As an all-volunteer organization we rely on you, our supporters and volunteers. You are the reason we are successful, from getting out and demanding more funds for Bike Plan implementation to making Anchorage’s Bike to Work Day a success. BCA wanted to express its thanks to everyone who helped out to make Bike to Work Day awesome.
First, we wanted to thank those at the Municipality for organizing the Day, registering teams and making sure counters were out. A big thanks to Anne Schlapia for leading the charge for the Muni. Thanks to Kelsey Preecs at Northwest Strategies for all the great BTWD graphics and promotional materials. Thanks to Lori Schanche for organizing all the bike counters. And a huge thanks to the 2014 BTWD counters: Alden Woracheck, Dean Campodonico, Nim Ha, Jennifer Witt, Pat Jarrett, Paul Leitman, Karen Lakey, Tyler Robinson, Tanya Eide, Aimee Rathburn, Amanda Johnson, Lisa Kenning, John Weddleton, Jason Breece, Roger Shaw, Craig Lyon, Karol Fink, Mandi Seethaler, Bob Shipley, Mark Butler, Jon Spring, Keri Clark, Mark Fitch, Howard Teas, CRW Engineering, Gordon Jones, and Anne Brooks.
Second, we wanted to thank all the amazing businesses, organizations and agencies that hosted Bike Stations across town. This year we had a record 18 Bike Stations. Our Bike Station hosts were: (1) the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game; (2) Alaska Public Media and Alaska Pacific Univ.; (3) Alaska Regional Hospital; (4) the Anchorage Police Department and Anchorage Police Dept. Employees Assoc.; (5) Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Southcentral Foundation; (6) Bayshore Clubhouse; (7) the Calista Corporation; (8) CRW Engineering Group; (9) Dark Horse Coffee; (10) Denali Federal Credit Union; (11) Kumin Associates; (12) PDC Inc. Engineers & Bettisworth North; (13) Public Employees Local 71; (14) RIM Architechts & Corvus Design; (15) Trek Store of Anchorage & House of Bread; (16) USKH Inc.; and (17) Visit Anchorage.
Third, we wanted to thank the amazing sponsors of the BCA Bike Station. Great Harvest Bread Co., Kaladi Brothers, Steamdot Coffee, Midnight Sun Brewing Co., Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge, and Spenard Roadhouse.
Finally, we wanted to thank the amazing BCA volunteers who helped make this event happen: Thanks to Lindsey Hajduk, Nick Moe, Brian Litmans, Kim Duffy, Amy Dalton, Eeva Latosuo, Galen Flint, Mike Morganson and those at REI that helped with the tables, Chelsea Ward-Walker, Barbara Rowland, Sienna Berglof, Mel Langdon, Brad Sandison, Jed Smith, Gina Jacobson, Brendan Babb, and a whole bunch of other folks that I am sure I am forgetting (sorry, if I missed you please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be sure to include you).
You are all amazing and one of the major reasons we are becoming more and more bike-friendly as a city. Thank you from all of us at BCA!
Summer is here and we are already seeing lots of people out on their bikes. We have some great events coming up to get you to go by bike.
Join the Alaska chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage in a friendly competition to encourage bicycle/pedestrian/public transit commuting and see which businesses can get the greatest percentage of employees commuting to work by bike, foot or bus. You can register today on our competition page. If you don’t see your team registered, register yourself and your team and then share the commuter challenge link with teammates. Others at your place of employment should be then be able to individually register and join your team. For rules and more information check out the Rules page.
June 4 – 10th Anniversary Bike to Work Day!
Hard to believe its been 10 years and how much Anchorage has grown as a bike city. We are now a Silver designated Bicycle Friendly Community by the League and have seen the numbers of bicyclists jump leaps and bounds over the last several years. BCA has been along for this great ride,encouraging people to participate in this yearly event by helping host and organize Bike Stations across the city. This year we will have 14 awesome stations hosted by:
- Alaska Department of Fish & Game
- Alaska Public Media & APU
- Alaska Regional Hospital
- Anchorage Police Department
- ANTHC & Southcentral Foundation
- Bayshore Clubhouse
- BCA’s Bacon Station sponsored by Spenard Roadhouse, Kaladi Brothers Coffee, Steamdot Coffee, Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge and Midnight Sun Brewing Co. (guest tabling includes: Bike MS, Tour de Cure, Alaska Injury Prevention Center, Speedway Cycles, Bike Me Anchorage, Off the Chain Collective, Alaskiters, jugglers, with more details to come – this is sure to be the biggest and liveliest BTWD station yet)
- Calista Corporation
- CRW Engineering Group
- Darkhorse Coffee Co.
- Denali Federal Credit Union
- Kumin Associates
- PDC Inc. Engineers & Bettisworth North Trail Angels Smoothie Stop
- Public Employees Local 71
- RIM Architects & Corvus Design
- Trek Store of Anchorage & House of Bread
- Visit Anchorage
You can find the location for each of our great Bike Station hosts here.
And make sure to register for Bike to Work Day too.
June 7 – Bike Parking at Run for Women
More details to come – but plan on biking to the start/finish and leaving your bike with us. It will be way more fun and hassle free than driving!
April 25, 2014
Mr. Craig Lyon, AMATS Coordinator
Municipality of Anchorage
Community Development Department
4700 Elmore Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
Dear Mr. Lyon,
Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the draft 2015 – 2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Through this process approximately $25 million per year of Federal transportation dollars will be allocated to road, non-motorized, and congestion/air quality improvement projects in Anchorage and Eagle River. As an organization whose mission is to make Anchorage more bicycle friendly, we find a lot to like in the proposed allocation:
- Overall proposed funding levels for “Non-Motorized” projects (formerly called Transportation Alternatives) for 2015-18 are $3.3M, $3.7M, $2.4M, $2.4M, or 14%, 16%, 10%, 10% of total allocation. This is consistent with the AMATS policy of allocating 10 to 15 percent of the total allocation on a 4-year average to these types of projects.
- The 2010 Anchorage Bicycle Plan rightly identified the striping and signing of bike lanes and paved shoulder bikeways on our “core bicycle network” to be the top implementation priority. This draft TIP proposes to allocate $2.35 million ($650K + $1M + $500K + $200K for years 2015-18 respectively) for such work.
- This draft TIP includes $1.5 million in 2016 for much needed “areawide trail rehabilitation.” All users will benefit from repaving and other improvements to our existing multi-use paths.
- Funding is proposed to design and construct two new multi-use path segments: (1) a path along Benson Blvd. between Lois Dr. and Minnesota Blvd ($1.2 million in 2016-17), and (2) a path along O’Malley Rd. between Old Seward Highway and C St. ($1.2 million in 2017-18). These will eliminate missing links in our existing or soon-to-be-constructed biking and walking network.
- The Bike Plan identifies the need to properly mark and sign our extensive existing bicycle network. The draft TIP proposes $1.2 million for this work in 2017-18.
- Lastly, four proposed-to-be-funded road projects include significant bike infrastructure: (1) the O’Malley upgrade from Seward Hwy to Hillside Drive should include full-fledged bike lanes and a new multi-use path on at least one side, (2) the Abbot Road upgrade from Lake Otis to Birch will include widened “paved shoulder bikeways” and the existing adjacent multi-use path will be resurfaced and sweeps installed at side-street intersections, (3) Spenard road work from Minnesota Dr. to Hillcrest Dr. should include some yet-to-be-defined bike and pedestrian improvements, and (4) we understand that the “Birch Road rehab” project will include rehabilitation of the adjacent multi-use path between Abbott Rd. and Huffman Rd.
Considering all of the above, we congratulate the municipal and state employees who developed the draft TIP for a great start. We have only one criticism, and we feel it is significant. The AMATS TIP was previously updated via a similar public process two years ago. Unlike now, the initially proposed funding levels for bicycle infrastructure was very poor. But dozens of people showed up at meetings, and hundreds wrote comments, asking for a better allocation. The residents of Anchorage want a more bicycle friendly city. As a result, the funding allocated for Bike Plan Implementation in the 2013-2014 TIP went from a proposed $1M to a final $2.3 million. During the past two years, we’ve waited to see the results of that funding. We still wait. While we know that the federal process for spending transportation dollars can be complex and time consuming, it can be done. Months, and now years, have gone by. Deadlines have come and gone. Most recently staff decided that the entire hard-earned $2.3 million in Bike Plan Implementation funds, as well as an additional $1 million in Pedestrian Plan Implementation funds, would be dedicated entirely to “project design” and none would be spent for on-the-ground project work. My reaction, and that of many others, is simply dismay. The NEPA regulations clarify that construction of bicycle and pedestrian lanes, paths and facilities, as well as installation of signs and pavement markings, are categorically excluded from NEPA review. See 23 C.F.R. § 771.117(c)(3) and (c)(8). The projects needing “design” are almost exclusively the striping, marking, and signing of bike lanes and shoulder pathways on existing asphalt on existing streets, all of which are categorically excluded from NEPA review. No “turning of dirt” is planned or needed. The Anchorage Bicycle Plan has already identified the “where” and “what.” The accepted ASHTO and NACTO bicycle infrastructure manuals clearly define the “how.” All that’s now left is “when.” Using the funds allocated via the TIP nearly two years ago, we will soon have $2.3 million worth of detailed bike lane and shoulder bikeway designs, all focused on how to stripe, mark, and sign existing asphalt on existing roadways. This massive expenditure only makes sense if followed by timely and substantial implementation. We thus believe that the $2.35 million proposed for 2015 – 2018 to implement the $2.3 million in planning and design funded in 2013 – 2014 is inadequate. Plans get stale. Priorities sometimes change. We need to fully leverage the previously allocated design dollars by better funding levels for follow through – actual paint on the streets and signs on the shoulders. As such we request the following change to the draft TIP:
- Increase the “non-motorized” allocation to at least a full 15 percent of the total allocation for each of the four years of this planning cycle. Funding non-motorized projects at $3.75 million per year would increase the 4-year non-motorized allocation by $3.2 million above the current draft. Dedicate this additional funding to put on-the-ground the results of all the extensive core bicycle network design work already funded and soon-to-be completed.
If, and only if, the above change is not attainable, then we propose the following changes to existing non-motorized projects. We relish none of these, but believe that if the above requested increase in the overall non-motorized allocation cannot be accommodated, then reducing or delaying several non-motorized projects would be prudent. This would allow additional on-the-ground implementation of the extensive bike lane design effort already funded:
- Reduce trail rehabilitation funding from $1.5 million to $1 million (2016). It is indeed important to take care of what we have. However, it is at least equally important to implement the top priorities in the Bike Plan and fully utilize the detailed designs already completed.
- Delay the planning, design, and construction of the Benson Blvd. multi-use path ($1.2 million in 2016 – 2017) until in 2019 – 2020.
Thanks for all the hard work done, and yet to be done, on revising the draft 2015 – 2018 Transportation Improvement Program. Based on the thoughtful analysis we share here, we hope to see an increased emphasis on Bike Plan implementation in the final document. Sincerely, /s Brian Litmans Brian Litmans President Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage
BCA’s 5th Annual Winter Bike Fest is coming. For the month of February, BCA will be celebrating all things bike with rides, movies, slideshows and the first ever Winter Bike to Work Day. We look forward to this series of events and connecting with our great BCA supporters.
Bike First Friday is back and we are having an informal meet up at 5:30pm in front of Katie Sevigny’s Studio near 4th Ave and G Street. We will decide where to go from there.
When: Registration begins at 9:00am; Ride begins at 10:00am.
Where: Start & Finish at the Trek Bicycle Store
How Much: $20 (registration fee supports BCA) or $40 for registration and annual membership to BCA.
Feb. 10 – Rising from Ashes
How Much: $4.00
Feb. 14 – Inaugural Winter Bike to Work Day
When: All day
Where: Where ever you go by bike
How Much: Free
How Much: Free
A lunch-time discussion about all things bike. This discussion will be lead by a panel including Chief Mew from the Anchorage Police Department, Kevin Turinsky (BCA board member and Director for Alaska Randonneurs), Janice Tower (with Single Track Advocates), Mike Morganson (REI Outreach Specialist) and Lori Schanche (the Municipality’s Non-Motorized Transportation Coordinator and drafter of the Anchorage Bicycle Plan). Brian Litmans, President of BCA will be the moderator. Come on out for a great lunch and discussion about bicycling in our great city.
Where: Westchester Lagoon
How Much: Free
Come on out to celebrate Anchorage’s first-ever Winter Bike to Work Day. We will be handing out Bike Love cookies and hot chocolate to all bicyclists so come on down, hang out by the burn barrels and enjoy Valentine’s Day with fellow bicyclists.
When: 6:30pm – 8:00pm (doors open at 6:00pm)
Where: BP Energy Center
How Much: $10 suggested donation (or free with your annual 2014 donation to BCA)
Come on out for a fun night of short bike films. We will be showcasing films from Filmed by Bike as well as films by local film makers.
Where: BP Energy Center
How Much: $10 suggested donation (or free with your annual 2014 donation to BCA)
To wrap up Winter Bike Fest’s month full of great events, BCA is excited to host a slide show by Sage Cohen of her bike travels through Iceland. Sage’s shows are always a treat. The Ring Road Ride is a multi-modal adventure - 18 days in search of the Icelandic sun in the summer of 2013.
Other Bike Events in February
- The Abominable Snow Series – Register here.
- Abominable #4 February 1, 2014 at 11am – Eagle River Nature Center XC (Fundraiser for ERNC)
- Abominable #5 February 22, 2014 at 6pm – Hilltop Super D
- Susitna 100 and Little Sue 50k – Feb. 15-17 – get details here.
Love BCA? Donate today through Pick. Click. Give.
2013 was a good year for Anchorage. There were no bicycle fatalities. Unfortunately, at the start of 2014, a long-time commuter, Eldridge Griffith, was stuck and killed by a motorist. This tragedy strikes all of us at our core. And serves as a stark and solemn reminder that what BCA is about and what we are striving for in Anchorage are important to everyone in this city. With any tragedy like this, the effects are felt across the community. Family and friends’ lives are changed. Someone dear to them is gone. And no words can really serve to address the pain and loss. For those that don’t know Mr. Griffith, the loss is a tear in the tight fabric that is the Anchorage bicycling community. BCA was created in 2008 with the mission of making Anchorage more bicycle-friendly. Our vision is a city where it is safe, convenient and desirable to go by bike. We know we have a lot of work to do. We also know that much has been accomplished to date. The city is changing, and moving in the right direction. Although, admittedly not at the rate any of us would like to see. BCA will continue, with hearts saddened by this tragic loss, to work to make Anchorage safer for everyone. With this tragedy, BCA takes time to reflect on Anchorage as a bicycle-city. BCA encourages everyone, motorist and bicyclist alike, to drive or bike with attention. Often in circumstances like this, people comment about why bicyclists are even out on the roads. But we are not “cyclists” or “bicyclists.” We are citizens of Anchorage, who choose to go by bike. Many of us are as much “motorists” as we are “bicyclists.” And all of us have friends and family waiting for us to come home, no matter how we get there. Just as motorists have a home to get to so do bicyclists. So for motorists, please recognize that that person in front of you on a bike isn’t a “cyclist.” They are just another citizen of Anchorage trying to get home, just like you, to see their loved ones, just like you. Those few seconds you may save by driving fast or quickly passing a bicyclist aren’t worth it. Please be patient and share the road. For bicyclists, be attentive, be visible and be predictable.
When a bicyclist is killed, often “ghost bikes” appear to serve as a solemn memorial and to remind everyone to safely share the road. In this instance, at the request of Mr. Griffith’s family, we ask that anyone who had the good intentions of placing a ghost bike at the scene refrain from doing so. The family is appreciative of the thought but it is too much to bear to see this ghostly reminder on a daily basis.
For the bicycling community, there will be a vigil at 2:00pm at the Chalet. We are asking bicyclists to show up a bit before 2:00pm and line up outside the window overlooking the hill. Have your bike with you and bring a candle and light it t 2:00pm. For 5 minutes we will stand in a line offering a moment of silence. Afterwards, bicyclists are welcome to come into the Chalet and celebrate Eldridge Griffith’s life.
With sadness and heavy heart,
Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage
Anchorage’s Federal Transportation Funding entity, AMATS, is currently accepting proposals for transportation infrastructure spending for 2015-16. We at your favorite non-profit all-volunteer organization – Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage – plan to submit a variety of bike infrastructure proposals. To help shape this request we’d like to hear from you!
To get your ideas, BCA will host an open house at REI this Friday, 10/18, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. BCA representatives will be prepared to (1) discuss what is already in the funding pipeline, (2) share some of BCA’s draft proposals for 2015-16 funding, and (3) get input from you as to your priorities for (a) new bike lanes, (b) new multi-use pathways, (c) needed maintenance or rehabilitation of existing bike lanes and paths, and/or (d) any other bicycling infrastructure projects that you think would make Anchorage/Eagle River a more bicycle friendly community. Using feedback from this open house, BCA will finalize a set of proposals and submit them to AMATS by the deadline of 10/28. We intend to submit projects totaling at least $10 million, our hoped-for bicycle infrastructure funding level for this planning period.
All ideas are welcome, but projects that help implement the Anchorage Bicycle Plan score extra points in the competitive project selection process. Don’t exactly remember what’s in the bike plan? Download a copy here:
Want to better understand this AMATS call for projects? Bike infrastructure typically gets funded under the “Transportation Alternatives” category. More information here:
Hope to see you Friday!
You can learn more about Steve’s travels on his blog
Jordan Blackson: Year-round fat-bike commuter
By Tim Woody
Jordan Blackson became a bike commuter four years ago, and has been riding to work year-round ever since. In a typical week, he rides 60 miles round-trip from his home near North Russian Jack to his office at Raspberry Road and C Street.
“I mostly ride alone, but sometimes I can ride home with my co-workers,” Jordan said. “I sometimes ride to social events in the evening, or spend time riding singletrack on the weekend.
“I ride mostly for the exercise it provides, but also cycling is something I really enjoy no matter the weather or temperature. It has become a great stress reliever too.”
Jordan’s bike is a Fatback from Speedway Cycles, with a swept-back handlebar and bags from Revelate Designs that help him carry everything he needs. Using studded tires in winter and regular fat tires in the dry months, he describes his setup as, “Smooth and strong. It has been great to ride in all seasons.”
And he loves the benefits of bike commuting.
“Between the weight-loss and stress relieving qualities with biking to work,” he said. “Life is good!”
Like most two-wheel commuters, he finds that not everyone understands his commitment to riding instead of driving. “Some of them don’t understand,” he said of friends and co-workers. “But it helps when I explain the personal benefits and how happy it makes me.
“I’m lucky to have a job that does not require me to drive much. Without my wife being a stay-at-home mom for our two kids, I believe I would be commuting less. I am very grateful for this.”
The biggest obstacle to bike commuting is in your head, in Jordan’s opinion.
“Since 90 percent of commuting is mental, getting past that part is the hardest. Providing enough time to commute and having the correct gear really helps too.”
He would like to see more people enjoying the health benefits of riding a bike to work.
“I love Anchorage’s Big Wild Life, getting to see moose, bears, birds, or any other wildlife on a daily basis is a real treat. Just recently I got to watch two baby moose play next to their mom on the bike trail, they were both acting like little kids jumping and kicking, it was great!”
Four years after becoming a two-wheel convert, his advice to beginners is a simple, sound tip:
“That pain in your ass after riding on a bicycle seat for the first time will go away in a few days, just keep riding!”
This is part of a series titled I Bike Anchorage, a collection of stories about the city’s devoted bicycle commuters — riders who see bikes not as toys, but as a viable means of transportation for getting to work and school, shopping, and running errands. These profiles appear quarterly and are written by Tim Woody, a year-round bike commuter and author of a blog called Bicycles & Icicles. If you would like to nominate a profile subject, drop Tim an email at email@example.com. Tell him a little about the person’s commuting habits and why he/she has an interesting story to tell.
BIKE FRIDAYS COFFEE & TREATS – July 26th
July 26th is the last Friday of the month and that means it’s another Bike Friday Coffee & Treats day! BCA is excited to announce that we have 10 bike stations across the city to encourage you to go by bike. Each station is individually run by businesses or organizations that support our collective efforts to make Anchorage bicycle-friendly. Make sure to thank them for their support!
The stations include (map here):
Location: Glenn Highway Multi-use bike path at Muldoon intersection.
Schedule: 6:30 to 8:30 am.
Description: coffee, water, and snacks.
Location: Corner of Elmore and Ambassador Drive
Description: In May, ANTHC and Southcentral were out all week with the Blueberry station – We’re not sure if they will have blueberry treats this Friday but know it will be something good.
Location: Westchester Lagoon by the Cozy Cafe
Schedule: 7:00am – 9:00am
Description: coffee, water and various treats
Location: 2515 “A” Street (Corner of A and 26th)
Schedule: 7:00 – 9:00
Description: cinnamon bars, fresh fruit, and coffee.
Location: Tudor and C St – northeast corner near the big red fish
Schedule: 6:30 to 8:30 AM
Description: Stop by for Coffee, Rolls and Water – and other treats to keep you fueled on your way to work. The station is sponsored by the CRW Engineering Group CReW. Kaladi Brothers provides the most excellent coffee.
Location: Elmore and Abbott
Schedule: 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Description: If you happen to be in the area, stop by the Trek Store of Anchorage aid station at the corner of Elmore and Abbott. Treats courtesy of House of Bread with Kaladi Bros. coffee on hand. Our location will be open from 6:30am to 8:30am.
Location: Intersection of 36th and Denali (SE corner)
Schedule: 7:00 to 8:45am.
Description: We will have fresh coffee, snacks and Denali Alaskan swag.
Location: NW corner of Spenard and Intl Airport Rd
Description: refreshments, safety info, and transportation swag.
Location: Corner of 7th anf St.
Description: Free coffee for Bike to Work Day participants.
Location: Chester Creek trail just east of Lake Otis
Description: Coffee and treats. Bike pins, stickers, maps and BCA folks on hand to fill you in on the latest BCA efforts.