DOT denies Alaska man's attempt to improve safety on Girdwood Bike Path

Girdwood resident Matt Martyn rented pylons to place along the Girdwood Bike Path. He says the DOT removed them. (Courtesy of Matt Martyn)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A father in Girdwood says he's frustrated after the Department of Transportation took down traffic pylons he hoped would prevent illegal driving on the Girdwood Bike Path.

This is not the first time that Girdwood residents have called on DOT to improve safety along the popular bike path. Residents say tourists who are unfamiliar with the area often mistake the path for a roadway. They say this is an ongoing safety hazard for pedestrians.

Matt and Julie Martyn ride bikes with their four children at least twice a day. Matt says he's constantly concerned that a reckless driver could hurt one of his kids -- that's why he decided to do something about it.

He used his own money to rent traffic pylons to place at intersections along the Alyeska Highway. He thought it was a fair compromise.

"The community has really gathered together around trying to do something about it," he said, "something non-invasive, but something that prevents mistakes from happening."

Matt says the DOT came by to remove the pylons the very next day. "It was frustrating," he said. "To go out and say, 'No, you can't do anything to make this any better, you can't police your own community.'"

The DOT has said that state law requires they post signage along the pathway. There are seventeen of them posted at intersections along the Alyeska Highway. Spokesperson Shannon McCarthy has said state law does not allow residents to implement physical safety measures on state roads.

Matt intends to continue searching for a compromise to keep his children safe. He says his next stop may be to speak with lawmakers.

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