Anchorage Needs to Heed New Bike Plan
"The plan, completed after years of work and under public review since March, is a wish list of about 150 construction projects that will add more than 70 miles of new bicycle lanes, 50 miles of bike paths alongside roads and at least a dozen miles of greenbelt trails."
"The estimated cost for the projects is $81 million over the next 20 years."
"Before succumbing to sticker shock, though, there are a few things to think about. Critics of the plan say we are no Portland or San Diego, and improving the bicycle network in Anchorage (and Chugiak-Eagle River) is an indulgence our northern city can't afford."
"I beg to differ."
"Ask the families of the eight people who have died since 1994 as a result of bicycle-vehicle collisions how they feel about that. Is $81 million too much? By my math, the cost of these improvements comes to a paltry $14.50 per person per year, but it would never come to that. According to Jon Spring, an Anchorage consultant on the plan, a majority of the costs associated with the improvements would come from federal money. And while there is no breakdown of actual taxpayer costs, the truth is, the plan is simply a guide and not an etched-in-stone $81 million bill waiting to be paid. Many of the projects, Spring said, are simple, requiring only painting of bike lanes, to improve safety for commuters and recreational cyclists."