When I am on a bike, my spine tingles when I see a motorist on the phone. Even worse, when I see their head bowed down as they type a message. Things can happen quickly out on the road. So I try to keep as close an eye as I can on what motorists are doing behind the wheel. It influences where and how I ride. Texting is my biggest concern. And for those that don’t know, texting is unlawful in Alaska.
AT&T has just unveiled a campaign to raise awareness. Here are some of the ads:
While it turned out to again be a long night, those that stuck it out were greeted with a great cap to the evening. The Assembly first voted 10 to 1, rejecting an amendment to withdraw the proposed route that would parallel the railway from Westchester lagoon to south Anchorage. It is a great uninterrupted route and we were happy to see it stay in the plan. While it will no doubt require a lot of work to make it a reality, BCA is certainly up to the challenge and hopes that the Railroad and the City can find a solution. Rails along trails can be tricky but there are many successful examples from across the country.
Then to top the night off, the Assembly showed 100% support for the Bike Plan. We extend our thanks to the Assembly for their patience. There were a lot of bicyclists who came out to let the Assembly know how important this is to the bicycling community. BCA is excited that the Plan has the Assembly’s full support. And, assuming AMATS approves the plan, that we can all move forward with its implementation. It no doubt will make Anchorage safer and more convenient for bicyclists, but it will also make Anchorage a more livable city for everyone.
BCA thanks the entire bicycling community for all the support you have shown. The broad support was critical to getting unanimous support from the Assembly. Thank You and keep riding – and for those that have not been riding this winter, today is a pretty great day to pull the bike out of the garage!
Hey bike enthusiasts,
the word in the halls is pretty positive. looks like we have the Assembly in support for the plan. we will still testify to let the Assembly know the importance of this plan to bicyclists and all of Anchorage. If you want to come on down, it looks like they will be getting to the Plan around 7:3opm or so – they just started their break.. You can show just through your presence that there is strong support from the community. if you do testify let the Assembly know that you support the rail route. The Mayor has introduced an amendment to pull the route out. It is an important north/south connector for Anchorage that allows bicyclists to get north/south without going through lots of intersections.
Photo by Mark Lester, Anchorage Daily News
ADN published a good article about the Anchorage Bike Plan in Sunday’s paper. Author Lisa Demer interviewed quite a few people for the story, including the Mayor, Assembly chair Pat Flynn, a representative from the Alaska Trucking Association, and transportation planners and municipal workers from other northern cities where cyclists have to deal with snow. Our own Dawn Groth, Brian Litmans and Kristi Wood were interviewed, and Brian was even pictured on the front page! You can read the entire story here: http://www.adn.com/2010/03/20/1192613/two-wheeled-travelers-pumped-for.html
This Tuesday the Assembly will continue the public testimony on the Anchorage Bike Plan. Many bicyclists came out on March 2nd, to testify about why the Bike Plan is important to them. We hope we again get large numbers of bicyclists out to the Assembly meeting this Tuesday to let the Mayor and the Assembly know how important this Plan is to the Anchorage bicycle community.
We don’t know when we will be on the agenda so stay tuned. This go-around, BCA will also be blogging live from the Assembly through our website and our Facebook page to let everyone know when in the evening the Bike Plan will be heard. So you can follow along from home and come on down when we know when the Assembly will get to the Plan.
If you want to see some talking points about the Anchorage Bike Plan, or just want to look the plan over, check the Bike Plan part of our website, http://bicycleanchorage.org/wordpress/?page_id=798.
Secretary LaHood addressing the National Bike Summit. © J. Maus of Bike Portland.
Last week, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood jumped onto a table at the National Bike Summit to thank the crowd and show his support for bicycling and walking. He noted that a new era was upon us. Today, Secretary LaHood announced a new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. According to the League of American Bicyclists, “It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation.”
On his blog, he writes:
Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.
We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:
* Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
* Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
* Go beyond minimum design standards.
* Collect data on walking and biking trips.
* Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
* Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
* Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.
Now, this is a start, but it’s an important start. These initial steps forward will help us move forward even further.
These words could be no more timely, as the Anchorage Assembly and our Mayor grapple with whether to take a step in the right direction and approve the Anchorage Bicycle Plan. A sea change is coming. And we need to let the Assembly know that now is the time to join with cities across America whom already recognize that infrastructure that promotes bicycling and walking are critical elements to transforming the urban landscape into something more livable and enjoyable for everyone. The train is leaving the station. Federal funding for projects will be predicated on how they incorporate all modes of transportation. We can only move in this direction with an approved Bike Plan. So come on out to the Assembly meeting March 23rd and let your voice be heard!
The Anchorage Bicycle Plan will soon be passed if our assembly and mayor recognize Alaskan’s ‘can-do’ spirit. I just returned from an advocacy trip to Washington, DC, where it was a pleasure to witness bicycles, pedestrians and motorists traveling well together.
Over 700 of us visited with each of our congressional leaders. I met personally with Senator Murkowski, Senator Begich and Representative Young to talk about bicycle recognition in the federal transportation system. On the local front, they are very aware of the Anchorage Bicycle Plan’s status with the Assembly and Mayor and encourage us to continue to ‘lead our leaders’. They advise letters to the editor and keep pushing.
The Anchorage bicycle plan’s goals of doubling bicycle commuter trips, reducing collisions by 30%, and educating the public about bicycle/motorist rights and responsibilities are highly attainable. Alaskans are smart, adventure-oriented, and have that ‘can-do spirit’ which separates us from the Lower 48. Other winter cities such as Minneapolis, MN and Madison, WI have great bicycling communities.
I know Anchorage can do better. Let’s show those winter cities some Alaskan spirit. Encourage our assembly and mayor to pass the Anchorage Bicycle Plan and we’ll show those ‘other winter cities’ how it’s done. Send an email encouraging the assembly and mayor to support the Anchorage Bicycle Plan so Anchorage can become the winter bicycling capital of all US winter cities! email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be Part of the Solution.
Winter Bike Fest
BCA’s First Annual Winter Bike Festival and Fund Raiser was a resounding success! A big Thanks to everyone who showed up! We filled the BP Energy Center to capacity (and then some), and everyone had a great time. I sure enjoyed Roger’s presentation, and I think everyone else did too. It’s quite a story, isn’t it? I wish we’d had more time…really he needs a couple of hours to tell it all. Carl Battreall’s movie “Fat Bike” is such a great film, and I’m happy to report we sold all the copies he brought with him! I was honored he showed up and introduced the movie in person. Kudos to all our contestants in the Most Visible Rder Contest! One lucky winner walked away with the $100 gift certificate at the Bicycle Shop on Northern Lights, and the runners up had first choice of our fabulous collection of prizes. A BIG Thank You to all the bike shops who donated prizes for the event…The Bicycle Shop, REI, Sunshine Sports, Speedway Cycles, and Chain Reaction. We could not have done it without their support! We should all keep in mind the local bike shops are a fantastic resource for knowledge of our trails and all the conditions that are unique to Anchorage.
Thanks again to everyone who showed up to support the BCA! Let’s do it again next year!
BCA just came across this posting for an intern position with Green Star. A great way to pitch in and make this year’s Bike to Work Day a success.
BIKE TO WORK DAY INTERN for GREEN STAR from approximately March 22nd-May 31st. Intern will assist Green Star staff with the planning and
implementation of the Municipality of Anchorage’s 6th Annual Bike to Work Day and associated events. The intern’s responsibilities will
include Bike to Work Day planning meetings, solicitation of prizes and sponsorships, and participation in all Bike to Work Day events.
Qualifications: Candidate must have reliable vehicle transportation, and provide a clean MVR. Cost for MVR will be reimbursed upon hiring. Ideal
candidate will have knowledge of bicycle commuting in Anchorage, be highly motivated, very organized, self-directed, an excellent
communicator and have fundraising experience. This is a paid position and position will remain open until filled. Please submit your cover
letter and résumé to Lilly Capell at email@example.com or call 278-7859 for more information.
Come see this tonight!
Roger is bringing his six wheeled bike to the BP Energy Center tonight! Come down and see this early generation of fat bike that took him all the way to Nome on the Iditarod Trail! Roger’s presentation starts at 6:30, and then we’ll show the award winning move Fat Bike, followed by our contest for the Most Visible Cyclist. We’ve been gathering cool prizes from local bike shops, so contestants will have the chance to win some great stuff, and we’ll be giving away door prizes as well.