Midtown streets get an audit from pedestrians and cyclists

Published: Aug. 2, 2017 at 9:34 PM AKDT
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The Municipality of Anchorage is looking to reduce roadway deaths and major injuries to zero as part of a project called ‘Vision Zero.’

The data collected by the Municipality paints a stark picture of traffic incidents in the city.

"On average, one person is injured in a car crash every day in Anchorage," according to Municipality of Anchorage Traffic Data, 2013.

For pedestrians, the danger of walking Anchorage’s streets is similarly dangerous, the same data-set in 2013 found that, "a person walking is hit by a car in Anchorage on average every three days."

Additionally, a cyclist is hit by a car on average every three days in Anchorage.

City engineers are now in the process of considering how to make improvements to Anchorage’s streets to reduce fatalities and major injuries.

On Wednesday small groups of pedestrians and cyclists conducted a walking tour of 32nd and 33rd Avenue between Arctic Boulevard and the Seward Highway.

“So we’re looking at everything from ADA accessibility to lighting, landscaping, where bike pathways could be instituted,” said Vision Zero Project Manager Katie Dougherty.

Vision Zero is still in its information gathering phase after Mayor Ethan Berkowitz formed a Steering Committee in February 2016. The project for 32nd and 33rd Avenue is yet to be receive a commitment of funding from construction.

“What we’re looking to do is gather input from as many different voices as possible, people who do walk, people who drive so that we can understand the difficulties facing different types of travelers,” said Dougherty.

Vision Zero policies have been adopted in 15 cities across the U.S. And New York City’s Vision Zero plan is reported to have reduced traffic fatalities by 22 percent in three years.