May 14

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.

2014 commuter challenge letter size poster 2nd DRAFTJune 2 to Aug. 29 – The BCA-AIA Summer Bike, Walk & Bus Commuter Challenge

 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
  • USKH
  • 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!

May 05

 April 25, 2014

Mr. Craig Lyon, AMATS Coordinator

Municipality of Anchorage

Community Development Department

4700 Elmore Road

Anchorage, Alaska  99507

lyonch@muni.org

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

Oct 13

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:

http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/AMATS/Documents/AdoptedBicyclePlan.pdf

Want to better understand this AMATS call for projects? Bike infrastructure typically gets funded under the “Transportation Alternatives” category. More information here:

http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/AMATS/Pages/TIP.aspx

Hope to see you Friday!

Aug 08

I_bike_anchorage2As the summer biking season stretches on, it is time for another I Bike Anchorage by Tim Woody. We hope this latest installment inspires you to go by bike regardless of what the weather has in store.

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!”

JordyLike 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 icybikes@gmail.com. Tell him a little about the person’s commuting habits and why he/she has an interesting story to tell.

Jul 15

BCA and AIA would like to send out a big thanks to all the sponsors of this summer’s challenge. There are still weeks to go and we hope you all are enjoying the friendly competition and motivation to go by bike. Our sponsors have all made generous donations that we will hand out at the awards party on August 19th – an event you won’t want to miss.

Our 2013 sponsors include:

 

Alaska_Railroad_Color_Logo3 color logoAk Club

Bear Tooth Theatre logo

Mooses Tooth Pub logoGH 3-COLOR

Bicycle Shop


Resource Data, Inc. People, Technology, Results
Fire Island Rustic BakeshopREISteamdot

Logo w checkerboard

Spenard Roadhouse - Anchorage, AK

Mar 11

We’ve done it once.  We’ve done it twice.  How about thrice???  That’s largely up to YOU!

 

Last December we got final approval for $2.3 million in Federal transportation dollars for Anchorage/Eagle River bike plan implementation.  Consistent with Bike Plan priorities, the focus for these funds will be bike lane striping and signage.  This happened ONLY because 125 of you wrote emails and 35 of you showed up at a critical meeting and told decision makers why it was important.  In a second campaign, we asked you to contact your Anchorage Assembly members and ask that additional Bike Plan funding be included in the municipality’s State Legislative Program request.  Because scores of you did, the Assembly added a $900K project to the municipality’s state-funding wish list for this purpose.

 

Your state legislators are currently camped out in Juneau working on a slew of things, including the State’s 2014 capital budget.  Will they include any money for implementing our Bike Plan in that budget?   Almost certainly NOT,  UNLESS they hear that it’s important to their constituents.  BCA just wrote a letter (linked below) making such a request to all 26 Anchorage/Eagle River State Legislators.  Your individual State Senator and Representative now needs to hear from YOU!

 

What you need to do – Pick one:

 

If you only have 3 minutes (really!) – Send a 50 word message to your Legislators using the Alaska State Public Opinion Message System (http://www.legis.state.ak.us/poms/).  Just fill in the web form and type your very short message.  POMS even tells you who your State Senator and Representative is.  We recommend you send your message to just your two Legislators rather than all (you have a choice).  Ask them to please include Bike Plan funding per the muni’s request in the 2014 State Capital Budget, because …….

 

If you only have 6 minutes (and don’t mind talking to humans!) – Call your State Senator and Representative and ask that they include some Capital Budget funding for the Anchorage Bike Plan.  Reference the muni’s Legislative Program request, and say why it’s important to you!  Legislator’s phone numbers are listed here: http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/docs/pdf/whoswho.pdf.  Not sure who your Legislators are?  Start with POMS (above) and use it to the point that it tells you that.  Then pick up the phone and make two phone calls!

 

If you can spare 12 minutes – Send a more thoughtful and/or personal email to your two state legislators.  Find out who they are with POMS if needed.  Google their names and go to their official Senate and House web pages, which includes their email addresses.  Craft a single email to the two of them.  Copy & paste from the BCA letter to legislators if you want, but also add something personal if you can.  You could even advocate for another project or two.  The Muni’s full State Legislative Program wish-list is here: http://www.muni.org/Departments/Mayor/Documents/FINAL%20Legislative%20Program%20-%20Jan%208%202013.pdf. If you search using “bike” and “bicycle” you’ll find several more great bike-related project on the list, including “Northeast Anchorage Bike Skills Park and Pump Track ($61,000).”  Wouldn’t that also be nice!

 

Which of the above you do is not nearly as important as that you do SOMETHING!  It’s not hard or complicated.  Which of the above is best?  The one that you’ll do right now, or at least in the next few days!

You love to ride in Anchorage.  You are hereby challenged to contribute 3, 6, or 12 minutes of your personal time to make it even better!  Just do it!

Thanks – Todd Logan, BCA Volunteer

Questions or comments? Please email BCA volunteer Todd Logan at tjloganak@gmail.com

 

 

Feb 10

Winter 2013 — I Bike Anchorage

With winter biking in full force, it is time for another I Bike Anchorage by Tim Woody. We hope this latest installment inspires you to go by bike regardless of what the weather has in store.

For Pam Weiss, commuting helps balance family, work and bicycling

By Tim Woody

Pam Weiss is a devoted bicycle commuter who balances family, career and year-round
time on her bikes. Riding her bike to work might even help her juggle it all.

“First, I get my exercise in riding to and from work, which is a bonus when you
have a family and house to take care of in the evenings,” Pam said when asked
why she commutes by bike. “Second, it saves money – well, gas money, not
new bike-stuff-money. Third, it wakes me up and refreshes me. I find I am more
awake at work all day, although I still drink a ton of coffee! Fourth, it’s more
relaxing than driving since I hate driving.”

Pam said she started bike commuting “eons ago” while living in California.
She rode from Oakland to Berkeley because she couldn’t afford a car and the
related parking fees, and the public bus schedule was terrible. Like many riders
who started commuting in the Lower 48, she found it far easier after moving to
Anchorage.

“There, I was constantly afraid of being squashed by a car,” she said. “Here,
there are so many alternatives to riding on the road, so I much prefer it. After
all, I am able to commute from my house to downtown only riding about three-
quarters of a mile on one road – E Street.

“I am typically commuting four days per week unless I really need a car.”

She rides about six miles each way on her fat bike — a 9:ZERO:7 — which is
perfectly suited to year-round commuting. Come summer, Pam simply removes
her big wheels and switches to a set of 29er rims with knobby tires. And her bike
is equipped with a good light, a rack, and a set of waterproof panniers.

“I’m happy with it, but who wouldn’t want another bike? Sometimes I think I’ll
get an awesome summer commuter bike to reduce the wear and tear on my
9:ZERO:7, but it’s nice to just be able to switch the wheels and not have to make
the call when to move all the other attachments (rack, panniers, light, etc.).

Pam and her husband ride road and mountain bikes, and participate in events
such as the Fireweed in summer, and the annual Frosty Bottom race in winter.
Not surprisingly, they have a fleet of bikes.

“I have an Orbea Diva road bike (yes, I love this bike), a Giant mountain bike and
a Novarra Buzz that I use for pulling a Weehoo trailer bike for my son. Of course
my husband has his share of bikes too – fat bike, mountain bike, and road bike.
And my son has a bike too.” she said. “What does this mean? We don’t have
room in the garage for cars!”

Having a spouse who rides is a bonus for a bike commuter, especially in a world
where there’s no shortage of people who wonder why anyone would travel by
bike if they had the option of using a car.

“My husband is totally supportive, although I’m sure he’d prefer I didn’t ask him
to do maintenance 15 minutes before I’m leaving in the morning,” Pam said. “My
parents are supportive, and my dad commuted by bike in Arizona the whole time
I was a kid. Most of my friends are on the same wavelength.

“My co-workers … well, I suspect they (or some of them) think I’m crazy. Some
of my co-workers ride in the summer when the weather is nice. But I suspect
the ‘crazy’ word gets uttered when, for example, it’s pouring rain, it’s the day after
the windstorm, in the subzero winter, and times like that.”

With the advantage of a private office, Pam is able to avoid the risk of bike
theft by storing her bike — and her sweaty gear — in her office each day. And
because she works for the Municipality of Anchorage, she enjoys the benefit of
a free People Mover bus pass. That means that in summer, she easily can get
home with her bike on the bus if she has a mechanical problem or especially bad
weather.

Taking the bus home is not an option in winter, because People Mover bike racks
don’t accommodate fat bikes, an issue Pam mentions when asked if there is
anything that could make bike commuting easier for her.

“Oh, and if I could figure out a great way to take skis on my bike, so I could do
that after work too!”

This is the fourth in a series of I Bike Anchorage 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 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 icybikes@gmail.com. Tell him a little about the person’s commuting habits and why he/she has an interesting story to tell.

Jan 29

Winter Bike Fest 2013 Details

Saturday, Feb 9, 11AM—Second Saturday Winter Ride— Meet at Goose Lake at 11AM for a fun and casual ride to the Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop Anyone is welcome to join, especially those new to winter biking. It’s a great way to meet other winter cyclists and share tips about how to get around Anchorage safely by bike.  Hope to see you there! Free!

Sunday, Feb 17, 8AM—Winter City Urban Randonnée 30K/50K

Start/Finish: Peanut Farm

Registration opens: 8:00AM

Start Time: 9:00AM

2 courses: 30Km & 50Km

Style: Urban Randonnée

A benefit fund raiser for the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage – $20 registration fee

Ride the Winter City Urban Randonnée February 17, 2013 — a rolling fund-raiser for the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage in association with the Alaska Randonneurs, and an opportunity for all cyclists to support BCA while experiencing the adventurous style of randonneuring cycling.

Choose between two new courses – a 30Km or 50Km winter-day’s ride through the heart of Anchorage on track and trail.

Progress from checkpoint to checkpoint, navigating between food and stops along the way. See how easy it is to winter bicycle commute in Anchorage. It’s an event, but not a race– so don’t dally!

Fatbike rentals available @ Paramount Cycles (907-336-2453) or Arctic Cycles (907-351-854)5 to reserve your bike. Call early. Supplies are limited.

$20 to support the BCA. Registration begins at 8AM.

Monday, Feb 18, 6PM—Filmed by Bike 

A collection of shorts curated by Filmed by Bike, in Portland, Oregon. Experience humor, adventure, romance, intrigue, quirkiness, all related to the bike. Doors at 6, Show starts at 6:30. $10 suggested donation or get in free if you are an existing member or if you become or renew your membership. (we will have a list of members and when they signed up on hand).

Jan 07

On January 15th the Assembly will hold the public portion of the hearings before they pass their revised version of Title 21. It’s beyond belief what this particular assembly and Planning and Zoning Commission (appointed by Dan Sullivan) has done to Title 21—-and basically without input from the community.
Do we want a pro development, pro automobile, pro individual Anchorage, or do we want a connected community with wildlife, clean waterways, trails and public transport? It’s up to us. And that means you.
Start talking. Talk to everyone you know about the future of Anchorage. Share this YouTube clip with your friends.

 

In 2001, Anchorage adopted a comprehensive plan for the future called Anchorage 2020. That plan was the result of a long public process with thousands participating.

Faced with the challenge of accommodating thousands more households than current code and practices allow, we chose to provide increased density without losing the things that make Anchorage a great place to live.

“’Business as usual’ development practices were unpopular.” The “community voiced a broad consensus in favor of urban features and neighborhood diversity.”

Since 2001 Anchorage 2020 has been expanded with more detailed neighborhood (or district) plans that continue to support its overall goals.

Title 21 is a comprehensive document that covers many aspects of life in Anchorage. In addition to what is listed here, it includes stream set  backs, water quality, design standards for home builders, and open space requirements (to name  a few). Here are a few things Anchorage citizens consistently ask for that relate to bicycle commuting:

  • Safer and easier walking and biking
  • Trail and walkway connections
  • A walkable midtown
  • Safe, convenient transit

But the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2012 has decided that “we have changed our minds” and recommended vast changes to the Provisionally Adopted Title 21, the version our elected representatives supported.

DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND?

A CHRONOLOGY OF COMPROMISES

* The Title 21 Rewrite project was started in 2002 to implement citizens’ vision for Anchorage’s future as presented in our adopted comprehensive plan.

* There were multiple public hearings at the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Assembly. At each stage, compromises were made.

* By mid-2010 the Assembly had provisionally adopted all but two chapter and final adoption was expected by late 2010.

* In 2011, Mayor Sullivan hired a consultant to take another look at Title 21. Most of the consultant’s recommendations were rejected.

* In 2012, the newly appointed Planning and Zoning Commission decided to reopen the entire Provisionally Adopted Title 21, having decided “we have changed our mind.” They welcomed and carefully followed the consultant’s recommendations.

* Then, the Assembly’s Title 21 Committee restarted its review from the beginning. Throwing out ten years of public process and compromise they accepted the PZC’s short term cost cutting over long term benefits and your property rights.

DRAW THE LINE HERE

  • Reject proposals for sidewalks on only one side of arterials, no sidewalks on cul de sacs, optional connections to parks and adjacent neighborhoods and thin 10’ wide pedestrian easements.
  • Removing sidewalks is a setback to Comprehensive Plan policies for pedestrian safety.
  • Sidewalks should be required along both sides of public streets for all types of developments in class A (more urban) zoning districts, including cul-de-sacs.
  • When neighborhoods are connected, it encourages more walking and biking, decreases the need to drive and leads to better health for its citizens, and a greater sense of community.

Those are just bullet points that directly relate to Active Transportation. There are many other items of concern, such as water quality and design standards to name a few.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

Come to Assembly hearings and let them know WE HAVE NOT CHANGED OUR MINDS!

On JANUARY 15 the Anchorage Assembly opens public hearings on this latest, developer dominated Title 21. Come tell the Assembly why you live here, and how you want your children to have an even better place to live. Make sure they understand how important it is to you that Anchorage become more walkable and bike-able.

Call your Assembly representative. Their contact information is here. You can email the entire Anchorage Assembly at  wwmas@muni.org.

Work with your Community Council to adopt a resolution promoting the Provisionally Adopted Title 21 and supporting Anchorage 2020. http://www.communitycouncils.org/ Other councils’ resolutions are available for your review by contacting AnchorageCitizensCoalition@gmail.com

More info is at accalaska.org and at the Facebook site Free Title 21

The muni has posted all relevant Title 21 documents at: http://www.muni.org/Departments/OCPD/Planning/Projects/t21/Pages/Title21Rewrite.aspx

Dec 25

The Zombie Apocalypse Ride on Dec 15 was a huge success! Not only did 65 of you brave single digit temperatures (including at least two families!), but everyone had a fabulous time, and wow did it generate some cool press! Multiple nation-wide organizations, such as League of American Bicyclists, People For Bikes, and Interbike picked up the story! Here’s a write-up from Greenstar’s Christina Grande and some awesome pictures from Andre Camara.

Snow, ice, and temperatures hovering at 5 degrees!

None of the harsh elements held back more than 60 bike riders from creating some amazingly authentic zombie costumes and hopping on their studded or fat tire bikes to join Green Star’s inaugural Zombie Apocalypse Winter Bike Ride on December 15, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska.

It was a mellow five-mile group bike ride – after all, zombies don’t move very fast — through Anchorage’s Spenard and Turnagain neighborhoods, on road, trails, and even across a frozen lagoon. In recent years, an increasing number of people have been riding their bikes in winter, whether in bike races on single-track trails or to commute to work, creating a new snow-sport sub-culture in Anchorage.

Seeing this trend, staff at Green Star, a nonprofit organization based in Anchorage that helps organize Bike to Work Day events in Anchorage, thought it would be fun to organize a winter bike ride to celebrate and generate additional enthusiasm for winter bike commuting with an emphasis on safety.

In addition to mountain bikes, hybrids and cyclocross bikes, zombies brought out the very popular fat tire bikes including 9:ZERO:7’s, Fatback’s, Salsa’s Mukluk, and Surly Pugsley’s.

The zombies met at a local Anchorage cafe for coffee and treats in the morning. Then the group took to the streets and trails decked out in true zombie fashion…blood, detached limbs, ripped clothes (with a puff jacket underneath most costumes). Halfway through the bike ride, the group rode across a frozen lagoon popular with ice skaters, racing around the rink with one very surprised ice skater!

The ride wrapped up at a local restaurant and pub where bike valet parking for zombie bike riders was available thanks to Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage (BCA).

Overall, the ride was successful with a strong turnout despite frigid temperatures and somewhat soft snow conditions.

The Zombie Apocalypse Winter Bike Ride was only possible through the support of our sponsors: Middle Way Cafe, Tap Root Public House, Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage (BCA), Arctic Bicycle Club, Chain Reaction, The Bicycle Shop, Paramount Cycles, R.E.I. – Anchorage, Off the Chain, Alaska Injury Prevention, Screamin’Yeti Designs, Solstice Advertising, Midnight Sun Brewing Company, and American Diabetes Association.

Photo: Ian Laing

(Written by Christina Grande, Green Star’s Community Outreach and Communications Coordinator)

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