Room to improve the Spenard Road

proposed-spenard-4-lanes.jpgIt's been a long time coming but the northern portion of the Spenard Road is close to being redone! However, there's still a long way to go to make the roadway safe for people on bikes, on foot, and in cars. Right now the proposed "bikeway" disappears after just a couple blocks, leaving people on bikes out of luck.

proposed-spenard-3-lanes.jpgWe need you to turn out to the public open house to make sure the entire corridor is safe for everyone. Attend the Spenard Road open house this week to make the best solution for Spenard!

What: Spenard Road Reconstruction Open House
When: Thursday, February 11th from 6:00-8:00pm
Where: West High School cafeteria, 1700 Hillcrest Drive, Anchorage 99509
Why: Make sure a bike lane is included for the entire stretch of road!

Here's what the current Spenard Road Reconstruction proposal entails from Hillcrest Drive to 30th Avenue:

  • From Hillcrest Drive to 27th Avenue (Bear Tooth) Spenard Road goes to 3 lanes: one 11' driving lane heading north, one 11' driving lane heading south, and one 13' center turning lane. There will be a 4' shoulder that is a suggested "bikeway" north and southbound.
  • From 27th Avenue to 30th Avenue (just south of REI) Spenard Road goes to 4 lanes: two north and southbound 11' driving lanes. 
  • Along this entire portion there will be an 8' multi-use path.
  • The speed limit will remain 35mph in this entire stretch of Spenard.
  • You can find more information at:

The Spenard Road needs to be an example for all of Anchorage for what a vibrant, accessible commercial district should look like. Unfortunately, the current design doesn't make the road safer for bicyclists and still calls for high speeds. There is a lot more that can be done to ensure that the roadway incorporates a protected bike lane and still allows for safe pedestrian and transit facilities and good traffic flow. 


Bike Anchorage incorporate the principles of the traffic safety initiative called Vision Zero. The goal of Vision Zero is to reduce the loss of life and major injuries on roadways to zero. This bold goal can only be achieved by taking a comprehensive approach to designing safer streets, educating the public, and enforcing the best laws. Safe streets are safe for everyone – people on foot, incars, using public transit, and on bikes – and we need to get everyone on board to be successful. Here are some proposed changes to move the design for the Spenard Road (from Hillcrest to 30th) to be safest for all and allow for easy flow.

  • 6' sidewalks north and southbound.
  • 5' bike lanes north and southbound. Bike lanes continue from Hillcrest Drive to Northern Lights)
  • 2' bollards or curbs to separate vehicles from bikes and pedestrians.
  • One 11' north and southbound driving lanes.
  • One 12' center turning lane.
  • Reduce the speed limit to 25 or 30mph.

27th Avenue is a proposed Bike Boulevard in the works. It's important to ensure bike infrastructure connects. The current proposed design drops a bikeway south of 27th Avenue, leaving yet another disconnected bike infrastructure network and a safe connect for people to access it.

Dashed bike lanes through the intersections to raise awareness is essential for people in cars. 27th Avenue is one of the most problematic intersections in town with high rates of car-on-car and car-on-bike collisions. Dashed and painted green bike lanes through 27th would increase awareness and improve safety for all users.

It'll also be very important to account for people on bikes heading south on Spenard Road to turn left onto 27th Avenue to access the future bike boulevard. The current proposed design does not offer a safe way for people on bikes to do that heading north or south.


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