No More Hit and Runs!

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.  

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Support Funding for Bike Lanes

Bike_Funds.jpgWith 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.

We need you to speak up to make sure the Bike Plan is adequately funded to start making our roads safer for motorists and bicyclists. 

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Bike Anchorage’s Chelsea Ward-Waller Attends the National Bike Summit

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!

summit.jpgPeople 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.


A Tale of Millions



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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. 

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What to do with all that snow?

In January, after personally biking on snow and ice chunk-filled sidewalks, Bike Anchorage reached out to commuters to see what the conditions were like across town. The feedback was that many multi-use paths across the city were getting inundated with snow/ice cleared from the roads and dumped on the pathways and sidewalks of the city.

 

unnamed.jpgTo see how we can address this maintenance issue, we reached out to the Municipality. We had hoped to sit down with both DOT and Muni maintenance departments to understand the issues involved. While we didn’t get that meeting, we did hear back from Lori Schanche, the Municipality's Non-Motorized Transportation Coordinator.

 

Lori told us that she had sat down with MOA Streets, MOA Parks and DOT Roads to see how we can improve maintenance and clearing of our multi-use paths and sidewalks.

 

You may or may not know that clearing is split between the Municipality and DOT. They each have separate crews clearing roads and pathways. DOT’s roads are the big arterials (Seward, Tudor, Raspberry, Minnesota, etc.).

The problem comes when a pathway is cleared and then afterwards, road crews come and further grade the road and spill snow and ice debris onto the once cleared pathway. Lori noted that

 It can appear counter-productive as on occasions the work of one crew messes up the work of another crew. For example,sidewalks that have been cleared get big 

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Year Round Bicycle Commuting: I made it!

Reposted from "Aimee's Adventures and Travel: Living the Dream in the Last Frontier"

That’s it, folks!

Not it, in the sense that “it’s” over. But it, as in, one year of bicycle commuting. Last spring, I set a goal to stick it out and try my wheels at winter biking. It’s been a hell of an experience – cold, dark commutes were the highs and lows – but it was pretty amazing and I’m grateful that I was able to do it without much struggle.

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