Winter Bike Fest 2021 is around the corner, during February we will have a series of events for you to participate in such as scavenger hunts, solo rides, virtual screenings, glow fest, and more.
We know biking during winter it's harder than in the warm months, the cold can be intimidating, and wearing the right gear and clothes is crucial to enjoying the ride, this is why we want to reward you for getting outside and being part of this Festival.
Every time you participate in one of our activities, you will be able to win a prize. We'll release all the details further this month.
One of the prizes you can win is an Alaska Airlines double Main cabin roundtrip voucher valued at $1,250.00 each to any of their 115 destinations, and we have more!
Stay tuned, and get ready!
Anchorage has 8 new Certified League Cycling Instructors, yay!
While they all have different backgrounds, they all have in common being active members of the cycling community, we invite you to know a little bit more about each one of them.
Brigit works at the Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS) from the Catholic Social Services in Anchorage. She became an all-year commuter in Anchorage after moving here and not owning a car, she is a tough avid commuter that you can find on the trails despite impeccable weather.
Chelsea became an LCI to help others enjoy the fun of biking and teach them how to be safe while doing it. She works for the Municipality of Anchorage, has been on the Bike Anchorage board for a few years, and is passionate about improving traffic safety and active transportation in Anchorage. Chelsea started bike commuting when she was in the first grade, and continues to commute by bike all year. She supplements bike commuting with mountain and fat biking with her two dogs.
Christi is a civil engineer with CRW Engineering. Biking is a way for her to get to work, run errands, exercise, and stay involved in the community, and she's been biking since she was a kid. Christi is drawn to biking as a form of transportation that's healthier, more equitable, and more fun than a car. She is happy to help Anchorage's bike commuters learn best practices to stay safe.
Christina started to ride a bike as a little kid, doing laps up and down the street. Then, there was a big gap n her life without riding a bike until College, her uncle was a bike messenger in San Francisco and a big influence on her to consider the bicycle as a serious mode of transportation. She started riding her bike to school because parking was rough and expensive. After college, she moved to Alaska for a job.
Devora became an urban cyclist when she was in law school at the age of 21, it happened because gas and parking were too expensive and public transportation was unsafe, unreliable and a terrible experience overall. She has been involved in transportation and urban planning ever since.
She has experience teaching Transportation subjects, it started while she was working in the municipality of her city in Mexico and she was part of the team that created the curriculum that would be taught to drivers that incurred misdemeanors or got tickets for endangering non-motorized users, the curriculum would teach drivers how to safely interact with cyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities and how to respect their infrastructure. She later was with Cycles of Change in Oakland, California teaching kids from the Fruitvale Elementary School how to be urban cyclists taking them for rides in the city, and teaching bike mechanics both in English and Spanish. Dev would love to teach Smart Cycling Classes in schools of the Anchorage School District in the future, and to adults who want to be bicycle commuters.
Donovan was born and raised in Fairbanks and first started using the bike as primary transportation during his senior year at UAF because one day in the middle of winter his truck stopped working. After learning to commute at -20F, everything else seemed like a breeze and he's been enjoying the many benefits of the bike as transportation ever since.
In 2015, Donovan graduated and moved to Anchorage to start working in the transportation engineering sector. He has become passionate about applying his knowledge and time to help mature and modernize the urban design policies in the city he loves and calls home.
Mat first got into bicycling as a pre-teen and teenager, as a mode of transportation in the suburbs, then in college, they built a bike from scratch and started going on day rides. After college, they wanted to go on a bike trip but didn't have a cycling community and didn't know how to do it --so, Mat bungee'd a milk crate to their newly-built bike, threw a backpacking bag in, and rode with a friend, from NJ to Nashville over the course of a month, after this, she rode solo from San Diego to Montreal.
Most recently Mat bicycled to their homeland starting in the high Himalayas of India and down to Kerala at the tip of India, where her parents are from. After that long bike ride, they became committed to sharing her passion for bike trips as a way to see incredible places, taste delicious food, feel the generosity of strangers, and also as a way to uncover homeland, seek truths within oneself, and access personal power.
Mat co-wrote a chapbook called Asking for Elephants, and after went on a storytelling tour across the US. They are currently working on a book about that India ride, queerness, sobriety, and homeland. Mat is excited about the possibility of learning how to actually teach and instruct cycling so that they can offer tangible skills alongside storytelling.
You can see the list of all the Certified League Cycling Instructors in Anchorage and their contact information here.
(Phase I's 30th Ave existing on left, Proposed on right)
Anchorage's most promising bike equitable projects is near the final design of its first of four phases, with Phase I being planned for construction in 2021. The overall project is scoped to create an east-west low-stress route through the Midtown area from Spenard Road to the Seward Highway. The route moves along avenues with historically less driver-pedestrian/bike collisions and through the main intersections that are signalized. The aim is to offer a continuous connection that most adult riders will feel is convenient and comfortable enough to bike through Midtown. Basically, an urban bike route designed in a way that people who don't consider themselves "fearless cyclists" will feel is an option.
This style of transportation design has proven time and time again to be the biggest return on investment a city can make. For Anchorage, it's a first and an incremental project towards a fundamental shift. This shift will challenge our city's designers to move away from prioritizing vehicle speeds on every road in order to greatly benefit the many community members interested in the freedom to accessing Midtown by bike.
Highlights from Phase I include:
-Upgrades to W. 30th Ave (19-feet of space for walking and rolling, 20-feet of space for driving)
-A pathway on North Star Ln (8-feet for walking and rolling, 20-feet for driving).
-A new 10-foot pathway connection to Arctic Blvd.
-Arctic Blvd Pedestrian crossing improvements at 32nd.
-Striping with interim painted bike lanes on W. 32nd Ave between Arctic Blvd and C St.
(The project's phasing will be done in four parts starting on the west end and moving east)
This is where you come in:
The Bike Anchorage Advocacy Committee have been closely following the projects' development and have submitted comments and recommendations in an effort to ensure the most effective and bike user friendly design is proposed. The committee has delivered markups to the planset and requests using our decades of combined Anchorage commute biking experience, nationally recognized low-stress design guidance, and the lessons learned from cities with more mature urban biking infrastructure. Please take a moment to see what our team came up with and click on our link below to submit what you think the project needs. Feel free to use our recommendations if you agree with them. You can help our city officials understand your needs and concerns as a person interested in a safer, cleaner, and fiscally responsible Anchorage for all!
Bike Anchorage Advocacy Committee's direct requests
1. Where no physical separation is offered to cyclists (30th Ave: Spenard Rd to N. Star St):
- Keep the 30th Ave at 20mph and do not increase vehicle speeds to 25mph as currently proposed.
- Help slow traffic down by narrowing vehicle lanes from 10 to 9-feet where bike lanes are located. (See image 1)
- Add speed bumps or employ other traffic calming tools to induce slower speeds and discourage reoccurring through vehicle traffic along the entirety of 30th Ave. (See image 2)
- Add a transportation mode “permeability filter” to the north end of N. Star St to allow only non-motorized and emergency vehicle access. (See image 2)
- Add stricter “no parking” signage with fine amounts shown to deter bike lane parking. Consider adding parking enforcement agreements to contracts. (See image 2)
- Add “bikes may use full lane” signage on 30th and 32nd at all locations where bike lanes end, and at the beginning of mixed-use unstriped roadways. Consider sharrows. (See image 2)
2. Arctic Blvd Crossing:
- Add Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) to the crossing. (See image 4)
- Make the pathways intersection with Arctic Blvd have a wider opening and larger curves so people on bikes can easily navigate the narrow 4-foot sidewalk. (See image 4)
- Use a 10-foot cargo bike as the "design vehicle" for pathway curves and approaches.
- Between the pathway and crossing, make the sidewalk wider there so bike and peds can cross each other. (See image 4)
- Add additional width to crosswalk with green bike lane paint crossing bars. (See image 4)
3. Comments for all project phases:
- Add continuous (raised) sidewalks and bike lanes at all commercial approaches. This will increase safety by physically indicating the right-of-way to pedestrians and bikes. Making people on bikes go up and down grades and bumps will greatly degrade user experience.
Traffic signalization timing at A and C streets:
- Ensure an average speed cyclist does not have to stop at both signals due to vehicle speed prioritized phase timing.
- Propose traffic loops in a way that allows for an easy retrofit of “bike box” staging areas.
- Install bike detection loops and bike specific signals at signalized intersections, or install facilities now to allow for cost efficient retrofits.
- Add bike-lane accessible queuing buttons if no bike detection will be offered.
- Use a 10-foot cargo bike as the design vehicle for all curves and curb return radii on bike path approaches, roundabout pathways, and islands.
- Add more wayfinding signage at the main approaches and turns of the bikeway to indicate the route to approaching (north/southbound) non-motorized traffic.
Bike Anchorage Advocacy Committee's planset markups
Do you remember the fundraiser we did on July 17th to purchase a second tool station for Kincaid Park? Well, we are very happy to announce that thanks to everyone who donated and the Anchorage Parks and Rec department the tool station is ready to be used, and you can find it at the Jodhpur Parking lot next to the Kiosk.
The tool station has a pump, two tire levers, Allen wrenches (2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm), box wrenches sizes 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, and 32mm, and least but not last Phillips and flat head screwdrivers.
We are currently working on fixing the pump heads of the tool stations of Kincaid Chalet, and the Abbott Loop Community Park. If you notice an issue with any of the other tool stations in town, you can report it here.
If want to know where the other tool stations are located, click here.
Enjoy the trails!
The Dowling roundabouts have been identified as a major safety concern for Anchorage bicyclists. In a survey administered by Vision Zero in 2016, the Dowling/Seward Interchange was the second-most-commonly identified intersection where respondents were concerned about bicycle/pedestrian safety (following Northern Lights & New Seward).
Both the Anchorage Bicycle Plan (2010) and the Anchorage Pedestrian Plan (2007) also identify the interchange as an area where non-motorized facilities need improvement. Dowling is one of only a few places where any traffic can cross the New Seward Highway in South Anchorage, so ensuring safety and usability for all types of traffic is crucial.
- The Dowling/Seward Interchange Draft Design Study Report (May 2019) does not propose substantive changes to how non-motorized users will travel through the roundabouts
- We also note that there are no dedicated bicycle facilities planned as part of this project. Instead, bicyclists are expected to share pedestrian facilities, which decreases usability and safety both for bicyclists and pedestrians.
With wider lanes motorists tend increase their speeds.
Given that bicyclists will be expected to share pedestrian facilities to travel through the roundabouts, and barring any major changes to the planned roundabout design, we request the following design elements to improve usability and safety for bicyclists:
Ensure that all crosswalk refuge islands are at least 12 ft wide to allow longer bicycles (tandems, recumbent trikes, bikes pulling trailers) to fit in the refuge area. Otherwise, those islands will be unusable or hazardous traps for a portion of the cycling traffic.
Consider installing concrete curbs between the motorized travel lanes rather than simply painting buffers; this will help reduce motorized traffic speeds at crosswalks, which is crucial for improving safety for non-motorized users in roundabouts.
Install Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at every crosswalk. The current plan to install RRFBs only at the north-south crossings neglects to assist non-motorized traffic crossing east-west to travel along Dowling. Most non-motorized traffic travels along Dowling, rather than along the frontage roads, and thus will be using the east-west crossings. The Draft Design Study Report acknowledges that driver yielding behavior is known to be poor at all exits of the roundabout, indicating the need for improved crossing safety in all directions.
Assuming the RRFBs will be manually triggered, please ensure that the angles of approach between the crosswalk ramps and the buttons allow for the wider-turning radius of longer bicycles, as well as ensuring access for riders of recumbent bicycles who cannot step up on a curb to access the button.
Paint the crosswalks with zebra stripes, which improve motorists’ awareness of the presence of a crosswalk, rather than two parallel lines as indicated in the project graphics.
Install Pedestrian Crossing warning signs prior to each crosswalk (not only at the crosswalk as currently planned) to alert motorists in advance.
- Prior to and after the roundabouts on both Dowling and the frontage roads, provide ramps for bicyclists to move between the road and the sidewalk/path. Some bicyclists may prefer to use the crosswalks in the roundabouts but would otherwise be biking on the road, especially given that there are painted bike lanes on Dowling just two blocks west of the interchange. Allowing bicyclists a safe, clear, and timely way to exit the road will be crucial for the safety of all traffic.
September 21, 2020, through October 23, 2020, and closes at 5:00 PM AKST.
Read an Article about Roundabouts and Non-motorized users Here.