Anchorage Assembly Adopts “Anchorage Stop” Among Bike and Pedestrian Law Updates


During the August 8 Regular Assembly Meeting, the Anchorage Assembly approved ​AO 2023-65(S-1), As Amended, by a vote of 9-2 to revise local laws that regulate infrastructure and behaviors for vulnerable road users. The new law takes effect October 7, 2023.
Introduced by Assembly Members Daniel Volland, Anna Brawley and Karen Bronga during Bike Month in May, the sponsors presented the ideas in the ordinance at a worksession on July 7. Public hearings were held on June 6 and July 11. Public feedback and input from stakeholders, including the MOA Traffic Department and local organizations like Bike Anchorage and the Alaska Black Caucus, informed the final version of the proposal.
“Overall, I really appreciate the community dialogue about how we improve safety on our roads,” said Member Brawley.Everyone wants to feel safe, whether you drive a car or use a bike or walk around town. How much we use enforcement, education, encouragement, and engineering is an ongoing conversation in a lot of our work around public safety, so I’m glad this ordinance has gotten people thinking critically about how we make Anchorage roads safer for everyone.”
The ordinance incorporates best practices and recommendations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and other agencies to revise Anchorage Municipal Code (AMC) Title 9 – Vehicles and Traffic to align with the 2021 Anchorage Non-Motorized Plan.
Informed by national and local guidance, the ordinance defines “vulnerable road user” as “a person on a public roadway not using a motor vehicle.” The definition includes everyone who is legally traveling on a roadway, riding a bicycle, using a wheelchair, riding or leading animals, or otherwise not in a car.
"Transportation shapes our lives every day, and more people in Anchorage are choosing to walk, ride or roll to their destination," said Member Volland. "In addition to legalizing bike and pedestrian friendly behaviors, this ordinance envisions a future for Anchorage that includes infrastructure designed to ensure safety and comfort for all users, so residents and visitors alike can choose how they want to get around town."
In addition to defining “vulnerable road users,” the ordinance makes the following revisions to Title 9, which will take effect October 7, 2023:
  • Legalizes people-friendly behaviors on the road.
    The ordinance legalizes behaviors that allow vulnerable road users to safely use roadways differently than cars and other vehicles.
    • The “Anchorage Stop,” which allows bicyclists and other vulnerable road users to yield at stop signs and stop at red lights and proceed through the intersection, only when it is safe to do so.
    • The ordinance also defines what modes of transportation are allowed in a bike lane, so that any vulnerable road user other than people walking may use a bike lane: wheelchairs, e-scooters, etc.
    • The ordinance legalizes safe pedestrian road crossings where a crosswalk or pedestrian tunnel is not available within 150 feet and removes fees for jaywalking citations.

  • Establishes tools for transportation professionals to implement in future projects.
    The ordinance creates definitions for “Protected Bicycle Lanes,” “Cycle Tracks,” and “Buffered Bicycle Lanes” so that future investments into safe active transportation infrastructure, increasingly common in other cities, follow best practices. The ordinance also adds a design feature to new projects to include signage that reinforces an existing rule for drivers to give vulnerable road users 3 feet of space.

  • Removes fines for some bicycle equipment regulations
    The ordinance eliminates municipal fines for some bike-related citations, including riding without a lamp, without a bell and without a valid bicycle registration.
In response to public input, the ordinance was amended to uphold the existing law, AMC 9.38.200, to require cyclists under 16 to wear a helmet and its associated $25 fine.

“As a former teacher, I’m proud we decided to keep the requirement for children to wear helmets in our laws,” said Member Bronga. “By protecting our kids, we’re protecting our future. Moving forward, I hope we continue investing in programs to encourage bike safety and maintain our commitment to building a strong network of trails for bikes, pedestrians and all users.”


Daniel Volland | District 1,  
Anna Brawley | District 3,  
Karen Bronga | District 5,  ​