There are several road improvement projects on the horizon and these provide
good opportunities to let the planners know that bike facilities/infrastructure
need to be considered.
The West Dowling Road extension project is currently taking comments.
At first glance, the schematics for the project look pretty good for bicyclists
and pedestrians. There is a 6 foot wide shoulder and a multi-use path. The
shoulder however WILL NOT be striped as a bike lane if DOT gets its way. Alaska
DOT is taking a very unfortunate position. DOT is asserting that they will not
paint bike lanes unless the Municipality agrees to maintain the on-road bike
lane painted striping and markings. However, DOT has no such requirements for
the other on-road stripings for the motor vehicle lanes. This is a DOT project
and a DOT maintained road. DOT is shirking its responsibilities and failing to
comply with the recent Federal Department of Transportation policy set out by
Secretary LaHood that requires state DOTs to treat bicycle and pedestrian
transportation equally with motor vehicle transportation.
You can learn more about the project here and
submit your comments here. They can be brief. Just let them know they need to
include bike lanes. DOT has already stated that they haven’t heard from many
folks on this project. Lets change that!
You can see a copy of comments submitted on this project in the comments to this post.