Fallen trees line the beginning of the West Douglas Pioneer Road in late April. On Monday evening the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted to reject a proposal for the second time from a local company that sought to gain access to provide electric-assisted bicycle tours on the city-owned gravel road. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire FIle)

Fallen trees line the beginning of the West Douglas Pioneer Road in late April. On Monday evening the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted to reject a proposal for the second time from a local company that sought to gain access to provide electric-assisted bicycle tours on the city-owned gravel road. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire FIle)

Assembly votes down proposed Pioneer Road e-bike tours — again

The proposal was orginally rejected in late April.

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly once again voted to reject a local business’s proposal to bring electric-assisted bicycle tours to West Douglas’ Pioneer Road after it was initially rejected by members in late April.

[Assembly votes down proposed Pioneer Road e-bike tours]

The proposal by iRide Alaska was up for a “rare” reconsideration at the Monday night Assembly meeting after a notice of reconsideration was called for by Assembly member Wade Bryson after it originally failed in a 5-4 vote at the previous Assembly meeting.

According to iRide Alaska’s business permit request for the tours, originally sent to the city in November, the company sought to offer hour-long tours on pedal-assist e-bikes three times a day, six days a week barring Sunday, for groups ranging from four to 10 people along with two guides beginning this summer, running from May through October.

In the second round vote, Assembly members Christine Woll, Greg Smith, Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, Maria Gladziszewski and Mayor Beth Weldon opposed the reconsideration, while Assembly members Wade Bryson, ‘Wáahlaal Gíídaak Barbara Blake and Michelle Bonnet Hale voted in favor. Assembly member Carole Triem was absent.

During the meeting, Woll said she chose to oppose the reconsideration, arguing that the “rare” move can be a useful tool when new information becomes available or there was confusion on the issue that was originally voted on. She said she didn’t think that logic applied in this case.

After the vote, iRide Alaska co-owner Reuben Willis told the Empire that he purposefully didn’t get his hopes up about it passing after being shot down the first time, so he said he wasn’t surprised to see that it didn’t.

Juneau resident Linda Kruger, who was among the members of the public who attended the meeting in-person, told the Empire that she thinks the Assembly made the right decision the first time around.

“Last meeting they made a really good decision — they analyzed it, they thought about it and they made their decision — so there was no reason as to why they would change their vote,” she said. “I don’t think the reconsideration was warranted at all.”

Kruger said she personally opposed the proposal, arguing she did not think the road is compatible to service both tours and residential users.

“It would be just too much,” she said.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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