Here at Bike Anchorage, we love bike infrastructure. Although we strongly recognize that Anchorage must modernize and move towards all-ability bike ways networks, we are glad when the Muni or DOT builds bike paths or bike lanes on Anchorage roads. But once any infrastructure is built, it needs to be maintained in order to be usable. A major problem this spring has been the large amounts of gravel remaining on bike routes long past the time the snow has melted. When a path, shoulder, or bike lane is full of gravel, people on bikes must either ride through the gravel - running the risk of encountering unpredictably deep piles or picking up debris that can cause tire punctures - or ride directly in the lane used by motorized traffic, where cars have already cleared the gravel out of the lane. Either choice is unnecessarily dangerous.
The arterial roads maintained by the Municipality were all swept by May 15th - hooray! Unfortunately, some arterial roads (and their adjacent separated paths) maintained by DOT have remained unswept long past their May 15th deadline. This has included roads like Raspberry Rd that have marked bike lanes and are major bike corridors. On May 18th, we asked DOT when Raspberry Rd would be swept, but they didn’t have any information about when their contractor would clear that road.
In this video, we checked out the gravel remaining on the Raspberry Rd bike lanes on May 25th and put ourselves to work in sweeping some of the most dangerous areas.
How you can help:
Whether you're a person who drives, rolls, or both, we are urging community members interested in equitable transportation policy to call or email our Anchorage Maintenance and Operation District Superintendent:
[email protected] (907) 338-1466. Tell DOT to SweepMyRide and prioritize bike routes for spring sweeping to improve safety for all road users.
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