfall. Some of those roads were ADOT roads and some were Muni roads.

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Whether Sao Paulo or Anchorage, Riding with Awareness and Being Defensive is the Way to Go

IV_poster_analogI was checking out some bike blogs this morning  and came across the following post from a bike advocate and artist from Brazil. This poster and the description by the artist, Cabelo, seemed to strike a familiar tune,

To ride a bike in the middle of São Paulo’s traffic is to run a risk, I say this without any reluctance even though this might discourage some people.  Our city has some of the most violent traffic in the world, there is no respect and drivers almost never follow the laws, because the agency responsible for traffic fines and education, the CET (Department of Transportation) prioritizes making the traffic flow, due to the constant bumper-to-bumper traffic that we live with.  That is to say that drivers who commit serious infractions, like for example drunk driving, running red lights, and speeding in residential neighborhoods, are almost never penalized.

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"Fat Bike"at the Anchorage International Film Fest

You will have three opportunities to catch Carl Battreall’s film Fat Bike at the Anchorage International Film Fest.fatbike-300x167

Fat Bike is showing three times near the end of a group of other festival films:

Tuesday, December 8 – 5:45pm – Alaska Experience
Friday, December 11 – 2:30pm – Bear Tooth
Saturday, Dec 12 – 5:30pm – Out North

The Film Fest describes the film as

An unknown group of cyclists embrace the beauty and challenges of riding bikes during the long Alaskan winters. Not since the early days of mountain biking has there been a more innovative, resilient and committed band of bikers. Experience the Fat Bike revolution!

You can see a trailer of the film here. And if you do head out to the Film Fest go by bike!


Support the Anchorage Bicycle Plan

Any time some article about bicycling in the city runs in the ADN, the folks who likely have never ridden a bike in town come out and say “we built all these trails for you – stay off our roads.” For those that ride these multi-use pathways (they are not trails and they were not built solely for bicycle use but for enjoyment by all users), and especially those that use sidewalks, it is clear that sticking to mult-use pathways and sidewalks is downright dangerous.

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Anchorage designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community

Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced that Anchorage has just earned a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League.anchorage_sealAnchorage is Alaska’s second Bicycle Friendly Community, joiningSitka which earned a bronze level award in May 2008.
Congratulations, Anchorage.
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Muni Responds Quickly to Bicycle Danger

Last Friday, I was cc’ed on an e-mail from a concerned bicyclist to the Mayor. The bicyclist had come across a nasty gratewheel-sucking grate that could (and perhaps in the past has) spell great danger for an unaware rider. The letter noted that

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Bicyclists cause less than 10% of bike-car collisions

At BCA, we try to avoid engaging or furthering the “bike v. car” debate. It doesn’t do anything for advancing the bicycle movement and its not about one or the other. Rather, its about ensuring that bicyclists can travel  safely and conveniently.  However, many who bike have likely heard the story from a motorist or two that we are derelicts and scofflaws. There is much out there on the web rebutting the myths about scofflaw bicyclists (yes there are bicyclists who violate the rules of the road but of course motorists, especially in Anchorage, have an uncanny ability to run reds, blow stop signs and travel at speeds far exceeding the speed limit). BCA aims to educate both bicyclists and motorists about the need to follow the rules of the road.

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