Best Practices and Resources

Rules of the Road

  • Always follow all traffic signals. Stop at red lights and look  both directions before continuing.
  • Ride your bike with the direction of traffic, on the right side of the road. 
  • Use hand signals to show cars you are turning. The  informational graphic above has correct examples of hand signals. 
  • Allow room for pedestrians, who always  have the right-of-way.
  • Pull over to the right when an emergency vehicle is approaching. 
  • Do not wear earphones; they prevent hearing traffic and surroundings.

A summary of Alaska and Anchorage Bike Laws can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. 

Sharing the Road

  • Ride in a straight line. Avoid weaving in between parked cars. This will make your movements more predictable to cars.
  • Avoid the "Door Zone," which refers to the 4 ft. radius of a parked car door that may open at any time.
  • Be cautions of the "Right Hook," which refers to cars that are turning right and only looking left for oncoming cars.
  • Stay alert. Be aware or your surroundings at all times, especially when changing lanes. 
  • Always try to make eye contact with drivers before maneuvering around them.
  • Follow posted speed limit signs.
  • Do not ride on sidewalks in downtown Anchorage Central Business District.

Bike Safety

  • Always wear a bike helmet.
  • When it gets dark, have a white light in front of your bike and a red light in the back.
  • Use reflectors on the wheels of the bike, along with rear and front reflectors, to help you be seen.
  • Use a bell to help you be heard on the road.
  • Adjust your helmet so you can see the front rim, the straps come to a "V" below each ear, and when you open your mouth wide the helmet pushes down on your head. 
  • Wear visible, colored clothing night and day. 

The League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Program is designed to improve bicycling skills.

Bike Anchorage's Safety Guide can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. 

Complete Streets

Complete Street designs strive to maximize the use of a roadway to accommodate all modes of transportation as safely as possible. Check out the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) for ideas on how to implement Complete Street designs.

 

Pedestrian Safety

  • Wear bright clothing, reflective tape, and blinking lights. 
  • Make eye contact with drivers. Don’t assume they will stop for you at pedestrian crossing signals. 
  • Be predictable. Cross at cross walks and avoid jay walking. 
  • If no sidewalks are available, stay to the edge of the pavement and travel facing road traffic. 
  • In the winter wear ice grippers to prevent slipping on sidewalks. Skinny Raven Sports can put studs on your shoes for $10 and is free for those 60 and older. 
  • Avoid walking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Call a friend or cab. 
  • Avoid walking while reading or listening to music with headphones.  

The Alaska Injury Prevention Center distributes free reflective tape, and has more safety tips. 

Vision Zero

The goal of Vision Zero is to have zero accidents on Anchorage's roads. This community commitment was launched by Mayor Berkowitz in 2016. Their five main focus areas include engineering, education, evaluation, enforcement and encouragement. To learn more about Vision Zero, check out the 2016 Report.