Anchorage Assembly rejects a right-on-red ban in downtown

several red lights at a snowy intersection
The intersection of Anchorage’s 5th Ave. and E St. in Downtown. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly rejected an ordinance Tuesday night that would’ve banned right-on-red turns in much of downtown.

Assembly member Daniel Volland introduced the measure, which he said would make downtown safer and more walkable.

“I’m just interested in how we can make our city more friendly to active transportation and more supportive of non-motorized users,” Volland said.

A growing number of U.S. cities are considering right-on-red bans to boost pedestrian safety.

Volland’s proposal would’ve prohibited vehicles from turning right at red lights in the area between 3rd and 9th avenues and Gambell and L streets, officially referred to as the Central Business Traffic District.

Assembly Chair Chris Constant said while the city has seen a startling number of fatal pedestrian collisions recently, they aren’t happening because of right-on-red turns downtown. A woman was killed the prior evening while crossing a busy street in Midtown.

“I still struggle with the fact that there are no incidents of people being hit by turning right on red downtown in 30 years,” Constant said. “It’s a solution looking for a problem.”

The motion was rejected 7-4, with Volland, Meg Zaletel, Anna Brawley and Felix Rivera in support.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

Previous articleAlaska News Nightly: Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Next articleAlaska Legislature passes bill enabling employers to use saliva tests for drugs, alcohol