As long as I've been involved with Bike Anchorage I've been proud of the work we take on and accomplish. I'm constantly amazed by the power of our volunteer base--from dedicated board members, to volunteer leaders, to enthusiastic participants. Not many organizations have so much meaningful support and engagement from our members, but we do because Anchorage's bike community is powerful.
2016 has been a great year for Anchorage's bicycle community. We are on track to continue transforming the way our city develops safe bike infrastructure, educates everyone of the rules of the road, and building more community around all types of bicycling.
With the support of volunteers and advocates like yourself, here are some highlights of what we've accomplished this year:
Last year Bike Anchorage's board adopted the Vision Zero initiative as a priority to make roadways safer for bicyclists and all users. This year Mayor Berkowitz launched the Vision Zero initiative! The goal of the initiative is to eliminate the loss of life and major injuries on our roadways by taking a strategic approach to design and also community norms. This approach brings people together to tackle the "5 E's"--Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation--to comprehensively transform our community. With the mayor's leadership we'll see effective and targeted changes rolled out in the coming years to make our streets safer for everyone.
In 2017, we'll be bringing in advocates like yourself to help shape this vision for Anchorage. Bike Anchorage is part of the coalition of organizations helping to shape policies going forward. Early next year we'll be engaged in a city-wide inventory of existing conditions, a new Bike Plan for Anchorage that incorporates the Pedestrian and Trail Plans so they are all working together, and public engagement and involvement throughout the processes. This initiative will help us get ahead of challenges we have throughout Anchorage that leave bicyclists vulnerable, like discontinuous bike lanes and infrastructure, challenging intersections, and more.
Winter Bike Fest
We celebrated our 7th Winter Bike Fest in February--perhaps our biggest and best yet! This year started with an icy winter--still great weather for winter riding--and is ending with a white winter--also great weather for biking. Basically, Anchorage is a winter city but people don't shy away from winter biking, they embrace it. Thanks to improved winter gear and fat bikes our year-round cycling community continues to grow, and that is what Winter Bike Fest is all about celebrating!
Next year, we're looking forward to hosting another series of events, including another raffle and Big Fat Ride, to encourage winter cycling for everyone. Stay tuned for more!
Building a Bike Community
Our bike community is strong in numbers. This year Bike Anchorage hosted over twenty events with hundreds of participants to advocate, celebrate, and have fun with biking in Anchorage. With your support, we also we able to install a bike counting totem at the Westchester Lagoon to visually show how many people bike in that area, but also to capture the data because every bike counts.
We're just as excited to see more bike-related events and series happening all over town, from our local bike shops, cycling clubs and more. This year we had the largest Bike to Work Day treat stations with over 50 businesses hosting treat stations just to show how local businesses also are on board with a more bike-friendly city. Community is generated when everyone is involved, and Bike Anchorage is proud to be part of the broader efforts!
Extending the Network of Bike Routes
Looking around Anchorage, you've probably noticed new bike lanes, multi-use paths, and signs throughout the city. That's because people like you are making a difference, like when we turned out to advocate for bike lanes on Spenard Road and they'll soon become a reality. One stripe at a time, we're building a safer, more connected bike network.
New bike infrastructure is one of the most important ways to encourage more people to bike to commute. When people have safe routes to get where they're going, they're more likely to hop on a bike to get there. A healthier, more vibrant community is on the way.
Looking forward to next year!
Bike Anchorage President