The below letter was sent from the new Statewide Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator. Anyone who wants to comment on the high priority topics of otherwise get more involved in statewide cycling issues should contact Julius.
My name is Julius Adolfsson and I’m the new Statewide Bike & Pedestrian Coordinator. I am contacting you because of your previous involvement and public participation in the Alaska Statewide Active Transportation Plan. Thank you for submitting your comments and improvements to the plan. The recommended outcomes of the ASATP are foundational for my work going forward and that’s why I’m contacting you. I plan to start a quarterly working group that focuses on implementing the recommendations in the ASATP (page 48-52). My and DOT&PF’s role is to support these efforts and facilitate the process. Below are the most highly prioritized topics, based on the recommendations from the ASATP.
Group 1 – Safe passing distance: Develop and adopt language requiring a safe passing distance. Model language can be found through sources such as the League of American Bicyclists. The model language suggests a minimum of three feet. Consider greater distances and including language that specifies the motorist’s responsibility.
Group 2 – Vulnerable road user law: Develop and adopt a vulnerable road user law that increases penalties for motorists who harass, injure, or kill a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Group 3 – Policy/Regulatory Amendment: Update language in SB 123 (Use of Electronic Devices While Driving) to include the use of a cell phone or similar device for voice-based communications.
I also want to take this opportunity to present the re-launch of our AK Bike-Ped Listserv which is an informative email distribution list regarding bicycle and pedestrian developments and statewide updates. Simply click the link below and follow the instructions if you wish to subscribe http://list.state.ak.us/mailman/listinfo/akbikeped
Thank you again for all your efforts and work you’ve put into making the ASATP, let’s make Alaska safer to bike and walk! Please contact me if you would like to join these quarterly meetings, and which group you would be interested in.
If you have any other questions or ideas, feel free to e-mail or call me at (907) 465-6978. Let’s stay in touch!
Planner II, Statewide Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator, Rural Transit Planner
Division of Program Development
Alaska Dept of Transportation & Public Facilities
P.O. Box 112500, Juneau AK 99811-2500