Several things are happening right now that will affect cycling in the Fairbanks area for many years: A non-motorized plan update, a proposed change to state cycling laws, and an updated to the borough trails plan. Read about all of them below, including how you can participate.

Comment Period Open for Non-Motorized Plan Update

Speak up now to have a say in cycling and pedestrian Fairbanks-area infrastructure for the next few years.

The Fairbanks area Non-Motorized Plan Update is having a virtual open house and public comment period. Deadline for comments is March 19.

This project by the Fairbanks Area Surface Transportation Planning (FAST Planning) group seeks to update the plan to guide future infrastructure projects for all forms of transportation that are not motorized. The public comment period is YOUR chance to help guide that plan.

(Note: This is different from the Borough’s Comprehensive Recreational Trail Plan, which is also being updated now. More on that below.)

You can look at the non-motorized plan here.

The plan itself is large (60MB, 255 pages), but half of that is appendices. It is well-organized by chapters and includes an Executive Summary at the beginning if you don’t want to look through the whole thing. There are many projects in the Fairbanks and North Pole area either underway or in the works. Your comments help determine what gets done and what gets priority.

You can comment on the overall plan — a form is available on the front project page — or you can use the Interactive Project Map. With the map you can look at specific areas you care about. You can find out what projects, if any, are planned for that area. And you can make comments about specific projects or about areas that don’t have any projects planned. It’s pretty easy.

So, if you care about the non-motorized transportation infrastructure in the Fairbanks area, check it out and leave your comments.

Local Cycling Advocates Propose State Law Changes

Members of a local cycling-related committee have proposed changes to state law.

The FCC board hasn’t taken an official stance on the changes yet, but there will be at least some things most, if not all, bikers will like. For example, an inclusion of the 3-foot passing rule that other states have adopted.

The proposed changes were started with the local Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which passed them as a resolution. BPAC is part of our larger governmental transportation coordination group called Fairbanks Area Surface Transportation Planning (FAST Planning).

According to Jackson Fox, executive director for Fast Planning, two of the group’s committees (BPAC and the Technical Committee) have recommended to FAST Planning’s Policy Board to approve the resolution and forward the recommended AAC revisions to the Alaska Department of Public Safety. The Policy Board includes all three local mayors.

According to Fox: “At the February 17th Policy Board meeting, many Board members spoke in support of the Resolution and recommended AAC revisions, but our DOT&PF representative (DOT Northern Region Director) recommend they postpone the vote until March 17 so he had opportunity to review with DOT Headquarters in Juneau and gain their support as well as a sister agency to the Department of Public Safety.  So, stay tuned for March 17th and let folks know they can direct comments to me in the meantime.”

If you would like to express your opinion about the proposed changes you can contact Fox at [email protected]. You can also attend the Policy Board meeting on March 17 and offer testimony.

You can see the proposed changes here.

(Strikethrough text is proposed to be deleted. Blue underlined text is proposed to be added.)

Borough Trails Plan Update has Started

If you’re a mountain biker or otherwise use our area trails, now is the time to let your voice be heard on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Comprehensive Recreational Trail Plan update.

The first meeting was held February 24. Another is scheduled for March 1. To find out more about that plan update see here.