Sitka Receives National Bicycle Friendly Community Award
(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) congratulates the community of Sitka, Alaska for successfully renewing its Bicycle Friendly Community recognition. The national award was announced May 14, 2012 by the League of American Bicyclists as part of its National Bike Month activities.
Nearly 5 percent of Sitka adults bike to work, well above the national average of 0.5 percent.
"The popularity of this program is clear evidence that simple steps to make bicycling safe and comfortable pay huge dividends in civic, community and economic development,” said President Andy Clarke, League of American Bicyclists.
There are 214 Bicycle Friendly Communities in 47 states. Alaska ranks sixth in the nation in the proportion of adults who bike to work with approximately 3,300 Alaskans bicycling to work every day.
In 2008 Sitka was the first community in Alaska to gain Bicycle Friendly Community recognition. Anchorage followed in 2009 and Juneau in 2011. Each community received the Bronze level award. Communities must reapply every four years for the honor. This is Sitka’s first renewal and was able to maintain its bronze level recognition.
Governor Sean Parnell proclaimed May to be Bike Month in Alaska; the week of May 14-18 to be Bike Week, and May 18 as Bike to Work Day. May 9 was Bike to School Day.
As in other states, bicyclists are recognized in state law as legitimate users of Alaska’s roadways. Bicyclists are required to follow the “rules of the road” by riding on the right-hand side of the road, signaling turns, and stopping at stop signs and stop signals.
Motorists can do their part too; by allowing a safe distance between their vehicle and cyclists when passing, by not cutting off cyclists when making a turn, and being particularly careful when transitioning through an intersection. Almost half of all vehicle-cyclist collisions;occur at intersections.
DOT&PF encourages both bicyclists and motorists to be careful on Alaska roads - not just during May, but always.
Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly Community program and view the full list of communities at www.bikeleague.org/bfa. For more information about Sitka’s bicycling efforts, visit the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition website sitkacycling.wordpress.com.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 34 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of DOT&PF is to “Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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