Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New bicycle racks for Downtown

With bicycle ridership increasing up to 30% in the last year, the Muni invested $17,000 into 13 new bike racks for the Downtown area using state grants. Now if you attended the city's little civic block party earlier this summer, you may have noticed a booth in which a map of Downtown Anchorage was laid out in front with visitors being asked to pin down locations they'd like to see bike racks and even bicycle lockers. I can't confirm that this is the result from that survey earlier this year, but with new bike racks installed in popular locations such as G Street, 5th and D, and of course our beloved Snow City Cafe, it sure looks like the results have been delivered. The ADN is reporting that bicycle lockers are expected to later show up on the parking lot behind the Sunshine Plaza.

With this news, I decided to bravely trudge out into the subzero cold and check out the new racks for myself. The results: not what I expected. It appears that at least two different versions of the racks have been installed. One rack looks more traditional with its "curved sink pipe", while the other sits between parking meters with space for two locks. I guess the artistic street furniture now found on F Street and around the new convention center raised my expectations for more artistic and unique designs, but then again this is a limited budget from a state grant. Not that I'm complaining or anything -- I'm very satisfied! Below are my sightings of these new species in their habitat:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Among election winners: mass transit

Besides Democrats making major gains in the election earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal is reporting mass transit also became a big hit for voters. No, this has nothing to do with Joe Biden taking Amtrak on a daily basis, rather mass transit initiatives around the country saw approval from voters that were twice the amount that usually pass in previous elections. Surprising considering the funding required for such projects especially in todays economic times (then again I suppose gas prices were on voters minds...). Click below for the article:

Mass-Transit Projects Fared Well at Polls (WSJ)