A new Tool for Bike Safety Education in Anchorage
The Alaska Injury Prevention Center (AIPC) was recently awarded a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant to implement the Bikeology curriculum at ASD schools. The grant includes funding for the purchase of a trailer and 35 OSATA bikes (OSATA = One Size Adjusts To All), and all the safety and maintenance equipment needed to run a school-based bike safety education program. Bike Anchorage is pleased to be a partner in bringing this exciting program to Anchorage
The program is modeled after a successful SRTS program in Eugene, OR. The director of the Eugene, Oregon program, Shane MacRhodes, taught a two-day course on bike safety education at the Anchorage School District Summer Academy in late May. Assisting Shane were Beth Shuerman and Sylvia Craig of AIPC and Steve Cleary with Bike Anchorage. The class was a great introduction for Health and PE teachers on how to structure a class that can teach important bike safety lessons taking into account the time, space and other constraints teachers face.
Bike Anchorage will be showing off a couple of the OSATA Bikes at the Renewable Energy fair on July 25th at Fairview Elementary School. The bikes easily adjust to accommodate riders from 4’6” – 6’4” and are made in the USA by Bike Friday. Their other folding bikes and cargo bikes showcase what a bike can do. When Shane MacRhodes flew up to teach a class in Anchorage in the fall, he arrived with a Bike Friday folding bike which has a case that doubled as a trailer. Shane set the bike up, stored clothes in materials in the trailer and biked right from the airport.
In mid-August, as teachers are heading back to school Bike Anchorage will help AIPC showcase the trailer and bikes to the Health and PE teachers who will be using them. They will get to see all the gear at one of their in-service days and learn how their school can check out the equipment and have some fun learning bike safety.
DHSS to Offer Fall Bike Safety Training
The Bike ‘n’ Walk Safely Program, part of the AK Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is sponsoring a two and a half day Cycling Safety educational and training program in Anchorage, August 13th through the 15th, 2015.
Travel, hotel and per diem will be paid for the attendees who live outside a 50 mile radius of Anchorage, as well as bike rentals for those arriving via air.
The program will be facilitated by cycling safety instructors who are certified League of American Cyclist instructors, including Shane MacRhodes, a top-notch instructor from Oregon. Attendees will be instructed on how to properly fit a bike helmet, learn traffic- urban- trail riding skills, how to ride in groups, bike safety teaching skills, lesson plans/drills information and be advised of state laws. This is not your usual sit-down, take notes kind of training; instead it is a mixture of seminar presentations and actual bike riding to learn, and be able to teach, riding skills.
This training will assist the attendee in developing a local community event. Examples of events are: Bike Rodeo, Bike to School Event and Cycling Exercise groups.
Each attendee will be provided a “toolkit” of items that can be used for their community event. Items may include; reflective zipper pulls, coloring-comic books, posters, paper punches, decorative scissors and additional bike safety items. In addition to the toolkit technical assistance will be available, as well as helmets upon request.
As you may recall from one of our previous blog posts, A Tale of Millions, Bike Anchorage has been hard at work to see that our Anchorage Bicycle Plan is implemented. In 2012, after a succesful grassroots campaign and lots of support from bicyclists like you, we were able to increase funding for Bike Plan implementation over 2013-2014 from 1 million to 2.3 million—more than doubling the proposed funding. The money would stripe and mark new bike lane routes. This would be an important step to making our streets safer for both bicyclists and motorists.
For two years, we recieveded continuous updates through the AMATS Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. In 2013 and 2014, with each update, there was never a reference to the potential loss of allocated funds if they were not obligated by the spring of 2015. However, in March of 2015, the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee learned for the first time that the additional $1.3 million was never obligated or spent and as a result, it has been reallocated to other projects. At this Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, Department of Transportation staff remarked that "this isn't a big deal" and that the loss of $1.3 million was just "a little snafu."
Bike Anchorage, our members and those that currently bike or would bike if our streets were safer and more welcoming expressed our disapproval and frustration. To those that bike and those that would like to bike but don't becuase they see our streets as unsafe, the loss of $1.3 million dollars is a big deal. It is a major setback towards making our streets safer. Safe streets are important to everyone and new bike infrastructure will help make our roads safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike. The failure to appropriately obligate funds, as set out in the TIP is concerning. Of even greater concern is the apparent lack of accountability and transparency and an inability to adequately inform the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee that there was a possibility funds could not be obligated prior to the deadline. There is no excuse for learning of this problem after the deadline for obligating funds had passed.
In response, we launched a petition to encourage AMATS to find additional funds that can be dedicated to bike plan implementation. Thanks to your incredible support, we just submitted our petition to AMATS. On July 1st, we submitted the petition, which was signed by 377 people, asking that AMATS allocate additional funds to Bike Plan implementation over the coming years. We thank all of those that spoke out!On behalf of all those who bike or would bike if they felt safe, you can count on Bike Anchorage, as we continue to advocate for adequate funding for Bike Plan implemenattion.
Bikeway Design Workshop
Please join AMATS for a workshop on bikeway design led by one of the nation's leading Engineering experts, Joe Gilpin.
Joe Gilpin, Vice President Alta Planning + Design
Mr. Gilpin is one of the nation's leading experts in bicycle facility design and is one of Alta’s experts in bicycle facility design and has worked both as a project designer on numerous projects and as a planner analyzing network connectivity and corridor planning. Joe provides project oversight and quality control for Alta designers and planners for on-street bicycle facility implementation and planning projects. Joe provides urban and rural technical trainings nationwide for bicycle and pedestrian facility design and manages projects in the Rocky Mountain States including Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho.
2015 Bike to Work Day treat stations: Wednesday, May 20th
Bike Anchorage would like to thank the many treat station hosts this year! In 2015, we have been excited by the amount of interest businesses have to encourage bike commutes this year. The benefits of biking to work, play, or more run a gamut from decreasing traffic and air pollution, to health benefits and a closer-knit community. Check out the map of all 30+ treat stations this year and optimize your route Wednesday morning.
Each business has unique reasons to host stations this year, so take a look at why so many are coming together to support Bike to Work Day 2015. Below is a list of each business and why they are participating:Read more
We are excited to announce that the Anchorage Museum will be teaming up with Bike Anchorage this summer to offer bike programs and opportunities. It all starts on May 22nd and runs through July.
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 22
May is National Bike Month. Bike to the museum after 6 p.m. on May 22 and museum admission is free.
1 p.m. Saturday, May 30
Join an Anchorage Museum curator for a bicycle tour Anchorage in celebration of the Anchorage Centennial. Stops include important Dena'ina cultural sites, Ship Creek, early Anchorage homes, decommissioned military installations, and more. Presented in partnership with Bike Anchorage. Register online. $8 museum member/$10 non-member
1 p.m. Saturday, June 27
Did you know Anchorage has nearly 500 public art installations throughout the city? Join a guided bike tour of public art and learn about the artists who created it. Tour starts at the Anchorage Museum. Presented in partnership with Bike Anchorage and the Municipality of Anchorage’s 1% for Art Program. Register online. $8 museum member/$10 non-member
Big Wild Bike: Commuter Stories
1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 25
Take of tour of Anchorage through the stories of bike commuters.
The Anchorage Museum invites bicycle commuters to submit their harrowing, funny, or interesting stories and encounters from using Anchorage’s public trail system. The Anchorage Museum and Bike Anchorage will then lead a bike tour of Anchorage on July 25 based on rider submissions. Email stories to email@example.com. Riders are encouraged to wear helmets and pack their own water. $8 museum member/$10 non-member.
Photo of museum employees on Bike to Work Day 2014. Photo by Michael Mandregan/Anchorage Museum.
The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives, and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.
In an opinion piece, Bike Anchorage's Brian Litmans set out why a proposed sentence of 3 years (with 2 suspended) for the crime of driving under the influence, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene (or fleeing) fails to send a message that we as a society have zero tolerance for such acts, especially the inhumane act of leaving the person one just hit on the side of the road to die. You can read the opinon piece here and learn more about the case in the May 11th Anchorage Dispatch article.
If you think we need to do more to show that we have zero tolerance for hit and runs, join over 3000 others and sign the petition to the Attorney General.
With your help we got unanimous support from the Anchorage Assembly for the Anchorage Bike Plan. The Plan calls for a bike network of bike lanes, bike shoulders, multi-use paths and other infrastructure like bike boulevards and shared roads. All of this infrastructure is key to making our streets safer for everyone: people on foot, on bikes, and in cars. But a Plan sitting on the shelves doesn't do any of us any good. We need to make the Plan a reality and the first step is to install bike lanes for core routes.Read more
The National Forum on Women and Bicycling shared exciting stories about how women are making a big difference in the bike world in this country, and how to bring those experiences back to our community. Let’s start a Women Bike Anchorage!
People for Bikes just released a new report based on surveying adults and children (through their parents). The report shows that 1 in 3 Americans ride a bike every year! Some other interesting numbers include: 58% of people who ride bikes are white, poorest income brackets ride the most, 60% of 3-9-year-olds ride bikes, 43% of the people who ride bikes are female. More of their awesome statistics can be found here: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics.
The former mayor of Minneapolis spoke about the Helsinki model of multi-modal transportation (connecting public transit with bike- and car-share programs) in the opening plenary on the first day of the Summit, and how his city is making progress in that direction. In the same session, the Deputy Secretary of Transportation spoke about the two bills going through Congress this session, Vision Zero in the House and the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act (TAPIA) in the Senate, both which Joni Wilm and I educated Alaska legislative staff about on Thursday.
General recap of breakout sessions: The Cascade Bicycle Club shared how they organize and run their 8-week Advocacy Leadership Institute twice a year. By following in their footsteps, Bike Anchorage could educate a broad swath of the community in bicycle advocacy work. I listened to an inspiring series of local bike initiatives that are starting and spreading across the country, from funding a university bike shop program to using laughter as a tool for bike advocacy. New York City and San Francisco are leading the country in their Vision Zero Campaigns. By creating a task force of police, public health and transportation officials, and local community leaders, these cities are targeting improvements to their deadliest traffic intersections to prevent future accidents.
In 2012, over two years after the Anchorage Bicycle Plan was unanimously passed, bicyclists began asking “when will the city start putting in bike lanes?” Bike lanes are a vital step to making our city safer for both motorists and bicyclists and making Anchorage a more bicycle-friendly city. Installing bike lanes and implementing the Anchorage Bicycle Plan is a key element of our work at Bike Anchorage. Frustrated by the delay, Bike Anchorage (Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage at that time) took on the charge and led a campaign to get the ball rolling. With the deft guidance of board member Todd Logan, we led a campaign in the fall of 2012 to increase the amount of federal dollars spent on bike plan implementation. This was no easy feat. After multiple meetings, we saw the moment. We would rally our supporters to flood AMATS with comments demanding that more money be spent on bike plan implementation. AMATS is the entity responsible for determining how our federal dollars are spent on transportation projects in Anchorage. It consists of both state and municipal staff.Read more