The ASATP will support DOT&PF, and other transportation planning and partner organizations, to work on an effective and consistent approach to improving active transportation accommodations in Alaska. Recommendations have been identified for future statewide active transportation planning initiatives to ensure the momentum is maintained by DOT&PF. These recommendations are summarized below.
Recommendations – Facilities
- Focus on the provision of pedestrian and bicycle facilities on state-administered roads.
- Work with the local communities to implement the recommendations of their non-motorized plans where the department maintains roads in urban areas and where appropriate, including the establishment of non-motorized networks articulated in these plans.
- Where logical and in accordance with roadway characteristics in urban areas, provide pedestrian and bicycle facilities in accordance with local nonmotorized transportation plans and land use codes, as appropriate.
- In rural areas, include a minimum 4-foot wide paved shoulder to provide space for pedestrians to walk, which is shared space with bicycles.
- Provide reliable surfaces that are appropriate to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists along state-owned and operated facilities as roadways are upgraded and modernized, except on facilities where bicycles and pedestrians are prohibited. For bicycle facilities, Tables 1 through 6 in Selecting Roadway Design Treatments to Accommodate Bicyclists, FHWA publication RD-92-073 as referenced in part 1210.4.2 of the HPM is helpful to determine minimum and desirable facility widths and treatments relative to traffic levels and speeds. This ensures a minimum basic space is provided that can serve all users, oftentimes at least shoulders.
- Provide active transportation facilities that are contextually aligned with the speed and volume of the motorized facility and separate active transportation users to the extent practical. This may include wider gravel top roads with dust control in some rural locations, a shared use path along a major highway in an urban location and everything in between.
- Consider design guidelines and standards established for different facility types.
- Ensure facility design factors are addressed in the design and construction of active transportation facilities, as a key mechanism to achieving the vision, goals, and objectives set out in the ASATP.
- Ensure transition areas where facilities begin and end to improve safety for both non-motorized users and motorists.
- Implement the requirement for a paved shoulder in roadway rehabilitation construction projects unless specific approval is granted to not provide a facility.
- Explore opportunities to provide active transportation facilities in preservation projects and consider how to increase provision of facilities while recognizing the constrained costs associated with lower-level preservation projects.
Recommendations – Users
- Understand the different types of facility user and define what types of user each active transportation facility is seeking to accommodate.
- When accommodating bicyclists in urban areas, providing facilities for Group B and C (less experienced or cautious users and children) is appropriate. For non-urban areas, providing facilities for Group A (experienced) users (who are likely to be traveling longer distances, or in areas with lower traffic volumes and potential for conflict) is adequate.
- Accommodate all users on either a dedicated facility or more informally in rural areas, depending on level of use of the roadway.
- When accommodating pedestrians, provide facilities that provide for a broad range of users and be aware of predominant land uses in the surrounding environment, particularly where these will result in a higher concentration of more vulnerable users.
- Ensure active transportation facilities are scaled appropriately to ensure that users feel comfortable and safe when using facilities.
Recommendations – Maintenance
- Continue with a periodic inspection schedule for nonmotorized facilities and consider how maintenance budgets can be allocated to ensure facilities are maintained in a standard of good repair.
- Consider space for snow storage in the design of roadway facilities while ensuring year-round provision of active transportation facilities where possible. This includes designing facilities to ensure it is easy to plow/compact/groom/sweep areas used by bicyclists and pedestrians as part of roadway maintenance.
- Consider transit stops where they are provided along a roadway facility to ensure they can be kept clear of snow and are not used for snow storage, so they can be used as year-round intermodal connection points.
Recommendations – Partners
- Where appropriate, support other transportation planning organizations in urban areas as they implement their non-motorized plans.
- Work with, and where appropriate, partner with local communities to address network gaps and barriers to creating a connected active transportation network in locations where DOT&PF owns and maintains specific roads that interact with the local road network.
- Support local level jurisdictions to evaluate existing policies, standards and practices that focus on and influence personal safety and security on active transportation facilities. Examples include the development of CPTED policies and the Anchored Home Strategic Plan to Solve Homelessness in Anchorage.
Recommendations – Programs and Data
- Undertake an inventory and generate a database of existing active transportation facilities on roads administered by DOT&PF, with a focus on:
- An inventory and map of existing active transportation facilities on roads managed by DOT&PF
- An inventory of network gaps and connections across the whole transportation network.
- Support local communities in their implementation of non-motorized transportation plans and land use codes for the design, construction, and maintenance of active transportation facilities.
- Continue technical training to support the understanding of active transportation user needs, best practice design guidance, safety measures and educational campaigns to promote active transportation safety.
Recommendations – Highway Preconstruction Manual
Revisions are recommended to the HPM as follows:
- Chapter 4 Project Development: DOT&PF should include a requirement that Planning staff be involved in the review and implementation of bicycle/pedestrian accommodations on all new project development.
- Section 1210 – Bicycle Facilities: DOT&PF should use the most recent AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (currently 4th Edition, published in 2012) when revising Chapter 12 of the HPM. This will ensure consistency between the Guidance referenced in Chapters 11 and 12.
- Section 1220 – Pedestrian Facilities: When preparing the content of Section 1220: Pedestrian Facilities, DOT&PF should adopt guidance such as the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities (currently 1st Edition, published 2004), and the MUTCD. This will provide designers with clear direction on designs for better accommodating pedestrians on the Alaska highway system.
Recommendations – New Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures were reviewed and suggestions for updated or new policies and procedures were identified to improve walking and bicycling conditions throughout Alaska. The recommendations reflect a variety of actions ranging from implementation of new policies and laws to minor modifications in existing code language. These recommendations support network and safety related goals, while also aligning Alaska with national and international best practices. Please refer to section 8.7 of the draft Master Plan for details.