Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 17

03/19/2009 01:00 PM House TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 132(TRA) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 72(TRA) Out of Committee
HB 132-BICYCLE PROGRAM                                                                                                        
1:45:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  132, "An  Act  authorizing  municipalities  and                                                               
nonprofit  organizations to  sponsor a  program to  encourage the                                                               
safe use  of bicycles  as an alternative  or supplement  to motor                                                               
vehicles;  amending the  duties  of the  Department of  Commerce,                                                               
Community, and Economic Development  to include administration of                                                               
state  funds   appropriated  for   that  purpose;   and  amending                                                               
provisions  of  the  program  by  which  state  and  federal  aid                                                               
allocated for highways may be used to support bicycle paths."                                                                   
1:45:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered  his belief  that the  proposed                                                               
committee substitute contains a typographical error.                                                                            
1:46:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a motion  to adopt  the committee                                                               
substitute  (CS) HB  132 labeled  26-LS0590\E, Kane,  3/18/09, as                                                               
the work draft.                                                                                                                 
There being no objection, Version E was before the committee.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  PAUL SEATON,  Alaska  State  Legislature, as  the                                                               
prime sponsor of  HB 132 explained that this  bill was introduced                                                               
to  allow Alaskans  an  alternative to  high cost  of  fuel.   He                                                               
recalled that  the legislature  funded weatherization  for homes.                                                               
He  reiterated this  bill could  also provide  an alternative  to                                                               
fossil fuels.                                                                                                                   
MR. SEATON explained  that bicycle design has changed,  such as a                                                               
three-speed  bicycle specifically  intended for  riding on  dirt.                                                               
He  related that  this bill  creates the  Safe Bicycle  Ridership                                                               
program in  the DOT&PF, gives municipalities  and non-profits the                                                               
ability  to  apply  for  grants  to  promote  the  safe  use  and                                                               
distribution  and  maintenance   of  bicycles,  bicycle  helmets,                                                               
facilities, and bike trailers.                                                                                                  
MR.  SEATON  referred to  information  in  members' packets  that                                                               
mentions  similar programs  in other  states which  promote using                                                               
bicycles as an  alternative transportation.  He  pointed out that                                                               
the program is not for  recreational bicycling, but is to promote                                                               
an alternative mode of transportation.                                                                                          
1:49:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  related bicycle  trailers are  included so                                                               
people can  transport their  groceries to  increase functionality                                                               
for  Alaska's  residents.   He  opined  that  a small  amount  of                                                               
funding  can provide  an alternative  mode of  transportation for                                                               
people throughout Alaska.   He explained the bicycles  are not in                                                               
realm of  high technology but  are functional range from  $100 to                                                               
$200,  bicycle  trailers  cost approximately  $100,  and  helmets                                                               
range  from $15  to  $20.   He further  related  that for  modest                                                               
amounts  of  funding,  other   programs  in  municipalities  have                                                               
purchased bicycles,  painted them a  bright color such  as green,                                                               
and offered them at no cost  for residents to use.  Additionally,                                                               
other  mechanisms allow  for loaner  bikes to  be checked  out to                                                               
people,  or similar  programs  could be  developed  based on  the                                                               
individual community's needs.                                                                                                   
1:51:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  reviewed the  sections  of  HB 132.    He                                                               
related  Section 1  provides that  municipalities or  non-profits                                                               
can  establish a  program.   Section 2  provides that  the DOT&PF                                                               
will develop  a grant  program to  encourage safe  ridership, and                                                               
Section 3  instructs the DOT&PF to  conduct a survey in  order to                                                               
establish  accountability  for the  program.    He explained  the                                                               
DOT&PF would survey  recipients as a means to  ascertain that the                                                               
program is effective.                                                                                                           
1:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN referred  to page 1, line  14, of Version                                                               
E which reads "by municipal residents".   He asked if the program                                                               
will only be  allowed for municipal residents.   He further asked                                                               
how the program would be  monitored in a community like Ketchikan                                                               
that has  9,000 tourists who  disembark from cruise ships  in one                                                               
day, who may  also want to use  bicycles.  He inquired  as to how                                                               
the  mechanics  of the  program  would  work  if the  program  is                                                               
limited to residents.   He then asked specifically,  "How are you                                                               
going  to  tell  or  is  that  your intent  for  it  just  to  be                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  answered  that   this  program  would  be                                                               
incorporated in  a grant request  from a municipality.   "Another                                                               
words,  if a  municipality came  in and  said we  want to  have a                                                               
program  for  tourists,  not  a mode  of  transportation,  but  a                                                               
visitor service."  He explained that  while HB 132 is intended to                                                               
provide a mode of transportation  to residents, nothing restricts                                                               
a  municipality  from  allowing   others  to  use  the  bicycles.                                                               
However,  the  intent of  the  bill  is  to  provide a  grant  to                                                               
communities  so   Alaskans  will   have  an  alternate   mode  of                                                               
transportation  to  use instead  of  motor  vehicles.   He  said,                                                               
"That's what this bill is for,  it's not for recreation, it's not                                                               
meant  to compete  with  a  business that  would  be renting  out                                                               
bicycles  to  the   cruise  ships,  if  someone   has  a  similar                                                               
business."    He  added  that HB  132  targets  local  residents.                                                               
Additionally,  he said  he  hopes the  program  can help  address                                                               
obesity  rates  by  encouraging  Alaska  residents  to  get  more                                                               
exercise to improve their health.                                                                                               
1:54:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON related her understanding  that a municipality could                                                               
apply for grants.  She indicated  that Subsection (a) refers to a                                                               
mode of transportation, so a  municipality could apply for grants                                                               
for a mode  of transportation.  She noted that  Subsection (b) is                                                               
for  grants   for  the  purchase,  maintenance,   and  repair  of                                                               
1:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  referred to  page 2, line  10 of  HB 132                                                               
which   requires   that   the   department   adopt   regulations.                                                               
Additionally,  page  2, line  14,  requires  the commissioner  to                                                               
appoint an administrator.  He  inquired as to whether these items                                                               
will require a fiscal note.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  answered  yes.   He  mentioned  that  the                                                               
DOT&PF currently  has a  bicycle program and  a coordinator.   He                                                               
related  that   it  seemed  clearer   to  have   grant  authority                                                               
administered through  the commissioner and to  have the structure                                                               
in place.   He offered his  belief someone is available  but that                                                               
DOT&PF will clarify.                                                                                                            
1:56:14 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF   OTTESEN,  Director,   Division  of   Program  Development,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
answered that the  prime sponsor of HB 132 chose  to redirect the                                                               
program  to  DOT&PF  instead  of   the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community, & Economic Development.   He explained that the DOT&PF                                                               
already has authority for bicycle  and pedestrians.  Thus, it was                                                               
practical to place  the program with the DOT&PF.   He pointed out                                                               
that  the   agency  already  has   a  State   Bicycle  Pedestrian                                                               
Coordinator, Bob  Laurie, and a Safe  Routes Administrator, Steve                                                               
Soenksen,  who  are both  are  paid  by  federal funds  for  bike                                                               
transportation  and  are mandated  by  federal  law.   Thus,  the                                                               
current DOT&PF  staff can assist  the department.  He  noted that                                                               
Cindy  Cashen, the  administrator for  the Highway  Safety Office                                                               
can  also  offer  some  grants   for  highway  safety,  including                                                               
pedestrians and bicyclists such as grants to pay for helmets.                                                                   
MR. OTTESEN explained that under  the federal mandate, the DOT&PF                                                               
performed a Strategic Highway Safety  Plan, including analysis of                                                               
bicycle safety.  He stated  the DOT&PF is the largest implementer                                                               
of  bikeways that  stretch throughout  the state.   Finally,  the                                                               
next reauthorization  bill for transportation will  likely expand                                                               
the  focus  on  bicycles  as   transportation,  he  opined.    He                                                               
mentioned a federal program called  "complete streets" which is a                                                               
philosophy to  consider sidewalks,  bikeways, and bus  stops when                                                               
building a road.   He speculated that the  emphasis on greenhouse                                                               
gases and  carbon reduction  will give  new emphasis  and funding                                                               
for bicycle and pedestrian related programs.                                                                                    
1:59:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN inquired  as to  which administrator  in                                                               
DOT&PF will  be appointed or  whether the commissioner  will hire                                                               
another person.                                                                                                                 
MR. OTTESEN  related that the  DOT&PF will  not ask for  a fiscal                                                               
note for the  position.  He remarked that two  of three employees                                                               
already run grant programs and are familiar with the process.                                                                   
2:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
TONY HALFORD  stated that he  has been  a resident of  Juneau for                                                               
five years and  is a disabled cyclist.  However,  he related that                                                               
he has over 20 years  experience in off-road professional bicycle                                                               
racing.   He opined that the  streets and bikeways in  Juneau are                                                               
pretty easy  to navigate,  but he  expressed additional  need for                                                               
expansion   of  services   such  as   snow  removal   and  street                                                               
improvements for bicycles, which he strongly supports.  He said:                                                                
     I also strongly  support, there is a  local business in                                                                    
     town  that  does  rickshaws for  the  tourists  in  the                                                                    
     summer.   That's just another  form of cycling  that is                                                                    
     very  important to  this  area, not  only  just from  a                                                                    
     business  standpoint, but  just from  promoting cycling                                                                    
     in general.  It's very  highly visible and I think that                                                                    
     is a really good program, as well.                                                                                         
MR. HALFORD indicated  that he encourage members to  pass HB 132.                                                               
He mentioned that he also  provides bicycle repair clinics in the                                                               
summer.  He  surmised that many Juneau residents  would support a                                                               
program like the one embodied in HB 132.                                                                                        
2:03:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN HENDERSON  related that he  has been a Juneau  resident for                                                               
29 years  and has intermittently been  a member of the  League of                                                               
American  Cyclists, the  Rails to  Trails Conservancy  (RTC), and                                                               
Juneau Freewheelers.   He thanked the sponsor  for introducing HB
132, and encouraged the committee  and legislature to support the                                                               
bill and safe use of  bicycles as alternatives to automobiles and                                                               
the  American   unhealthy  lifestyle.    He   explained  that  he                                                               
purchased  his first  bicycle in  1989, a  bright yellow  bicycle                                                               
that over  the course  of two  years helped him  to lose  over 40                                                               
pounds and to lower his overall  cholesterol from 205 to 148.  He                                                               
opined that  the bicycle opened  the door to  a whole new  way of                                                               
enjoying life and since then he has been an avid cyclist.                                                                       
MR. HENDERSON  mentioned that he currently  owns several bicycles                                                               
including  a  tandem  bicycle.    However,  the  original  yellow                                                               
bicycle subsequently  was loaned to  a teacher for six  weeks and                                                               
to his daughter's  friend who worked in the  tourist industry one                                                               
summer and could not  afford a car.  The bicycle  was used by his                                                               
daughter,  too, and  has been  raced  in the  Kluane to  Chilkoot                                                               
bicycle relay.  Additionally, the  bicycle has been used to teach                                                               
others how  to maintain and  restore bicycles.  He  remarked that                                                               
after 20 years,  his original yellow bicycle is worn  out, but is                                                               
still on the road.  He  offered his belief that bicycles have the                                                               
power to  change lives like  the yellow bicycle has  changed his.                                                               
He surmised  that using bikeways,  helmets, and learning  to ride                                                               
safely can also change lives.                                                                                                   
MR. HENDERSON offered  his belief that the creation  of the river                                                               
trail along the  Mendenhall River has created a  haven for people                                                               
and instead of  lashing out can work out their  frustrations.  He                                                               
provided other examples of public  use and commended other trails                                                               
in  Anchorage  and  other  communities.   He  opined  the  entire                                                               
community   benefits   from   investing   in   these   types   of                                                               
transportation  facilities.   He stated  that is  the reason  why                                                               
this bill  is important and  worthy of  our support.   He further                                                               
opined that much more needs to  be done, but it is encouraging to                                                               
see more  things happen.  Besides  bike paths and bike  lanes, he                                                               
offered  his  belief short  bike  lines  that connect  paths  are                                                               
needed.  He  also pointed out the importance of  bike safety, and                                                               
the necessity to provide locker rooms  or a safe place to lock up                                                               
bicycles out of  the weather.  He  said it would be  nice to have                                                               
facilities.  He  applauded the work Juneau  Free Wheelers bicycle                                                               
club performs to promote and teach  bike safety.  He also pointed                                                               
out the  need to retrain bicyclists  who have not learned  how to                                                               
ride bicycles on the road safely.                                                                                               
2:09:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HENDERSON opined  that education  is important  for children                                                               
and  adults.   He  suggested  amending  the  bill to  simply  add                                                               
"bicycle lanes"  in addition to  bicycle paths.   He acknowledged                                                               
the importance of bicycle paths,  especially for children and for                                                               
connecting  routes, but  that designated  bicycle  lanes or  wide                                                               
shoulders are also important for  faster riders or commuters, and                                                               
in instances in  which a path is  not an option.   He thanked the                                                               
committee and  urged supporting bicycle riders  as an alternative                                                               
mode of transportation.   He concluded by  stating, "Whatever you                                                               
can do  to put a bike  in the hands  of an educated rider  with a                                                               
safe  place to  ride,  and  you will  have  done something,  some                                                               
little bit, to make this a better world for all of us."                                                                         
2:11:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG opined  that Mr.  Henderson's testimony                                                               
was  important testimony.   He  requested a  written copy  of the                                                               
testimony  for  his  file.    He  mentioned  that  the  statutory                                                               
authority for  bicycle paths is in  another area of statute.   He                                                               
referred to  the Rails to  Trails Conservancy (RTC)  and inquired                                                               
as to whether any RTC program exists in Alaska.                                                                                 
MR. HENDERSON related  his involvement with RTC  has been limited                                                               
to being a contributor  to its cause.  He explained  the RTC is a                                                               
national  organization   that  takes  abandoned   railroad  beds,                                                               
removes  the  actual rails,  and  creates  either dirt  or  paved                                                               
trails.    The railroad  bed  is  already accessible,  relatively                                                               
flat, and  the organization  makes road  or mountain  bike paths.                                                               
He related  that many trails exist  in the Lower 48,  such as the                                                               
Burke-Gilman trail in Seattle.  He  said he was not sure what RTC                                                               
trails, if any, exist in Alaska.                                                                                                
2:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHANSEN  inquired   as   to   whether  he   has                                                               
encountered or discussed  access to the hundreds  or thousands of                                                               
miles of  U.S. Forest Service  roads.   He opined that  the roads                                                               
have been  closed to the public  but would make great  bicycle or                                                               
walking trails.  Currently, the  roads in his community have "big                                                               
iron  gates across  all  of  these roads"  that  were built  with                                                               
public funds.   He remarked that  anyone using the road  is asked                                                               
to leave as the roads are restricted.                                                                                           
MR. HENDERSON answered  no.  He stated he is  a road cyclist, but                                                               
recalled seeing similar roads in  Washington that he thought were                                                               
open to the  public.  He said he "absolutely"  believes in making                                                               
land accessible to the public.   He encouraged opening the roads,                                                               
if possible.                                                                                                                    
2:15:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SUE   ELY,   Legislative   &   Communications   Manager,   Alaska                                                               
Conservation  Alliance  (ACA), speaking  on  behalf  of the  ACA,                                                               
offered  support  for HB  132.    She  related  that the  ACA  is                                                               
comprised  of  40 member  groups  and  a combined  membership  of                                                               
38,000 Alaskans.   She said, "We are here to  testify in favor of                                                               
this bill and I think what I'd like  to do is sing the praises of                                                               
bicycles and  talk about some of  the barriers that I  think this                                                               
bill addresses."   She explained  that volatile fuel  prices, the                                                               
difficulty   in  obtaining   automobile  loans,   and  the   high                                                               
maintenance  costs of  automobiles are  all barriers  to using  a                                                               
vehicle.  She  mentioned other benefits such as  the reduction of                                                               
greenhouse  gases, reduced  traffic congestion,  increased health                                                               
benefits,  lower  transportation  costs  and  an  alternative  to                                                               
public transportation.  She pointed  out that some communities do                                                               
not  offer public  transportation and  some  homes are  not on  a                                                               
route, that it would be easier to  ride a bicycle.  These are all                                                               
reasons to encourage bicycle use, she opined.                                                                                   
MS.  ELY  recalled  previous testimony  from  avid  cyclists  and                                                               
mentioned some barriers  such as steep hills,  gears, flat tires,                                                               
and other similar items that limit  her own use.  She opined that                                                               
this bill  would address some of  the barriers and could  offer a                                                               
way to promote  bicycle use.  She added  some additional barriers                                                               
are the  cost of the  equipment and maintenance,  weather, safety                                                               
concerns, and education about the rules  of the road.  She stated                                                               
all  of  these concerns  would  be  addressed  by  HB 132.    She                                                               
suggested that the  bill might include educating  not just riders                                                               
but also for  motorists to better learn to  interact with bicycle                                                               
users.    She mentioned  bicycle  lanes  and street  plowing  are                                                               
important to allow year round bicycle use.  She said:                                                                           
     We want, like  the bill sponsor said,  we're not trying                                                                    
     to get this out here for  tourists.  This isn't for joy                                                                    
     rides.   This  is for  people  who don't  have cars  or                                                                    
     don't want to use their  car, or don't have appropriate                                                                    
     transit  or  want  to  make   a  good  choice  for  the                                                                    
     environment.   These people aren't going  out there for                                                                    
     joy rides.                                                                                                                 
MS. ELY  further suggested  that offering  showers and  places to                                                               
lock up  bikes should be addressed  as well.  She  reiterated the                                                               
ACA  is in  favor of  bill  and would  like  to see  HB 132  move                                                               
2:19:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ELY, in  response to  Representative Johansen,  offered that                                                               
the   Southeast   Alaska    Conservation   Council,   the   Sitka                                                               
Conservation  and Tongass  Conservation Society,  and Lynn  Canal                                                               
Conservation Society  are all  groups in  Southeast Alaska.   She                                                               
said she  is not aware  of any movement  to make use  of non-used                                                               
logging  roads.    However,  she  stated she  was  not  aware  of                                                               
activity but  she did make  a note to bring  back to some  of the                                                               
2:21:15 PM                                                                                                                    
LIBBY STERLING  stated that she  has commuted by bicycle  in many                                                               
cities  such as  Portland,  Oregon and  Los Angeles,  California,                                                               
prior to  arriving in  Juneau to work  for the  rickshaw company.                                                               
She stated she  is in favor of  HB 132.  She  offered one concern                                                               
is safety.   She related she  has had accidents due  to negligent                                                               
drivers.   She  suggested  that public  service announcements  or                                                               
other education to help make  motorists and cyclists aware of the                                                               
respective responsibilities.                                                                                                    
2:23:11 PM                                                                                                                    
BOB LAURIE, State Bicycle  Pedestrian Coordinator, Statewide Plan                                                               
&  Transit,  Division  of   Program  Development,  Department  of                                                               
Transportation  & Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),  stated that  the                                                               
national organization  Rails to  Trails Conservancy (RTC)  is one                                                               
organization  in Alaska.   He  explained in  Yakutat an  old fish                                                               
railroad is a  project that the DOT&PF developed  about ten years                                                               
ago.    He  explained   that  the  Rails-with-Trails  Conservancy                                                               
projects  are trails  adjacent to  or within  an active  railroad                                                               
corridor, such  as the Tony  Knowles Coastal Trail  in Anchorage.                                                               
He  offered that  the  Anchorage  trail is  being  held  up as  a                                                               
national  example  of  bicycles,   railroads,  and  trails  which                                                               
2:24:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  inquired  as to  whether  the  DOT&PF,                                                               
under HB  132 or other  state laws  currently has the  ability to                                                               
provide  assistance  for  persons and  organizations  to  promote                                                               
bicycle education.                                                                                                              
MR. LAURIE answered yes.                                                                                                        
2:25:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN inquired  as to whether the  DOT&PF has a                                                               
proactive  stance with  the USFS  to  obtain access  to old  USFS                                                               
logging  roads not  used for  timber  harvest but  that could  be                                                               
great access for bicyclists.                                                                                                    
MR. LAURIE said he did not know.                                                                                                
2:26:18 PM                                                                                                                    
BYRON BRODA  characterized himself as  a bicycle enthusiast.   He                                                               
urged  support for  HB 132.   He  thanked the  bill sponsors  and                                                               
offered his belief  that Alaska needs HB 132 to  help address air                                                               
quality  and health  issues.   He opined  that bicycle  safety is                                                               
very important.   He also mentioned that the  grant program could                                                               
provide  Fairbanks  a  means  of  low-cost  transportation.    He                                                               
related  his understanding  that  the annual  bike  swap is  very                                                               
successful.  He suggested that bike  lanes and bike paths need to                                                               
be built and  maintained.  He opined that a  bicyclist must carry                                                               
his/her own  shovel or  else must be  able to ride  on snow.   He                                                               
further  opined the  bike paths  for summer  use also  need work,                                                               
too.  He urged support for HB 132.                                                                                              
2:29:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MATTHEW TURNER, Bicycle Friendly  Sitka (BFS), speaking on behalf                                                               
of BFS, stated that Sitka is  the first community in Alaska to be                                                               
recognized  by the  League of  American Bicyclists  as a  bicycle                                                               
friendly community.   He said he is excited about  the bill since                                                               
it will facilitate getting more bikes  in the hands of people who                                                               
need  them.   He  related that  providing  bicycles addresses  an                                                               
equity issue.   At its  core, people  who cannot afford  cars can                                                               
use bicycles in  terms of income.  He expressed  concern that the                                                               
DOT&PF needs to put into  place mechanisms to prevent competition                                                               
with existing bicycle rental or repair shops.  He said:                                                                         
     My concern  is to make  sure that there  are assurances                                                                    
     that whatever programs  come about as a  result of this                                                                    
     bill  are not  competing with  existing bicycle  shops,                                                                    
     either  rental businesses  or repair  businesses.   And                                                                    
     so, I  know there's some  nuance there, because  I hope                                                                    
     that  it's   specific  enough  to   prevent  government                                                                    
     sponsored  competition but  still loose  enough in  its                                                                    
     regulations   and  writing   that  folks   can  respond                                                                    
     innovatively with programs to  get bicycles to those in                                                                    
MR.  TURNER  quoted  a  friend  who ran  a  bicycle  shop,  whose                                                               
philosophy was,  "The more people  that are riding  bicycles, the                                                               
better for his  business, whether he sells that  bicycle or not."                                                               
He said once you  become a bicyclist it become a  habit.  He said                                                               
he  hopes the  focus is  to get  bicycles in  hands of  those who                                                               
cannot  afford to  purchase a  new  one in  a bicycle  shop.   He                                                               
opined that  the long-term  goal is to  have those  people become                                                               
consumers of for-profit organizations in the future.                                                                            
2:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTI WEST,  Manager, Zach Gordon Youth  Center (ZGYC), reported                                                               
a current  bicycle program  being offered  by ZGYC  called Bikes,                                                               
Bikes,   Bikes  (BBB),   represents  collaboration   between  the                                                               
Southeast Alaska  Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC)  Steps to a                                                               
Healthier SE Alaska grant and the  Zach Gordon Youth Center.  She                                                               
explained  that  the  program   allows  students  to  learn  bike                                                               
maintenance skills,  and a means  to be involved in  bicycle use.                                                               
She  explained  that  the  program  provides  free  bicycles  for                                                               
community  members  to use  around  town.   The  availability  of                                                               
bicycle promotes  healthy transportation choices  and potentially                                                               
reduces downtown  motorized vehicle traffic and  congestion.  The                                                               
bicycle program has entered a  partnership with the Juneau Police                                                               
Department to recycle bicycles that have been lost or stolen.                                                                   
MS. WEST  explained that BBB  has also received helmets  from the                                                               
Skyler  Kim Foundation.   The  ZGYC provides  a maintenance  room                                                               
including  bicycle  stands,  tools,  and  a  bicycle  maintenance                                                               
instructor six hours per week.   She mentioned that students come                                                               
in to learn  basic bicycle maintenance.   Currently, the bicycles                                                               
are loaned  out with weekly bicycle  rides.  She related  her own                                                               
experiences  of growing  up riding  bicycles  and her  assumption                                                               
that everyone  else did,  too.  She  expressed surprise  to learn                                                               
that many  students did  not know  how to  ride.   She emphasized                                                               
what  is  really  needed  is  a  good  local  safety  program  on                                                               
bicycling.  She  stated that those students  who participate have                                                               
acquired  skills   and  satisfaction   of  contributing   to  the                                                               
community project.   She offered  that 20 bicycles  were acquired                                                               
from the JPD and ten bicycles  were donated and all are available                                                               
for community use and checkout.                                                                                                 
2:34:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WEST recalled  earlier testimony  and offered  that a  local                                                               
bike  entrepreneur  gave ZGYC  a  good  deal  on bicycles.    She                                                               
pointed out that  he was really glad to get  people out on bikes.                                                               
She  stated that  it is  not about  competition, but  is about  a                                                               
healthy lifestyle  and the "greenness"  of riding bicycles.   She                                                               
noted  the weekly  rides as  a recreational  piece.   She offered                                                               
that community  members donate bicycles,  and come to  the center                                                               
to learn about maintenance and  checkout bicycles.  She commended                                                               
the availability of  grants like the SEARHC Steps  to a Healthier                                                               
SE Alaska  grant, which have  created an opportunity for  the BBB                                                               
program.    She  related  that the  program  is  currently  self-                                                               
sustaining.  She  mentioned that the SEARHC grant  was $4,500 for                                                               
materials  and contractual  services,  ZGYC  provided $2,500  for                                                               
staff  and  in-kind  donations   annually,  and  the  JPD  police                                                               
provided $3,000 in in-kind donations  in unclaimed bicycles.  She                                                               
used  another   program  to  hire   students  to   learn  bicycle                                                               
maintenance.  She urged support for HB 132.                                                                                     
2:36:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JANICE TOWER, Board  Member, Arctic Bike Club  (ABC), speaking on                                                               
behalf  of the  ABC  stated that  she would  like  to testify  in                                                               
support of  HB 132.  She  related she is in  favor of legislation                                                               
that  promotes safer  commuter transportation  by bicycle,  which                                                               
encourages Alaskans to be more  physically active.  Additionally,                                                               
she suggested  that routes  to schools should  be made  safer and                                                               
employees should  be encouraged  to commute  to work  by bicycle.                                                               
She offered  her belief that alternative  modes to transportation                                                               
should  be   encouraged  for   economic  advantages   and  health                                                               
benefits.  She pointed out  that the Municipality of Anchorage is                                                               
currently working  on a draft  bicycling plan which  will promote                                                               
safe  commuting  options,  improve bicycle  facilities  including                                                               
efforts to link bike routes on streets and multi-use side paths.                                                                
MS.  TOWER stated  several  local  activities promote  bicycling,                                                               
such  as   a  new  organization  called   "Bicycle  Commuters  of                                                               
Anchorage (BCA)"  promote safe transportation  to and  from work.                                                               
She mentioned  that the  BCA is also  sponsoring the  Alaska Bike                                                               
Summit  scheduled  for April  2009  in  Anchorage.   She  related                                                               
events such  as "Bike to Work  Day" will take place  in May 2009,                                                               
as well  efforts to  promote safer cycling.   She  mentioned that                                                               
three  years ago  Anchorage updated  its  bicycling ordinance  to                                                               
modernize  laws  including  a  provision  requiring  helmets  for                                                               
children  under the  age of  16.   She  opined that  HB 132  will                                                               
support  community   efforts  and  grassroots   organizations  in                                                               
promoting safer cycling and the health benefits it provides.                                                                    
2:39:32 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  SHIPLEY,   Anchorage  Trails  and   Greenways  Coalition,                                                               
speaking on  behalf of  the ATGC, offered  ATGC's support  for HB
132.   He  explained  the  ATGC is  a  coalition that  represents                                                               
members of the  broader cycling community.  He stated  he is a 30                                                               
year cyclist  and observer of some  of the problems and  needs of                                                               
cyclists.  He recalled testimony  with respect to safety which he                                                               
stressed is  a big component of  cycling issues.  In  addition to                                                               
the  grants   for  purchase  and  loan   programs,  outreach  and                                                               
education programs for safe and  efficient use of cycles are just                                                               
as  important.   He reiterated  prior testimony  emphasizing that                                                               
programs  need  to be  directed  to  cyclists  and drivers.    He                                                               
provided  examples  of  outreach   such  as  television,  printed                                                               
brochures   distributed  at   sport  shops,   drivers'  licensing                                                               
offices, and  police departments.   He suggested  improved street                                                               
signage similar to  signage in Europe and cities in  the Lower 48                                                               
such  as Minneapolis  and Portland.   Additionally,  he suggested                                                               
adding trail signage and street  striping to help direct cyclists                                                               
and  drivers.   He related  that grants  could also  be used  for                                                               
helmets, and  to promote rules of  the road, which could  also be                                                               
considered in outreach programs.                                                                                                
MR. SHIPLEY  also suggested that  more safe and secure  bike rack                                                               
locations are necessary.  He  pointed out that a serious shortage                                                               
of bike racks  exists in Alaskan cities such  as Anchorage, which                                                               
is not  conducive to regular  bicycle commuting since a  safe and                                                               
secure place  is required near  the cyclist's place  of business.                                                               
He  opined   that  transportation   planning  agencies   such  as                                                               
Anchorage Metropolitan Area  Transportation Solutions (AMATS) and                                                               
similar  organizations could  be included  in eligible  groups to                                                               
receive  grants.     He  recalled  that   federal  ISTEA  funding                                                               
discussed   alternative   transportation   and  to   the   extent                                                               
appropriate, he  said he  thought it  would be a  good team.   He                                                               
reiterated ATGC's support for HB  132.  He further suggested that                                                               
the bill  should be amended  to include support for  outreach and                                                               
education safety programs.                                                                                                      
CHAIR  WILSON  clarified  that the  Fairbanks  Metropolitan  Area                                                               
Transportation  System (FMATS)  is  the only  similar program  in                                                               
Alaska similar to AMATS.                                                                                                        
2:44:05 PM                                                                                                                    
LOIS  EPSTEIN,  Engineer,  and  Director,  Alaska  Transportation                                                               
Priorities  Project  (ATPP),  stated  the  ATPP  is  a  statewide                                                               
coalition consisting  of conservation  organizations, businesses,                                                               
individuals promoting sensible  transportation systems in Alaska.                                                               
She related she  has been a resident for about  eight years.  She                                                               
explained the ATPP  is engaged in a national  campaign for active                                                               
transportation.  She offered that  Anchorage, Palmer, and Wasilla                                                               
are  part of  50 communities  nationwide who  work with  the RTC.                                                               
Together the  groups are seeking substantial  federal funding for                                                               
walking and  bicycling infrastructure  and education in  the next                                                               
federal  authorization  bill, she  stated.    She offered  ATPP's                                                               
support for HB  132 as a first step  towards strengthening active                                                               
transportation in Alaska.                                                                                                       
MS.  EPSTEIN stated  that the  ATTP also  supports including  the                                                               
grant program  within the DOT&PF  since its mission  includes all                                                               
forms  of transportation.   She  said, "This  bill will  put some                                                               
meat  on  the  bones for  DOT&PF's  non-motorized  transportation                                                               
responsibilities."    She  opined that  benefits  from  increased                                                               
bicycling   include   reduced   transportation   costs,   reduced                                                               
dependence  on  oil,  improved individual  and  community  health                                                               
through cleaner air, and decreased  obesity rates.  She suggested                                                               
that  HB 132  may need  to  be amended  to clarify  its focus  on                                                               
education grants  as well  as on  bicycling infrastructure.   She                                                               
offered  statistics such  that half  the  trips in  the U.S.  are                                                               
within a 20 minute  bicycle ride but most are taken  by car.  She                                                               
offered  her  belief  that  this bill  creates  a  more  balanced                                                               
transportation   system  in   Alaska   and   its  passage   would                                                               
demonstrate state  support for the  goals of the  Alaska Campaign                                                               
for  Active Transportation.   If  successful, the  campaign could                                                               
bring $50  million in federal  funding to Anchorage,  Palmer, and                                                               
Wasilla, as  well as the  core area in-between  for non-motorized                                                               
transportation  upgrades.    She related  that  the  organization                                                               
already has support from the  Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the MOA,                                                               
and  Southcentral   Foundation,  and  is  currently   working  on                                                               
business support.   She  mentioned the  campaign is  supported by                                                               
the RTC.                                                                                                                        
2:47:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN  recalled  prior  discussions  with  the                                                               
ATPP,  and that  the  organization emphasized  the importance  of                                                               
road maintenance  over building new  roads.  He  inquired whether                                                               
the ATPP  will support building  new bicycle trails  or repairing                                                               
existing roads if this bill passes and is funded.                                                                               
MS. EPSTEIN  related that  the ATPP is  interested in  a balanced                                                               
transportation  system.    Currently,  not  a  lot  of  money  is                                                               
available  for  bicycling  and pedestrian  infrastructure.    She                                                               
offered  her  belief that  the  vast  majority of  transportation                                                               
funding  is spent  on new  roads.   She  recalled discussing  new                                                               
roads  and bridges  versus maintenance  of existing  roads.   She                                                               
     This is, this is a  very, almost paltry amount of money                                                                    
     compared to what the road  system is getting so I don't                                                                    
     really think  it's a ...  choice that is going  to, you                                                                    
     know, result in  an enormous pothole in  a very heavily                                                                    
     used area versus building a  bike trail.  It's going to                                                                    
     be, it's going to  support the transportation system as                                                                    
     a whole.                                                                                                                   
2:48:39 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTI WOOD,  Bicycle Commuters of  Anchorage (BCA),  stated that                                                               
she  was  relieved to  hear  the  DOT&PF testimony  on  "complete                                                               
streets" since  the number one  excuse she hears from  people who                                                               
do not commute  by bicycle is that they do  not believe they have                                                               
a safe route.   She pointed out  that the sidewalk is  not a safe                                                               
alternative.   She emphasized  the need  for more  bicycle lanes,                                                               
and bicycle paths.   She related that she is  pleased to hear the                                                               
support for education and outreach.   She also mentioned that the                                                               
BCA currently offers some programs  to educate cyclists and hopes                                                               
to begin to educate motorists, as well.                                                                                         
2:49:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON, after  first  determining no  one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 132.                                                                                     
2:50:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  1,                                                               
labeled 26-LS0590\E.1, Kane, 3/19/09, which read:                                                                               
     Page 2, line 8, following "helmets,":                                                                                      
          Insert "bicycle facilities,"                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  explained  that  the  phrase  "bicycle                                                               
facilities"  was  inadvertently omitted.    He  related that  the                                                               
phrase appears on  page 1, line 11, but the  language should also                                                               
appear on  page 2.  He  inquired as to whether  the prime sponsor                                                               
agrees with Amendment 1.                                                                                                        
CHAIR WILSON objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON stated that he agrees with Amendment 1.                                                                   
CHAIR  WILSON removed  her  objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
2:51:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   moved   to  report   the   committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  for HB 132, labeled  26-LS0590\E, Kane, 3/18/09,                                                               
as amended, out of committee  with individual recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
There being  no objection,  CSHB 132(TRA)  was reported  from the                                                               
House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                        
2:52:07 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 132 Backup.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 132
CSHB132 Bill.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 132
HB132-DOT-AS-PD-03-13-09.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 132
SB 111 Backup.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
SB 111
SB 111 Fiscal Note.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
SB 111
SB 111 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
SB 111
HB 132 Sectional.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 132
HB 132 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 132
Sectional for CSHB132.pdf HTRA 3/19/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 132