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