History of the non-motorized pathway along the Old Glenn Highway.
1984: Mat-Su Borough Publication on the Trails component of the Comprehensive Plan, describes the non-motorized pathway along the Old Glenn as follows:
OLD GLENN HIGHWAY PATH FROM PALMER TO KNIK RIVER BRIDGE.
This unpaved pathway is located on the south side of the Old Glenn Highway between the City of Palmer and the Knik River bridge. The Matanuska Telephone Assocation has cleared the right-of-way for a buried telephone line, and has buried the telephone line in the cleared strip and buried a cable TV in the same strip in the summer of 1982. In 1983 the Borough built a separated path over these buried utilities using an eight foot wide gravel overlay with crushed rock on top. Residents in the Butte area have been seeking a bike path along the road since 1975 on the basis that pedestrian traffic along the existing Old Glenn Highway is dangerous because of the narrowness of the road shoulder. There have been two pedestrian deaths along the road since 1976. The new path should reduce the incidence of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and accidents.
(Note: Residents living along the Old Glenn Highway watched in 1984 as riders on 3-wheelers removed the “Non-Motorized” signs soon after the path was built. Immediate requests to the Borough and Alaska Department of Transportation asking for replacement signs to protect the walking and bike-riding public from the dangers of increasing motorized use on this trail were ignored citing lack of funding until 2002.
New signs were installed in 2003. Soon after, they were blackened by vandals. Residents and DOT shared the job cleaning the signs.
Additional signs were installed in 2007. Most of these signs were destroyed or removed in May of 2007 by vandals in response to increased enforcement by Alaska State Troopers. Residents offered assistance to DOT to help replace the signs. Residents are entitled to a safe place to walk, ride their bikes, be protected from noise and dust and destruction of their driveways caused by hundreds of ATVs and dirtbikes speeding down the trail on weekends mostly. Most residents are grateful that Alaska State Troopers are protecting their right to use the non-motorized pathway and hope that the lack of signs will not deter them from their valiant enforcement efforts.)
2002: Mat-Su Borough Parks and Recreation Board affirmed the non-motorized designation by resolution (No. 02-12) and asking DOT to provide “no-motorized signs”:
"A resolution of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board recommending that the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities install "non-motorized" signs on the designated trail within the Old Glenn Highway right-of-way between the Knik River and the Matanuska River, and that the Borough work with the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to put up signs informing the public where motorized uses may occur and to publish maps or other educational material showing adjacent areas open to motorized uses.
WHEREAS, there is a "designated trail" along the Old Glenn Highway between the Matanuska and Knik River bridges, and
WHEREAS, this trail was originally constructed by the Borough with state funds for safety reasons because of the narrow width of the highway, and
WHEREAS, when originally constructed the trail was designated by the state as non-motorized and non-motorized signs were erected;
WHEREAS, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities does not allow motorized uses on "designated trails"; and
WHEREAS, this trail is now heavily used by a variety of motorized users, and
WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Butte community and others to return this trail to its former non-motorized status so that the public has a safe way to travel along the Old Glenn Highway right-of-way.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Board urges the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to erect non-motorized signs along the "designated" trail within the Old Glenn Highway right-of-way between Knik and Matanuska River bridges, particularly between mile 9 to 12; and
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities work with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to erect signs directing motorized users to areas that are open for motorized users, and
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Matanuska-Susitna Borough mark trails open to motorized uses in the area and publish maps or other educational material showing where motorized use areas are.
ADOPTED by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board this 26th day of November, 2002.
Signed: Bishop T. Buckle, Chairman
(Note: Signs and brochures with a map directing motorized users to ATV trails were made and distributed in partnership with the Mat-Su Borough, the Butte Community Council, Palmer Soil & Water Conservation District and US Fish & Wildlife Service. Subsequently, Butte Area Residents Civic Organization distributed educational fliers and signs for ATV users of the area and to inform the public regarding the dangers of target shooting in this heavily used recreation area. Two signs were placed at Knik River Access, one at the “Pavilion” Parking Lot, one at the Maud-Plumley Trail head. The signs at Knik River were shot up two weeks after installation. The other signs, posters and flyers were destroyed soon after.)
See Alaska Statute 13 AAC 02.455 regarding operation of off-road vehicles on highways and other locations.