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
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.
To 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 bigRead more
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.Read more
We are excited for Bike Anchorage's 6th Annual Winter Bike Fest. And this year we have some great events - inside and out - lined up. Winter Bike Fest is about celebrating everything bike and getting together with others to create a strong bicycle community. We hope to see you out at one or more of the Winter Bike Fest events.
Winter Bike Fest poster designed by Kristen Gilbert (Thanks Kristen!)
Bike Anchorage Winter Bike Fest Kickoff Party
When: Thursday, January 29th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: The Anchorage Community Works 349 East Ship Creek Ave.
Event details: We are inviting everyone in the bicycle community to come celebrate Anchorage as a bike-city. We want to highlight all the organizations, groups and businesses that are making Anchorage a better city to bike. There will be an opportunity to learn more about what is going on in 2015, do some light painting with bike lights, and food and drink.
Suggested Donation $5.
A big thanks to the Moose's Tooth for sponsoring this event!
Bike First Friday
When: Friday, February 6th. Meet at 5:45. Ride starts at 6:00pm
Where: Meet at Snow City Café. From there we will bike around downtown and Midtown to enjoy some First Friday art. We’ll end at 8pm at Anchorage Community Works.
Event details: This is a free event. Just bring a bike and a smile. Make sure to have bike lights (front and back), a bike lock and preferrably wear clothes that are highly visible.
Winter Bike Fest Happy Hour
When: Tuesday, February 10th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Where: Spenard Roadhouse
Details: Bike over to the Spenard Roadhouse and show your bike helmet to your server to get FREE tots! It's the Roadhouse's way of saying thankyou for biking.
2nd Annual Winter Bike to Work Day
When: Friday, February 13th – all day
Where: All over town
Details: Register at http://winterbiketoworkday.org/
Winter Bike to Work Day Celebration Party
When: Friday, February 13th from 4:30 to 6:00pm
Where: Westchester Lagoon
Details: Come on down for some cookies and cocoa and celebrate Winter Bike to Work Day with others
By Bike in Tanzania
When: Tuesday, February 17th at 6:30pm.
Where: Wilda Marston Theater at the Loussac Library
Details: Sage Cohen will give a presentation on her recent trip to Tanzania.
Suggested Donation: $15
Winter City 30/50k Ride
When: Sunday, February 22nd. Registration at 9:00am. Ride Starts at 10:00am
Where: Ride starts and finishes at the Trek Store.
Details: $20 registration fee. You can sign up in advance by going here.
This ride is put on by Alaska Randonneurs as a fundraiser for Bike Anchorage. Come out for a great ride through the city and support your favorite bike advocacy organization.
A huge thanks to Kaladi Brothers Coffee and Great Harvest Bread Co. for sponsoring this event and providing the pre-ride fuel for the Winter City participants.
When: Thursday, February 26th at 7:15pm.
Where: Trek Store of Anchorage
Details: Bill Fleming will give a presentation on his recent trip to Namibia where he and a group of riders traversed the remote Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.
Suggested Donation: $10