At BCA, we try to avoid engaging or furthering the “bike v. car” debate. It doesn’t do anything for advancing the bicycle movement and its not about one or the other. Rather, its about ensuring that bicyclists can travel safely and conveniently. However, many who bike have likely heard the story from a motorist or two that we are derelicts and scofflaws. There is much out there on the web rebutting the myths about scofflaw bicyclists (yes there are bicyclists who violate the rules of the road but of course motorists, especially in Anchorage, have an uncanny ability to run reds, blow stop signs and travel at speeds far exceeding the speed limit). BCA aims to educate both bicyclists and motorists about the need to follow the rules of the road.
A few days ago, the University of Toronto released an interview on it’s website with Dr. Chris Cavacuiti. Here’s an excerpt:
…While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.
The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.
Also of interest given the fact that the Anchorage Bicycle Plan is in the process of being adopted, he noted that:
Research shows, perhaps not surprisingly, that countries and communities with more investment in cycling infrastructure have higher levels of cycling and lower accident and fatality rates among vulnerable road users—cyclists and pedestrians.
This sentiment was expressed by several of the experts who gave presentations at this spring’s Alaska Bike Summit, sponsored by BCA. If you build it they will ride, and they will be safer. Add to that the fact that there is safety in numbers and well – it becomes pretty clear that better bike infrastructure in Anchorage will lead to more bicyclists and safer conditions.
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It was a gray day and a bit wet too but lots of folks were out there biking to work. Its a great reminder that despite a little precip and colder temps in the morning it is still great biking weather. With the right gear and some fenders you can stay dry and keep those biking behind you happy that they aren’t getting sprayed.
Here are a few photos courtesy of a committed bike commuter, Brian Looney:
Thanks to all those who signed the petitions and rode their bikes today!
Two recent articles have touched upon a key aspect to bicycle transportation: Parking.
An excerpt from the Slate.com article, entitled What would get Americans Biking to Work notes:
given that cars spend 95 percent of their time parked, this makes some sense. Another reason may simply be that, in most of America, parking is taken as a given. Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, has estimated that 99 percent of car trips in the United States terminate in a free parking space, which means the nation’s drivers don’t have much incentive to think about parking—or not driving. In many American places, there are more parking spaces than people. If car parking is often overshadowed in traffic talk, bicycle parking is even more obscure.
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The last Friday of the month is approaching which means get on your bike friday and leave a little earlier so you can stop by one of BCA’s bike stations for a cup of joe and a treat. If you would like to volunteer please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will have a petition to Mayor Sullivan regarding street cleaning and winter plowing that you can sign and a petition that states that you support the Anchorage Bike Plan which is going before Planning and Zoning in September. Support for the Bike Plan is incredibly important if you want to see bicycle infrastructure, like bike lanes, become part of the Anchorage transportation plan. Bike infrastructure is a major key to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable.
So even if you dont need any coffee or treats stop in to sign the petitions.
Ravens Brew, as they have all summer, will again be providing the coffee. Thanks Ravens Brew!
And thanks to Great Harvest Bread Co. for donating tasty cinnamon bread. The commuters appreciate it!
Its friday. Its sunny. And far too nice to be staring at a computer. And BCA isnt all about being serious all the time. So with that, how in the world did this dance step not take off?
Alex Marco \”The Bike\”
In the spring of 2009, the Muni released a public draft version of the Anchorage Bike Plan. Over 200 comments were received. The Muni has released its Issues Response Summary describing how they have responded to and utilized these comments. BCA is reviewing the Issues Response to the comments submitted by the bicycle community and BCA. You can read BCA’s comments on the March 2009 draft here. If there are any issues you have with the Response to comments, please contact us at email@example.com so we can compile comments and convey them to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Public Hearing Draft of the Anchorage Bike Plan has been submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the the Commission will review the Plan on September 14, 2009. At the September 14 meeting, there will be an opportunity for the public to provide comments. The Draft Plan will then be submitted by the Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions (AMATS) to the Anchorage Assembly for adoption.
If we are serious about improving bicycle transportation in Anchorage then it is up to us, the Anchorage bicycling community, to come out to the hearing and show strong support for the Plan. Please come out on the 14th to show your support. The more bicyclists that come out the stronger our voice.
Stay tuned for more details.
The Second Safe Routes to School National Conference begins today in Portland, Oregon.
“Safe Routes to School has the potential to improve the living habits of an entire generation of schoolchildren. It provides our children with fresh air and exercise. It reduces fuel consumption and air pollution, and promotes safety…” – Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
BCA board member Dawn Groth is at the conference and will be returning back to Anchorage full of great information to help foster the Safe Routes to School program here in Anchorage.
To learn more about Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) check out our SRTS page.
If you aren’t already familiar with Off the Chain, Anchorage’s bike coop, then check out the great article from today’s ADN. The article notes that:
Hundreds of people like Baker have made pilgrimages to the volunteer-run Off the Chain bicycle shop since its founding by a group of University of Alaska Anchorage students nearly two years ago.
Mostly by word of mouth, Anchorage area residents have learned they can pick up spare parts at Off the Chain and learn to how fix their own bikes with help from the shop’s knowledgeable volunteers. The shop is run by a member-owned cooperative, which pays its expenses with donations from visitors and depends on free labor from volunteers.
Off the Chain is a great organization and is fostering a strong sense of community that helps make Anchorage a more enjoyable, livable and bike-friendly city. If you want to stop by you can find them at:
• Location: 814 Northern Lights Boulevard (west end of the former Mat Maid building)
• Phone: 258-6822
• Shop hours: Sunday, 3-8 p.m., Tuesday, 3-6 p.m., Ladies night, 6-9 p.m., Wednesday, 3-7 p.m., Thursday, 3-8 p.m.