ANCHORAGE - Tourist season is in full swing in downtown Anchorage, but it’s not just out-of-town visitors you’ll find on the city sidewalks. There are bicyclists as well, but those bikers are breaking the law.
"Here comes someone here and they're riding on the sidewalk. The reason is there's pedestrians. There's a lot of pedestrians downtown, we don't want to have you running into people,” said Lori Schanche, the city’s Non-Motorized Transportation Coordinator.
In the Downtown Business District it’s illegal to cycle on the sidewalk. Regular bike commuters say they always try to ride on the road.
"I tend to bike on the streets anyway because the sidewalks are not conducive to biking. They're up and down, you have to stop to get off at stop lights. If you time the lights downtown, you can bike right on through so it's actually easier,” said Terry Hennessey, who always commutes by bike.
Thousands of people were out Friday for Bike to Work day. Schanche says away from downtown it’s the cyclist’s choice whether to ride on the sidewalk or the street. But she says studies show the street is usually the safest.
"On the pathways you've got cars crossing your path and turning all the time. The cars often don't expect you as a cyclist to be on the pathways or the sidewalks. So do watch out, look every which way,” said Schanche.
Bikers say there are some hazards when it comes to commuting with cars.
"There's so much distracted driving in Anchorage that it is pretty dangerous. You have to ride on the right side of the road so you can't see what's coming at you from behind so you do take your chances,” said Hennessey.
To avoid bobbing and weaving through tourists, stick to the streets. If you do ride on the sidewalk, remember: Wheels yield to heels.