Longtime Anchorage community trails activist Lanie Fleischer wrote an excellent opinion piece about the Anchorage Bicycle Plan in last week’s Anchorage Daily News. Brian Litmans of Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage and Municipality of Anchorage non-motorized transportation plan coordinator Lori Schanche were guests last week on KSKA-FM’s “Hometown, Alaska” show where they discussed the plan with host Kathleen McCoy.
The Anchorage Bicycle Plan deals with improving bicycle facilities, bike paths, trails, bike racks, safety and other aspects of biking around Anchorage. The Municipality of Anchorage was named Alaska’s second Bicycle Friendly Community (behind Sitka) by the League of American Bicyclists in October 2009, but the plan will make Anchorage more bicycle-friendly.
It’s not part of the bike plan, but one area of concern is a Municipal Traffic Department Title IX rewrite being done by the Anchorage Police Department. This rewrite reverses current code and requires bicycles other non-motorized users to yield to cars at all intersections. Thomas Pease wrote a nice editorial in the Anchorage Press about how this will have a negative impact on cyclists. This rewrite goes against the principles of the plan.
So far several of the local community councils in Anchorage have come out in support of the plan and passed resolutions to show it. So have many local bicycle clubs, such as the Arctic Bicycle Club. Most Assembly members and the mayor also appear to support the plan. If you do show up to the Assembly meeting to show your support, please bring your helmet so the Assembly can see how many bikers are in favor of the plan.
By the way, Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage is hosting the Anchorage Winter Bicycle Festival and Fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the BP Energy Center. If the Anchorage Bicycle Plan passes on Tuesday, Saturday night’s event could make for a nice celebration.