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)

Dec 14

BCA Supporters,

BCA continues to work hard for (and with!) you to get funding to implement the bike plan. Next week the AMATS Policy Committee will vote on the funding budget for 2013-14 with the allocations we got for Bike Plan implementation – an extra $1.3 million. This happened largely because 125 of you wrote emails and 35 of you showed up at a meeting at the critical moments. We need your help again.

We will now try to tap $900K in state funds to bolster the federal dollars AMATS is allocating to Bike Plan implementation. Attached is BCA’s letter to the Anchorage Assembly, which explains the issue. Our strategy has two steps: (1) get the $900K on the state funds list; (2) get the Legislature to fund it. We are working on step one right now:

SO WHAT DO WE NEED YOU TO DO?

Send an email to all Assembly members (wwmas@muni.org) saying something like:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Dear Members of the Assembly,

On 12/12/12 you received a letter from the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage asking that a Bike Plan Implementation project be added to the municipality’s 2013 State Legislative Program request. I strongly support efforts to further implement the Anchorage Bike Plan. I hope you will too when you discuss and act upon the Legislative request at your next assembly meeting.

[optional personal paragraph here about why biking is important to you, how much you love your Assembly member, etc.!]

Sincerely,

Your name
Your address

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The above is crafted for an all-Assembly email. If you would rather target and customize the message for YOUR Assembly member(s), that would be fine too: Those folks are:

Section 1 Downtown
- Patrick Flynn (FlynnPP@muni.org)
Section 2 Chugiak
- Debbie Ossiander: OssianderDA@muni.org
- Bill Starr: StarrWE@muni.org
Section 3 West
- Ernie Hall: HallE@muni.org
- Harriet Drummond: DrummondHA@muni.org
Section 4 Midtown
- Dick Traini: TrainiD@muni.org
- Elvi Gray-Jackson: Gray-JacksonE@muni.org
Section 5 East
- Paul Honeman: HonemanPS@muni.org
- Adam Trombley: TrombleyAR@Muni.org
Section 6 South Anchorage
- Jennifer Johnston: JohnstonJ@Muni.org
- Chris Birch: BirchC@muni.org

When addressing your email, consider a bcc: to tjloganak@gmail.com. This would be helpful, but is by no means essential.

WE NEED YOU TO DO THIS NO LATER THAN NOON MONDAY, 12/17.
We may have another $900K towards Bike Plan implementation but only if you speak out. Is 2 minutes of your time worth $900K? I hope so.

If you are interested in seeing the action up-close and personal, come to Tuesday (12/18) night’s Assembly meeting. There will NOT be any opportunity to speak. That’s why your emails are important. The agenda should soon be posted here:

http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx

Have questions or comments? Contact BCA volunteer Todd Logan at tjloganak@gmail.com.

WE’VE (ALMOST) DONE IT ($$$) ONCE. CAN WE DO IT ($$$) AGAIN? NOT WITHOUT YOUR HELP! SO TAKE ACTION TODAY!

2012 12 12 BCA Legislative Program 2013 Letter to Anchorage Assembly

Dec 08

 

Zombie Apocalypse transparent logo
Zombie Apocalypse Winter Bike Ride 2012
Saturday, December 15 — 9:30am

 

Take a break from the holiday shopping craze, put on your best zombie threads, saddle up on your studded or fat tire bike and join Green Star’s inaugural Zombie Apocalypse Winter Bike Ride.

 

Green Star welcomes all winter bike riders to join a freakishly mellow five-mile bike ride in the Spenard/Turnagain area. We are riding to generate enthusiasm for winter bike commuting in town, with an emphasis on safety, in a fun forum! How cool is it to see a bunch of zombies taking to the streets on two wheels?

 

Meet at Middle Way Cafe (1300 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite G) at 9:30am for registration, coffee, treats, and a route rundown.  The ride will depart from Middle Way Cafe at 10:00am sharp. Maps will be provided to our destination at Tap Root Public House (3300 Spenard Road), between 33rd and 34th Ave, for more zombie fun, swag giveaways, and drink specials! Bike valet parking available until 2PM (we need volunteers to help with the bike parking. Contact Kristi at bikemoredriveless@hotmail.com if you are available).

 

REGISTRATION: SUGGESTED DONATION of $10 PER RIDER – this includes coffee, snacks, and T-SHIRT! RSVP through the Zombie Apocalypse FaceBook event
Simply confirm you are attending, post your t-shirt size, and pay the morning of the ride. Cash, check, and credit cards will be accepted. T-shirt sizes are adult standard. Kids 12 and under ride free.
We could not do this without the support of our sponsors:  Alaska Injury Prevention Center, American Diabetes Association, Arctic Bicycle Club, Arctic Bicycle Club’s Mountain Bike Racing Division, Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage (BCA), Bosco’s Comics, Chain Reaction, Middle Way Cafe, Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Off the Chain, Paramount Cycles, R.E.I. – Anchorage, Screamin’ Yeti Designs, Shirts Up, Solstice Advertising, Tap Root Public House, and The Bicycle Shop.

AIPC logo ADA logo Arctic Bicycle Club ABCMtBike Boscos logo  BCA logo  Chain Reaction Logo Middle Way Cafe Midnight Sun logo Off the Chain Paramount Cycles REI screamin yeti logo shirts up logoThe Bike Shop

Solstice AdvertisingTap Root Public House

Green Star
Good for Business — Good for the Community — Good for the EnvironmentGS buildings

until 2PM (we need volunteers to help with the bike parking. Contact Kristi at bikemoredriveless@hotmail.com if you are available).

Nov 06

BCA Second Saturday Winter Ride

Join us this Saturday Nov 10 at 11 AM at Goose Lake for the first 2013 BCA Second Saturday Winter Ride. We’ll ride the Chester Creek trail to the Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, where we will enjoy a variety of tasty treats and hot drinks. The calories are guilt free since we will burn them off on the way back! Anyone is welcome to join us, especially those new to winter riding. It’s a great way to pick up tips on winter bike commuting from seasoned commuters. A suitable winter bike, winter clothing, and helmet are required.

Zombie Apocalypse Costume Bike Ride

Rumor has it there is an upcoming Zombie Apocalypse Costume Bike Ride on December 15th from 10am – 12:00pm. It’s a great way to celebrate the end of the Mayan Calendar and enjoy Anchorage by bike at the same time! The ride starts at the Middle Way cafe and ends at Taproot. It’s 4.6 miles of ghoulish fun. If conditions allow, (ie: if we don’t get a huge snowfall the night before), this will be a good route for any type of winter bike. Show up in costume and enjoy tasty treats complimentary of Middle Way Cafe. Stick around at the Taproot for the Zombie After Party. Stay tuned for details. A fee may be charged to offset some of the costs (for permits, etc). Volunteer zombies will be needed for such tasks as parking bikes, flagging traffic, and staffing treat stations. Contact Josh at joshua@greenstarinc.org for more information.

BCA Supporters Make $1.3 Million Dollar Difference

On Thursday November 1st, the AMATS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met to review its proposed budget for how it would allocate federal dollars to Anchorage transportation projects over the next two years. BCA rallied support for an increase in Bike Plan funding and our work paid off. After the Committee acknowledged that improving bicycle infrastructure is important and necessary, they moved on to the tough questions of how to make it happen. AMATS TAC member Lance Wilber, Director of People Mover, led the charge, finding an additional $1.3 million that could be channeled towards Bike Plan implementation. We all owe a big thanks to Mr. Wilber for finding a positive and creative way to make Anchorage safer for everyone.

BCA also owes a huge thanks to Todd Logan, BCA volunteer, for leading the charge, following the process, and encouraging supporters to submit comments and attend the TAC hearing. BCA also thanks all of you for your incredible support — especially the 125 people who took the time to submit comments and the 35 people who made it to the hearing. The fight isn’t over, the final budget still must be confirmed by the AMATS Policy Committee, but your presence and participation was critical in this huge win. The budget reflects a 1.3 million dollar change because you spoke up and fought to make Anchorage a safer, more livable city.

Enjoy The Ride, Bike The Drive!

Kristi Wood

www.bicycleanchorage.org

Nov 01

Today was one of those days that affirms why we spend hours and hours working to make Anchorage more bicycle-friendly.  In the middle of the afternoon (when many were at work or skipped out to come to the meeting), the AMATS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meet to review its proposed budget for how it would allocate federal dollars to Anchorage transportation projects over the next two years.  We counted 35 bicyclists in attendance to demand more from our city.  AMATS TAC meetings usually dont get many members of the public – a few consultants, planners and developers – but not the public. Today WAS DIFFERENT. It was different because you – our BCA supporters – came out in force.  You had already made a big splash with the TAC by submitting over 125 comments (another unprecedented event). But today you put an exclamation mark on those comments by showing up in force and telling your stories, highlighting that the way we spend federal $ is important to every day lives, that it can make us safer, improve traffic congestion, improve motorist awareness of bicyclists and how to share the road, support healthier lives, create a more livable and desirable city, and support businesses.

When we saw the proposed budget weeks ago, we were concerned that AMATS was not taking implementation of the Anchorage Bike Plan seriously. They had put $1 million in the budget for the next two years, which is fantastic, but the budget was still heavily weighed down by projects like Dowling and O’Malley road improvements. The budget would have allowed for minimal progress in implementing the Bike Plan and left us with another two years before we would get another chance at trying to make serious strides in implementation of the Bike Plan.

Today, our BCA supporters sent a clear message that more needs to be done, that more investment needs to be made in bicycle infrastructure to make our streets safer for everyone.  Todd Logan, Rosemary Austin, Yvonne Goldsmith, Ryan Lawton, Heidi Zimmer, Gordon Descutner, Sam DuBois, Janice Tower, Tim Snapp, Mari Reeves, Marcia Howell, Pedro Kim, Walt Parker, and Bob Shipley all spoke eloquently about why we need to implement the Bike Plan.  There were more BCA supporters in the room who didn’t speak, but I am sure they would have carried forward with the strong message to AMATS TAC.

After some serious deliberation and acknowledgements from the committee as a whole that improving bicycle infrastructure is important and necessary, they moved on to the tough questions of how to make it happen. AMATS TAC member Lance Wilber, Director of People Mover, lead the charge, finding creative and effective means to move funding around so more dollars could go towards Bike Plan implementation. When Mr. Wilber was done, he had found an additional 1.3 million that could be channeled towards Bike Plan implementation. For those concerned about Dowling – fear not – they still have their 19-20 million dollars, but thanks to the creative and solutions-based thinking of Mr. Wilber, the TAC was able to agree to bump up the Bike Plan implementation by 1.3 million.  We all owe a big thanks to Mr. Wilber for finding a positive way to improve the budget to make Anchorage safer for everyone.

BCA also owes a huge thanks to Todd Logan, BCA volunteer, for leading the charge, following the process, and encouraging supporters to submit comments and attend today’s hearing.  Of course, BCA thanks all of you for your incredible support — especially the 125 people who took the time to submit comments and the 35 people who made it to the hearing today.  The fight isn’t over, the final budget still must be confirmed by the AMATS Policy Committee, but your presence and participation was critical in the huge win today. The budget reflects a 1.3 million dollar change because you spoke up and fought to make Anchorage a safer, more livable city.

Thank you – and stay tuned – the work isn’t done yet.

Brian

President

Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage

 

 

Oct 31

BCA Supporters,

Your support so far has been incredible. Over 125 comments were submitted to AMATS in support of increased funding for implementation of the Bike Plan. Now we need you to do one more important thing.

Tomorrow,  the AMATS Technical Advisory Committee will decide whether or not to recommended BCA’s proposed change to the draft allocation. This is a question about how to spend our Federal Transportation funds! Questions for the TAC include whether we should spend 20+ million dollars on Dowling? That makes our request seem small – Do we add another $2 million to the funding for Bike Plan implementation for the years 2013-2014. Implementation of the Bike Plan in a piecemeal fashion will take years. This effort would allow the city to take significant steps forward to implement the core bike lane routes throughout the city. This would in turn lead to a significant increase in bicycle use. A variety of benefits stem from increased bicycle use including less traffic congestion, a more livable city, healthier lifestyles, less money spent on gas, and recent studies are confirming that bicycling is good for business too.

Come on out and let AMATS TAC know why bike plan implementation is important to you.

Where & When: Main Conference Room, Planning and Development Center, 4700 Elmore Road   

November 1, 2012 — 2:30 – 4:30 PM 

 

Have questions or need more info?  Contact BCA volunteer Todd Logan at tjloganak@gmail.com. And if you plan on coming out send Todd an email so we can have an idea of how many bicyclists will be there.

 

 

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