Assembly made jaywalking legal in October, and now may make ‘right-on-red’ in downtown Anchorage illegal

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On Oct. 7, 2023, an Anchorage Assembly ordinance went into effect allowing jaywalkers the freedom to roam across streets whenever they deem it safe in the city, and not worry about pesky jaywalking fines. Walkers now rule the roads in Anchorage, and drivers need to be ever-aware of increasing dangers.

Sure enough, on Jan. 30, a pedestrian was hit while crossing C Street outside of a designated crosswalk. He died at the hospital.

Now, the Anchorage Assembly wants to make it illegal for drivers to turn right after stopping for a red light in downtown Anchorage. This new ordinance, offered by Assemblyman Daniel Volland, would make a different traffic law for the downtown business district than for other parts of the city, adding to the patchwork of changing traffic rules proffered by the Anchorage Assembly.

In almost all parts of America, drivers may stop and then turn right on red if there is not oncoming traffic, unless there is a specific signage prohibiting it. Even in Seattle, “no turn on red” is now the default law.

Exceptions to the “right on red” laws are New York City, which has a no-right-on-red law and in 2025, Washington, D.C. will join New York City and make it illegal to turn right on red.

But in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, right turns on a red light have been legal since 1980, unless posted otherwise.

Alaska, too, is a right-on-red state: “Except when a traffic control device is in place prohibiting a turn on red or a steady RED AR- ROW signal indication is displayed, vehicular traffic facing a steady CIRCULAR RED signal indication is permitted to enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street … ” the state law reads.

But the Anchorage ordinance being considered would designate the streets between 3rd and 9th Avenues, and L and Gambell Streets as a special district for no turning on a red light.

It comes at a time when some members of the Assembly also want to remove a portion of the Seward Highway that cuts through the Fairview neighborhood and is one of the major thoroughfares in Anchorage.

Volland, who moved to Anchorage from Seattle a few years ago, says that despite the improved safety standards in automobile design, pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have been on the rise nationwide. He and others who support this ordinance say all users have equal rights to the roadways.

The proposed ordinance, which will appear on Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly regular agenda as a new item for a public hearing, is at this link. The Assembly meetings take place on the ground floor of the Loussac Library, at 36th and Denali Streets, starting at 5 pm and usually ending by 11 pm or before midnight.

40 COMMENTS

  1. If you’re asking if there is any port of your life the Politburo doesn’t want to control, you haven’t been paying attention.

  2. It depends on the people’s consent. We have the right to travel the King’s Highway since the Jamestown Charter in the 1600’s (still intact), a charter much older than the Anchorage Charter. Rights don’t die. They can be added to though.

  3. Micromanaging the most minute details of everyday life is a hallmark of radical leftist extremism.

    But you’d think that the Marxist Nine would be completely in favor of anything and everything being done “on red”. That IS the color of their banner, after all.

  4. Waste of time the cops don’t even write tickets for red light runners.
    This proposed ordinance will just confuse the driving population to which streets you can in which street you cannot turn right on red. For the last 50 years it has been fine now all of a sudden it’s not fine. Why doesn’t the assembly make a law that they can only pass one law a year.

    • NO! Things in Anchorage are not fine. And they won’t be fine for the Anchorage Assembly until Dan Volland turns Anchorage into a mini-Seattle. The Anchorage Assembly is out of control!

      Jaywalking should be illegal and ticketed by police (are you reading this Kevin Cross?). Turning right on red after stopping should continue to be lawful throughout the entire municipality (pay attention Dan and the Assembly others who think this is a splendid idea).

  5. If you’re asking if our Assembly has finally solved all the other big problems in our city, and the right on red is the last of the issues, you haven’t been paying attention.

  6. So many problems with this idea:
    1. How many extra signs will be needed on these streets to help the unsuspecting motorist on an already cluttered downtown area?
    2. Is this really a means of collecting addition revenue instead of safety?
    3. Downtown is already beleaguered with shops disappearing, citizens not wanting to deal with homeless/vagrants; and now the Asmbly wants to create an obscure mandate?

    Again, logical minds apparently are on vaca!

  7. Volland is a grifter who needs to go back to Seattle. He like many of the other grifters moving here destroyed once great cities with their democrat policies now wishing to do the same to Anchorage.

    • Agree. Anchorage has been heavily infiltrated by the left coast and then they run for office, forcing their Marxist leaning politics upon a city that used to be part of Alaska.

  8. This assembly is akin to Dr. Frankenstein. They love to experiment with foolish endeavors like bringing the dead back to life instead of simply practicing proven healing arts.

  9. Sleep tight, Anchorage…
    We are in such good hands, another stroke of genius from another assembly representative. Yes, you guessed it, from the great city of Seattle. Another assembly member solidifies their position, pay raises for one and all & while we are at it, let’s just sprinkle in another 5 million to the homeless & just to be sure, let’s shutdown Anchorage because someone has a runny nose
    As for the bicyclists, they will adhere to all the traffic laws except for red light’s, stop signs, crosswalks, and speed limits, lol. also, let’s just remove the crosswalks
    & signals the assembly already has that handled,
    Oh the the wisdom…
    Mr Vollend don’t set the bar
    to high for the rest of us.
    Let the good times roll…

  10. Lol Wow! Anchorage Assembly is a real sh*t show circus. Give those loonies an inch and they’ll soon rule the entire city as dictators!

  11. “Legal” and “illegal” applies to corporations including the Territorial State of Alaska Inc. and the Municipal STATE OF ALASKA INC.. “Lawful” and “unlawful” applies to the living people. Most of their copyrighted, privatized codes, rules and regulations don’t even apply to us. 22 USCA 286e When a government incorporates it loses its sovereign powers. And the Clearfield Doctrine says this too.

    • Manda, you could have left off the phrase “for those who want or need to go downtown”, and your statement would be even more relevant and on-point.

      The problem with Marxists and other radical leftists is that they believe that the universe is a limitless blank slate, just waiting for their ever-expanding set of laws to fine-tune it into utopia. “Just one more law/mandate/restriction will make things perfect!” What they, in their childlike ignorance and midwitism, fail to understand is that their every law/mandate/restriction has a cost and a price, not maybe just in dollars and sense, but in burdens being placed on people, and in the loss of freedom, and in the loss of personal autonomy and satisfaction. They consistently let the unachievable perfect become the enemy of the good.

  12. This Assembly is useless!!!! So they made it easier for drunks and drug users to jaywalk and tie up traffic and then they punish drivers by making a right on red illegal😡😡😡

  13. If you make it legal to jump out into the street at your leisure you must also make it legal to bounce street drunks off your hood. In that manner Ms. Berkowitz was simply progressive.

  14. The right on red turns help keep the vehicle traffic flowing preventing traffic build up and clogged intersections.
    Might not be too much of a problem now that there are less people visiting and shopping downtown. The only problem for not allowing right on red turns along with allowing jaywalking would be during the fewer bigger events occurring downtown and rush hour leaving downtown.

  15. So, you’ll only be able to turn right when the pedestrian has the “walk” right-of-way, crossing the street you want to turn onto. Now, I have to block the traffic behind me while I wait for the people to clear out. If that doesn’t happen, I’m not going to be able to ever make the turn. It’s safer for all of us the way it is now. Every day, a leftist loon always demonstrates their inability to logically think things through and that’s exactly the people that are running Anchorage.

  16. Another reason to never go downtown. That will be the practical effect but it may make some unhappy. If you haven’t noticed, downtown is almost dead now.

  17. Danger Will Robinson! 🤖

    Anchorage is a WOKE zone!
    It’s a big joke in the states; if u screw up they send u to Alaska!
    Usually with a one way ticket!
    Wake up!
    Boycott Anchorage

    ‘https://www.brighteon.com/be306361-48ce-437f-8b04-f6dc84fa8159

    • Holy moly… another in a long string of vacuous posts. Who knew? Consider poling your friends or perhaps your dog to see if either know of anything insightful you might be able to say.

      And on a more direct note, no… Anchorage does not want these dolts. It is a natural trajectory for cities wherein a burgeoning percentage of bums and beat offs focus on electing those that support bums and beat offs. Look at Sketchikan for an up close and personal view of the transient and recreationally homeless summer population. Obama phones and free services allow the town to transition downward and yes, these people can and do vote. They suck up resources until the free facilities tell them they’ve overstayed their welcome or the weather changes then they dial up their buddies to see where they’ll be a societal drain next. Politicians that focus on the underserved are what eventually lead the city toward a need for their own crap map.

  18. banning right turns on red resulted in a 97 percent reduction in driver-to-driver conflicts and a 92 percent reduction in vehicle-pedestrian conflicts.
    But all you care about is riling up the MAGA’ts.

  19. Several years ago the assembly approved “Traffic calming”. They took out all the right turn lanes and narrowed streets in Fairview so that now we have traffic congestion and those narrow streets are one lane because they don’t remove snow.

    They also put in a 10 cent a gallon tax on gas but it hasn’t helped fix our roads. They won’t be happy until we all ski around town in the winter.

  20. The real solution is to pave the historic Iditarod trail, giving the normal people a way to access Alaska without any need to go through Anchorage. Then, only the people who voted for the clowns who run the circus will need to buy the tickets to the show.

  21. Another attempt to solve a problem that does not exist. The police are undermanned to enforce existing laws – case in point: when I call for removal of homeless people from my property, response time is lengthy because of the lack of an officer to assign the task, and it is low priority.

    Prohibiting turning right on red will harm traffic facilitation. Does anyone really believe the police will be issuing jay walking tickets? When people look down the street and there is no traffic for a block or more, they will jay walk. Don’t pass a law that won’t be enforced.

  22. Suzanne, have you seen any updates on whether the driver of the Bronco was charged with anything? Of course, that driver must be devastated by this incident. This Assembly is so short-sighted. Lives are being severely impacted (double-entendre intended) by their stupidity. Both the pedestrian and the driver will suffer life changing trauma when this kind of thing happens.

    A few months ago I was doing 40-45 on A Street when one of our (less mentally capable) members of the homeless community decided to cross A Street at Barnes and Snowball. Fortunately, he took a brief step back (as I passed) before he moved forward. Cars behind me were more than far enough back that the east lane would have stopped for him. Had I tried to stop, I surely would have squashed him with my Tundra.

  23. Isn’t turning right on red after stop in the driving manual and recognized in akdmv handbook along with every city in America? This is an attempt to fix a non existing problem! Another overreach of authority!

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