Since the summer of 2009, BCA has been working to ensure that the Title 9 rewrite is sensible and provides adequate protections for bicyclists. Title 9 is the Municipality of Anchorage Traffic Code, providing the rules and regulations of the road and it is going through a major update that, in the near future, will be reviewed and eventually approved by the Assembly.
When the initial proposed changes were released, BCA became concerned about one rule in particular because it placed bicyclists in a dangerous predicament. The proposed change sought to require bicyclists utilizing sidewalks to yield to motor-vehicle traffic when crossing driveways, intersections or crosswalks. The underlying reason for the change was that one of our most common crash scenarios is when bicyclists traveling on sidewalks are hit by motorists. When a bicyclist on a sidewalk approaches an intersection traveling quickly, it gives the motorist little time to react. But that is only part of the problem. The other aspect of these crash scenarios is that motorists just aren’t looking for bicycle (or pedestrian) traffic when coming out of driveways, parking lots or intersections.
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If you are curious about how the midterm election will impact transportation policy then check out this write up by America Bikes, a coalition of leaders from the bicycle community advocating for positive outcomes for bicycling in the federal transportation bill:
As Andy Clarke wrote on the League’s blog, we lost a friend and a champion when Congressman Jim Oberstar lost his reelection bid in Minnesota. During his time in Congress, and particularly in his role as Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, we knew we had someone who would fight for bicyclists.
Our fight for bicycling and walking in the Transportation Authorization Bill will be much harder without Oberstar — but not impossible. I think that those of us who feel defeated and depressed right now need to remember what this movement accomplished in SAFETEA LU under a Republican House, Senate and White House. Safe Routes to School and the non-motorized pilot program were created, funding for Transportation Enhancements went up 35 percent, Recreational Trails funding went up 65 percent, and, during the life of SAFETEA LU, annual funding for bicycling and walking went from less than $400 million to more than $1 billion. While Congress and funding issues are a challenge, we know we have a strong ally in Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and incredible momentum building at the local level.
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I just got notice of this from one of BCA’s supporters.
There is an open house this Wednesday regarding the New Seward Project that will FINALLY connect Cambell Creek trail under the highway. If you are a user of this pathway consider letting DOT know that
1. This is a critically important connection that bicyclists and non-motoized users have been waiting for years to be completed. With this connection the Campbell Creek Trail will finally be Anchorages’ second major East – West Trail. A complete loop of Goose Lake, Chester Creek, the Coastal Trail, Kincaid Park and Campbell Creek Trail will be possible with only minor grade crossings in the Sand Lake area. Close to 30 Miles! The end of Hike a Bike under New Seward is in the foreseeable future!
2. While grateful for this project, it must not be relegated to the back burner as a catch up item. It needs to be paced and accomplished in a timely manner.
3. This project is going to “sever” the trail for a fair amount of time next Summer with the likely alt routes being Tudor overpass to the North and Dowling Rd to the South. Appropriate detour signage and guidance would be a good thing to have in the plan to make the duration as decent as possible. Current plans call for a two year project, starting in August per the website.
Thanks to Jeff Schmitz of the Streets and Trails Committee, Taku Campbell Community Council for passing this on.
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Yippee! again. A ton of bicycle lovers participated during the October Bike First Friday. It’s fantastic to see the tremendous excitement around BCA’s wintertime Bike First Friday events! You are going to dig this month’s ibike Bingo game! Lots of your friends chipped in on the event.
The idea is for you to print off the ibike bingo sheet and map, meet up with your friends to cycle around town researching the answers. When you think you have enjoyed enough bicycling, pop into Cafe Amsterdam after 8:30pm (530 E Benson, Metro Music and Books Mall) to socialize, brag about all your bingos’, or rant about your adventures.
If you are interested in meeting up with beautiful, fun people to ride with, come to Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge at 36th at 5:45. (Caution: You won’t find us at the downtown Chocolate Lounge)
Drag out your reflective clothing and lights and prepare yourself for bicycling in the cooler, darker season of winter. Remember, “In Alaska we don’t change our plans, we just change our clothes.”
As always, remember to follow the rules of the road. You are BCA’s Bicycle Ambassadors.
Print off the november ibike bingo sheet and the Bike Bingo Nov 2010 Cheat Sheet and start rolling on Friday evening. See you at Cafe Amsterdam for the celebratory finish w/ prizes.
for questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-3580