Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/09/2017 03:00 PM House STATE AFFAIRS

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Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
           HB 82-RESTRICTED OFF HWY DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                        
3:14:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  82,  "An  Act  relating  to  vehicle                                                               
registration;    relating   to    off-road   system    restricted                                                               
noncommercial   drivers'   licenses;  relating   to   off-highway                                                               
commercial  drivers'   licenses;  relating  to   off-road  system                                                               
eligible  areas;   and  relating   to  motor   vehicle  liability                                                               
3:14:49 PM                                                                                                                    
BERETT  WILBER,  Staff,   Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, on  behalf of  Representative Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
prime  sponsor  of  HB  82,  provided information  by  way  of  a                                                               
PowerPoint  presentation,  titled  "HB 82:  Off-Highway  Driver's                                                               
Licenses."   She referred to Slide  2, titled "What is  an OHDL?"                                                               
and  stated  that the  off-highway  driver's  license (OHDL)  was                                                               
designed for communities  that are not on the road  system and do                                                               
not have access to Division of  Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices.  In                                                               
these communities, driver's licenses  cannot be obtained locally.                                                               
She said that  the OHDL program, which allows  these residents to                                                               
obtain  driver's licenses  through the  mail, has  been operating                                                               
for more than  30 years in Alaska in 294  communities.  She added                                                               
that  currently there  are  1,120 Alaskans  who  are eligible  to                                                               
drive with OHDLs.                                                                                                               
MS. WILBER  stated that the  OHDL is  a real driver's  license; a                                                               
written test is required, but the  road test is waived.  The OHDL                                                               
is  only valid  in off-highway  communities.   It functions  as a                                                               
provisional  license  on the  road  system,  requiring the  OHDL-                                                               
licensed  driver  to  be   accompanied  by  a  regularly-licensed                                                               
driver, who is 21 years of age or older.                                                                                        
3:17:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked if  a  community  accessible by  the                                                               
Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) would be on the list of off-                                                                
highway communities.                                                                                                            
MS. WILBER answered that DMV  formerly considered ferry access to                                                               
be "highway access" and excluded  those communities from the list                                                               
of Off-highway  communities.  She  stated there is  a discrepancy                                                               
between  the  statutes  and  the   regulations,  which  would  be                                                               
addressed through the proposed legislation.                                                                                     
3:19:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILBER clarified  for Representative  Knopp  that any  OHDL,                                                               
regardless of the  age of the driver, functions  as a provisional                                                               
license on the road system.                                                                                                     
3:19:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked  if someone with an OHDL  would have to                                                               
have car insurance when on the road system.                                                                                     
MS.  WILBER   responded  that  the  insurance   and  registration                                                               
exemption is  not linked to  the license, but to  the off-highway                                                               
communities.  She explained that a  person with an OHDL is exempt                                                               
from registration  and insurance  when driving in  an off-highway                                                               
community.  If driving on the  road system, that person must have                                                               
registration and insurance.                                                                                                     
3:20:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILBER   referred  to  Slide  3,   titled  "294  off-highway                                                               
communities," to point out the 294 off-highway communities.                                                                     
MS. WILBER  referred to  Slide 4,  titled "Why  do we  care?" and                                                               
provided  background  information  on the  proposed  legislation.                                                               
She relayed that  in 2012, some constituents  of Angoon contacted                                                               
Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins's  office concerning  this  issue.                                                               
Angoon  is a  predominantly Native  village in  Southeast Alaska,                                                               
not on the  road system but accessible by the  AMHS.  She related                                                               
that for  decades, residents of  Angoon had qualified  for OHDLs,                                                               
and they suddenly found out that they were no longer eligible.                                                                  
MS. WILBER  referred to Slide  5, titled "They were  confused and                                                               
frustrated,"  to  highlight  the many  testimonials  from  Angoon                                                               
residents:   asking for  the reinstatement  of OHDLs;  citing the                                                               
expense, inconvenience, and amount of  time required to travel to                                                               
Juneau  for a  driver's license;  and  asking why  Angoon was  no                                                               
longer classified  as an off-highway community,  when nothing had                                                               
3:22:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILBER referred to Slide  6, titled "Regulatory History!" and                                                               
stated that  staff reviewed  the regulatory  history of  OHDLs to                                                               
determine  why some  communities were  no longer  eligible.   She                                                               
related that from  1984 to 2006, DMV had been  operating the OHDL                                                               
program informally.  Starting in  2006, in an effort to formalize                                                               
regulations,  DMV  drafted  regulations stipulating  that  for  a                                                               
community  to  qualify  for  the  OHDL program,  it  may  not  be                                                               
connected to the road system or  have access to a DMV office that                                                               
offers road testing.  She  attested that the proposed legislation                                                               
is an attempt  to reinstate those 2006 regulations.   She went on                                                               
to say that  in 2011, a new regulation went  into effect offering                                                               
OHDL eligibility only to communities  not connected to the "land-                                                               
connected state  highway system"  and having no  access to  a DMV                                                               
office  offering   road  testing.     She  said  that   DMV  then                                                               
interpreted access to a DMV office  to include ferry access.  She                                                               
reiterated  that the  expense, inconvenience,  and unfairness  to                                                               
those residents  of communities with  only ferry access to  a DMV                                                               
office is what prompted the proposed legislation.                                                                               
3:24:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON   asked  if   the  change  in   2011  was                                                               
regulatory  or statutory  and if  repealing  "something" was  the                                                               
MS. WILBER  replied that initially  staff worked with DMV  to try                                                               
to  change DMV's  interpretation of  the regulation.   When  that                                                               
failed,  legislation  was  introduced  as  the  only  opportunity                                                               
available to make the necessary changes.                                                                                        
3:26:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX    asked   for   confirmation    of   her                                                               
understanding of  the problem:   At one time, Angoon  was covered                                                               
by the OHDL exemption. Angoon  did not change, and the regulation                                                               
did  not  change,  but  the   interpretation  of  the  regulation                                                               
MS. WILBER answered that the regulation  did change in 2011.  She                                                               
stated that she  did not know if the change  in regulation caused                                                               
DMV  to  interpret the  word  "access"  differently or  if  DMV's                                                               
interpretation changed independently.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON commented that  she understood the thought                                                               
process  that would  lead DMV  to consider  the AMHS  as "highway                                                               
access" but agreed that it created an impractical situation.                                                                    
3:28:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL referred to  Seldovia, one of the communities                                                               
that  would be  considered an  OHDL  community under  HB 82,  and                                                               
mentioned that  it is  a short  ferry ride  to the  mainland, and                                                               
over a  thousand cars travel to  Seldovia during the summer.   He                                                               
suggested  that  perhaps  Seldovia  should  not  be  exempt  from                                                               
vehicle registration and insurance.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL pointed  out that  the AMHS  functions as  a                                                               
highway to  many communities.   He went on to  say that it  is on                                                               
this basis that these communities  justify their funding requests                                                               
for  support of  their highway,  just as  the state's  land-based                                                               
communities request funding support for their highways.                                                                         
3:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILBER referred to Slide 7,  titled "JKT office gets in touch                                                               
with the  DMV."  She  relayed that in early  2014, Representative                                                               
Kreiss-Tomkins's staff  contacted DMV to explore  the possibility                                                               
of  reinterpreting the  regulation  that determined  communities'                                                               
eligibility as  an OHDL community  based on "access."   She added                                                               
that  staff also  noted  that the  regulation  was being  applied                                                               
inconsistently:   the  AMHS communities  of  Angoon, Hoonah,  and                                                               
Kake   had  been   removed  from   the   list  of   OHDL-eligible                                                               
communities,  yet other  AMHS communities  had not  been removed.                                                               
She related  that in late  2014, DMV proposed new  regulations to                                                               
address  the  inconsistency  by   adding  "traffic  count"  as  a                                                               
criterion for OHDL  eligibility.  Under the  new regulations, any                                                               
community with an  average daily traffic (ADT) count  of over 499                                                               
was not  OHDL eligible.   She said  that since Angoon,  Kake, and                                                               
Hoonah had  ADT counts of  over 499,  they were removed  from the                                                               
eligibility list.  She said  that in comparing the traffic counts                                                               
of  these communities  with  other  OHDL-eligible communities  of                                                               
greater population,  such as  Sand Point,  staff learned  that no                                                               
traffic  counts   had  been   performed  in   those  communities;                                                               
therefore, they were not excluded from the eligibility list.                                                                    
3:32:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked who determines which  communities have                                                               
a  traffic count  performed and  how difficult  it is  to perform                                                               
MS. WILBER relayed that recently  she learned from the Department                                                               
of  Transportation  &  Public Facilities  (DOT&PF)  that  traffic                                                               
counts  have been  performed  in many  of  the rural  communities                                                               
since the '90s.                                                                                                                 
MS.  WILBER moved  on  to Slide  8, titled  "Hello,  HB 82,"  and                                                               
stated that  the intent of  HB 82 is  to return to  the practices                                                               
and regulations  of the program  as it was  in 2006.   She opined                                                               
that  "traffic  count" is  arbitrary  and  changeable; it  is  an                                                               
inconsistent  regulatory measure;  and it  is a  poor metric  for                                                               
determining  a community's  off-highway status.   She  added that                                                               
the  proposed  legislation would  eliminate  traffic  count as  a                                                               
determinant for OHDL eligibility.                                                                                               
3:35:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked  why, if Angoon had a  traffic count of                                                               
433, it was ineligible for OHDL.                                                                                                
MS. WILBER responded that in 2013,  Angoon had a traffic count of                                                               
915, therefore  was no longer  eligible for OHDL and  was removed                                                               
from the list  of eligibility.  She said that  for a community to                                                               
qualify for  eligibility, it must  be on the list  of off-highway                                                               
communities referenced  in statute, and  traffic count is  one of                                                               
the  criteria for  being  on that  list.   She  added  that if  a                                                               
subsequent traffic count  is below the 499 threshold,  such as in                                                               
the case of Angoon, there  is no systematic data transfer between                                                               
DOT&PF and  DMV to update  the list based on  the new data.   She                                                               
stated  that Angoon  should be  eligible  for OHDL  based on  the                                                               
latest traffic count; however, it is  not, because it has not yet                                                               
been added back onto the list of eligible communities.                                                                          
3:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  at   what  frequency  the  list  is                                                               
3:38:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MARLA  THOMPSON,  Director,  Division of  Motor  Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA),  responded that  DMV intends                                                               
to update the  list once per year according to  a specific policy                                                               
and procedure.   She  said that  in the past,  the list  has been                                                               
updated in response to a community's request.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked Ms. Thompson  if she is aware  of any                                                               
formal policy for reviewing the list of off-highway communities.                                                                
MS. THOMPSON answered that she is  not aware of a policy but will                                                               
research it.                                                                                                                    
3:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked why  Seldovia is not  included among                                                               
the 294 off-highway communities listed on Slide 3.                                                                              
MS.  WILBER  clarified  that  the  list  is  of  the  communities                                                               
currently exempt  from vehicle registration  and insurance.   She                                                               
added that under  HB 82, the five communities  - Hyder, Seldovia,                                                               
Angoon, Kake, and Hoonah - would be added to this list.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked why Ouzinkie is on the current list.                                                                
MS.  THOMPSON answered  that she  would have  to look  at a  city                                                               
individually  to know  if  its eligibility  is  based on  traffic                                                               
count or being an off-highway community.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX mentioned that Ouzinkie is on the AMHS.                                                                   
MS.  THOMPSON  expressed  her   understanding  that  a  community                                                               
connected to the AMHS does not qualify for OHDL.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if  any community that  is connected                                                               
to the AMHS does not qualify for OHDL.                                                                                          
MS. WILBER responded that it  was the inconsistencies in the list                                                               
of  off-highway  communities  that  led to  introduction  of  the                                                               
proposed legislation.   She added that the  inclusion of Ouzinkie                                                               
on  the   list,  which  is   an  AMHS  community,  is   one  such                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  if access to the AMHS is  or isn't a                                                               
criterion for inclusion on the list.                                                                                            
MS.  THOMPSON replied  that she  did not  know and  would provide                                                               
that information to the committee.                                                                                              
3:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILBER referred  to Slide  9, titled  "What should  matter?"                                                               
She stated that  the OHDL program has been very  useful for rural                                                               
communities,  and the  intent  of HB  82 is  to  restore the  old                                                               
system  of   using  common  sense  to   determine  a  community's                                                               
eligibility  for  OHDL.   She  relayed  that under  the  proposed                                                               
legislation, there would be two  questions to answer to determine                                                               
eligibility.   The  first is:   Is  your community  off the  road                                                               
system?   The second is:   Do you have a  DMV?  If the  answer to                                                               
the first question  is yes and the answer to  the second question                                                               
is no,  then the community should  qualify for OHDL.   She opined                                                               
that if one  cannot drive to a  DMV office, there is  no real way                                                               
for that person  to obtain a driver's license,  and he/she should                                                               
be eligible for an OHDL through the mail.                                                                                       
3:45:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  offered that a Seldovia  resident could take                                                               
his/her  car  to  Homer  and  obtain  a  driver's  license.    He                                                               
suggested  that   the  traffic   count  number,  499,   might  be                                                               
arbitrary,  but the  level of  traffic in  a community  does have                                                               
some  bearing  on  the  likelihood  of  traffic  accidents.    He                                                               
referred  to  Slide  10, titled  "Metrics,"  and  mentioned  that                                                               
Seldovia  has  255  people  and  over  700  registered  vehicles,                                                               
therefore it may be an outlier in the discussion.                                                                               
MS. WILBER replied that she  has a slide dedicated to information                                                               
on Seldovia and will address  the question when she presents that                                                               
slide.   She referred  to Slide  10, which  shows a  selection of                                                               
seven currently  eligible off-highway  communities -  Sand Point,                                                               
Hooper  Bay,   Gustavus,  Togiak,  Unalakleet,  King   Cove,  and                                                               
Metlakatla.   She mentioned  that they  were chosen  because they                                                               
were  some  of  the  largest  off-highway  communities  and  were                                                               
distributed geographically.   She  pointed out  in the  slide the                                                               
five communities  that would  be eligible under  HB 82  - Hoonah,                                                               
Kake, Angoon, Seldovia, and Hyder.                                                                                              
MS. WILBER  directed the committee's  attention to the  column on                                                               
Slide 10  showing the percentage  of population having  OHDLs for                                                               
each of the eligible off-highway  communities and stated that the                                                               
percentages  were fairly  small  -  less than  10  percent.   She                                                               
suggested  that  eligibility  for  OHDLs does  not  result  in  a                                                               
significant number  of people  having those  licenses.   The vast                                                               
majority of  people still choose  to obtain regular  licenses and                                                               
to register their vehicles.   She further stated that in applying                                                               
an  average of  the percentages  to the  populations of  the five                                                               
communities that  would become  eligible under  HB 82,  staff was                                                               
able to  estimate the number of  OHDLs that could be  expected in                                                               
the newly eligible  communities.  These numbers are  shown in the                                                               
last column, titled "applied avg of OHDLs."                                                                                     
3:50:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL restated  that for OHDL-eligible communities,                                                               
no more  than 10 percent of  the population get OHDLs.   He added                                                               
that he would  like to see the percentages of  the populations of                                                               
these communities having regular  driver's licenses.  He referred                                                               
to the  statistics regarding Gustavus,  a population of  442 with                                                               
489  registered vehicles.   He  suggested  that since  registered                                                               
vehicles  represent regularly  licensed drivers,  it is  not very                                                               
inconvenient for  Gustavus residents  to obtain  regular driver's                                                               
MS.  WILBER reiterated  that the  proposed legislation  would not                                                               
likely  result in  significantly more  OHDLs, as  many people  in                                                               
rural  communities   prefer  regular  licenses  because   of  the                                                               
convenience.   She  asserted  that  the intent  of  HB  82 is  to                                                               
provide the  option of OHDL,  which has historically  existed for                                                               
people in communities  such as Hoonah, Kake, and  Angoon, and she                                                               
stated that this  option is what the people  in these communities                                                               
want.  She  emphasized the expense and  inconvenience for someone                                                               
to travel to a  larger city to obtain a license,  just to be able                                                               
to drive in his/her own community.                                                                                              
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  maintained that most people  obtain regular                                                               
licenses  because  they  want  to  drive in  other  cities.    He                                                               
asserted that only  a small, select portion  of the OHDL-eligible                                                               
community  chooses to  obtain OHDLs,  and they  do so  because of                                                               
unique circumstances:   they are young people age  18 and younger                                                               
or elders not wishing to leave the community.                                                                                   
3:53:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  for  clarification   of  "Applied                                                               
average of OHDLs" in Slide 10.                                                                                                  
MS.  WILBER explained  that  the  numbers in  that  column are  a                                                               
projection.   Staff  averaged the  percentages of  the population                                                               
with  OHDLs in  currently eligible  communities and  applied that                                                               
average  to the  populations  of the  communities  that would  be                                                               
eligible  under HB  82.   She  stated that  this illustrates  the                                                               
number   of  OHDLs   that  are   expected   under  the   proposed                                                               
3:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked if  Nome has a  DMV office  and added                                                               
that he did not see it listed on the DMV website.                                                                               
MS. WILBER answered yes.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked whether Nome would  qualify for OHDL,                                                               
if there was no DMV office in that community.                                                                                   
MS.  WILBER  replied affirmatively  and  added  that if  the  DMV                                                               
office in  Nome closed,  DMV would  have a  year to  implement an                                                               
alternative, such  as fly personnel  in to administer  road tests                                                               
or set up a commission agent relationship with the city.                                                                        
MS. THOMPSON  responded that there is  a DMV office in  Nome, and                                                               
it  is  listed  on  the  DMV website  along  with  the  hours  of                                                               
3:56:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked  if the DMV office in Nome  is a state                                                               
office or an office under contract.                                                                                             
MS. THOMPSON answered that it is a state office.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  if  the  DMV office  in  Tok  is  a                                                               
contract office.                                                                                                                
MS.  THOMPSON responded  that  the  Tok office  is  state but  is                                                               
operated with public lands information.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP mentioned  that years ago the  office in Tok                                                               
was a contract DMV.  He asked  for an explanation of a DMV office                                                               
"operated with public lands information."                                                                                       
MS. THOMPSON  explained that the  person in  the Tok office  is a                                                               
DMV employee,  whom DMV  shares with another  office.   She added                                                               
that in some of the smaller  communities, a commission agent or a                                                               
part-time DMV employee is used.                                                                                                 
3:58:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILBER referred  to a list on  the right side of  Slide 10 to                                                               
point out  that there are  communities with AMHS access  that are                                                               
currently eligible for OHDLs.                                                                                                   
MS.  WILBER  referred  to  Slide   11,  titled  "Other  committee                                                               
questions,"  and recited  question  one:   "How  many people  are                                                               
eligible  for driver's  licenses in  these communities  and don't                                                               
have them?"   She said that it is impossible  to count people who                                                               
are unlicensed.   She  said that staff  estimated the  number [of                                                               
people  eligible  for,  but not  having,  driver's  licenses]  by                                                               
subtracting  the number  of currently  licensed drivers  from the                                                               
total population of  each community.  These  estimates are listed                                                               
on Slide  10 as follows:   Hoonah,  195; Kake, 268;  Angoon, 240;                                                               
Seldovia, -163 (0); and Hyder, 13.                                                                                              
3:59:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILBER confirmed  for Representative  Wool that  the numbers                                                               
used for the calculation come from Slide 10.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  offered that the total  community population                                                               
may include those not old enough to obtain driver's licenses.                                                                   
MS. WILBER  confirmed that she  did not adjust the  population to                                                               
exclude those underage but used  the largest number possible as a                                                               
liberal approach to estimating the numbers.                                                                                     
MS.  WILBER  went  on  to  question two:    "How  many  cars  are                                                               
currently  registered  in  Angoon, Hoonah,  Kake,  Seldovia,  and                                                               
Hyder?"  She said that using  aggregate data from Slide 10, there                                                               
are  1,834 cars  currently  registered in  the five  communities,                                                               
1,565   regularly  licensed   drivers,  and   a  total   combined                                                               
population of 2,118.                                                                                                            
MS. WILBER stated  question three:  "Of all  the communities with                                                               
DMVs, what's  the community that  has the lowest  'highest ADT'?"                                                               
She  said that  Anderson's highest  ADT count  was the  lowest at                                                               
4:01:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL pointed out that  the answer to question two,                                                               
which  states  that there  are  1,565  regular licenses  among  a                                                               
population  of 2,118,  suggests that  nearly everyone  of driving                                                               
age in the five communities has regular licenses.                                                                               
MS.  WILBER  answered  that  currently  the  five  communities  -                                                               
Angoon, Hoonah, Kake, Seldovia, and  Hyder - are not eligible for                                                               
OHDL.    She  added  that  Angoon, Hoonah,  and  Kake  have  been                                                               
ineligible since 2011.                                                                                                          
4:02:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  if Anderson,  with a  population of                                                               
246 people, has its own DMV.                                                                                                    
MS. WILBER answered yes.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked if Anderson  serves a large area that                                                               
includes other communities.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  said  that  it does.    He  mentioned  that                                                               
Anderson's service  area includes Nanana, Healy,  Denali National                                                               
Park and Preserve, and a school.                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON  explained that the  City of Anderson is  a contract                                                               
agent for DMV to provide services.                                                                                              
4:04:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  why more  cities weren't  contract                                                               
MS. THOMPSON  responded that DMV  would very much  support having                                                               
more business  partners and city-operated  contract agents.   She                                                               
added that DMV is looking for better ways to serve these areas.                                                                 
4:04:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked who pays for the contract agent.                                                                    
MS. THOMPSON responded  that DMV pays an agent  under a contract,                                                               
and the  agent keeps a  percentage of  the funds generated.   She                                                               
mentioned that  30 percent  of the driver's  license fee  and 100                                                               
percent  of the  road test  fee is  retained by  the agent.   She                                                               
asserted  that  this  relationship represents  an  effective  and                                                               
inexpensive way for the state to serve the smaller communities.                                                                 
4:05:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  if  there are  DMV  services in  the                                                               
communities of Eagle and Chicken.                                                                                               
MS. THOMPSON  answered that  there are no  DMV services  in Eagle                                                               
and Chicken,  but DMV is  open to  finding contacts in  those two                                                               
communities  to establish  services  through  the contract  agent                                                               
4:06:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  why  a community  such as  Seldovia                                                               
does not have a contract agent.                                                                                                 
MS.  THOMPSON reiterated  that she  believes in  the practice  of                                                               
providing  DMV services  through  business partner  relationships                                                               
and contract  agents and will "reach  out" to Seldovia to  find a                                                               
business partner or commission agent.                                                                                           
4:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  suggested  that  since  Seldovia  has  a                                                               
police officer,  it makes sense  that the city would  provide DMV                                                               
services as well.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK offered that since  Chicken and Eagle are not                                                               
organized cities, a business partnership  or contract agent would                                                               
be a good  option for providing DMV services.   He suggested that                                                               
Anderson's  proximity  to  Denali   National  Park  and  Preserve                                                               
creates a  great demand for  bus licenses, whereas  Seldovia does                                                               
not have  that demand.  He  added that Seldovia's high  ADT count                                                               
is  most  likely  due  to  summer tourism  creating  a  swell  in                                                               
population, like what happens in Juneau.                                                                                        
4:09:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILBER  referred to  Slide 12,  titled "How  many cars  go to                                                               
Seldovia?"  She  maintained that HB 82 was  introduced because of                                                               
the  belief that  relying on  ferry travel  to obtain  a driver's                                                               
license is  not as easy  or as cheap as  having road access  to a                                                               
DMV office,  and the additional  cost is  prohibitive; therefore,                                                               
Angoon, Kake, Hoonah,  and Seldovia should be  allowed to qualify                                                               
for the OHDL program.  She  added that there are communities with                                                               
ferry  access that  do qualify.   She  attested that  the concern                                                               
regarding a  person with an OHDL  bringing his/her car to  a city                                                               
such as Juneau or Anchorage and  driving illegally has not been a                                                               
significant  health and  safety  issue for  DOT&PF,  DMV, or  the                                                               
Department of Public Safety (DPS).                                                                                              
MS. WILBER  referred to the  number of vehicles  that disembarked                                                               
from  the AMHS  to Seldovia  in 2013,  2014, and  2015, shown  on                                                               
Slide 12, and stated that the  three-year average was 1,124.  She                                                               
compared  that number  with  the averages  listed  for the  OHDL-                                                               
eligible communities of  Port Lions, which is  404, and Gustavus,                                                               
which  is  1,503, and  with  the  average  listed for  the  OHDL-                                                               
ineligible community of Kodiak, which is 4,258.                                                                                 
MS.  WILBER referred  to  the concern  brought  forth during  the                                                               
House  State  Affairs  Standing   Committee  meeting  of  2/28/17                                                               
regarding  urban  drivers  driving  in  off-highway  communities,                                                               
where liability  insurance policies are  not required.   She said                                                               
that  under HB  82, there  would be  no change  to that  practice                                                               
occurring,  and   it  is   not  considered   a  risk   either  by                                                               
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins's staff or  the state agencies with                                                               
which they have been in contact.                                                                                                
4:12:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  stated that  his question was  about people                                                               
disembarking in  Seldovia with a fully  insured, licensed vehicle                                                               
and getting  in an accident with  someone who is driving  with an                                                               
OHDL  and has  no vehicle  insurance.   He  maintained that  most                                                               
automobile  insurance  policies  include  an  uninsured  motorist                                                               
coverage provision, which would cover this situation.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP  further   stated   that  the   year-round                                                               
population of  Seldovia, which  is about  300 people,  triples in                                                               
the  summer  months.   He  mentioned  that  the ferry  ride  from                                                               
Seldovia to  Homer is about  30 minutes  and is a  common commute                                                               
for residents.   He  speculated that  most residents  of Seldovia                                                               
have  regular  driver's  licenses,  because they  travel  to  the                                                               
mainland so frequently.                                                                                                         
4:14:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILBER  referred to  Slide 13,  titled "Thanks,"  and thanked                                                               
those   people   who   provided  assistance   on   the   proposed                                                               
4:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL mentioned  that the premise of HB  82 is that                                                               
it  is an  unfair burden  for people  not on  the road  system to                                                               
travel to a DMV  for a driver's license.  He  made the point that                                                               
Gustavus, with a population 442,  has 479 regular licenses, so it                                                               
cannot be  that hard for  them to obtain  a regular license.   He                                                               
added that  Gustavus is a  community that is eligible  for OHDLs,                                                               
and there are only 13 of them.                                                                                                  
4:17:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CASSIDI  LITTLE, Seldovia,  Alaska, testified  that although  the                                                               
road system  is accessible  via ferry,  boat, and  airplane, many                                                               
year-round  residents do  not want  to travel  out of  town; they                                                               
feel comfortable and secure staying  in Seldovia.  She maintained                                                               
that OHDLs  would give these  people the option of  driving short                                                               
distances, such  as picking up  their mail from the  post office.                                                               
She relayed  that Seldovia has  one mile  of paved road  with the                                                               
majority of  the 18-mile road system  being dirt or gravel.   She                                                               
maintained   that  Seldovia   offers   a   very  simple   driving                                                               
environment:   no  traffic lights;  no multi-lane  highways; only                                                               
two yield  signs; and typical  driving speeds  of 20 MPH  in town                                                               
and 35 MPH  outside of town.   She said that she  knows people in                                                               
Seldovia who choose  not to get a driver's  license, because they                                                               
never leave Seldovia.  She  asserted that most people in Seldovia                                                               
have  regular  driver's licenses,  and  many  do drive  in  other                                                               
larger Alaskan  cities.  She  maintained that a  small percentage                                                               
of residents do  not consider obtaining a  driver's license worth                                                               
the time and money.                                                                                                             
MS. LITTLE  stated that  young people  who wish  to drive  take a                                                               
written driving  test in  the city  office.   If they  pass, they                                                               
travel to Homer  to obtain a provisional license and  take a road                                                               
test.   She  maintained  that  most of  these  young people  have                                                               
difficulty passing the road test,  and she said she believes that                                                               
is due  to the  extreme difference  in road  environments between                                                               
Homer  and Seldovia.   She  further stated  that she  believes an                                                               
OHDL would be  a "stepping stone" for these young  people to gain                                                               
confidence and  knowledge of driving.   She asserted  that having                                                               
this experience would make them better and safer drivers.                                                                       
4:24:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked if one  can obtain a driver's permit                                                               
by mail.                                                                                                                        
MS.  THOMPSON answered  yes.   She added  that one  can take  the                                                               
knowledge test through  the mail, which is a  proctored test, and                                                               
an application can be obtained through the mail.                                                                                
4:25:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked for  the length of  time of  the ferry                                                               
ride between Seldovia and Homer.                                                                                                
MS. LITTLE responded, "It's an hour and a half."                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  if  the preliminary  test  that  Ms.                                                               
Little mentioned was the test for a learner's permit.                                                                           
MS. LITTLE answered yes.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  offered  that  a  young  person  getting  a                                                               
learner's permit and  driving in Seldovia with  a licensed driver                                                               
to get  experience was  the purpose  of a  learner's permit.   He                                                               
conceded  that driving  conditions  varied  between Seldovia  and                                                               
MS. LITTLE replied that Representative  Wool was correct, but the                                                               
young person  still would  need to  travel to  Homer to  obtain a                                                               
learner's permit.                                                                                                               
4:28:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP asked  what "triggers"  traffic counts  and                                                               
how long a traffic count period lasts.                                                                                          
4:28:35 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID EPSTEIN,  Regional Traffic Engineer, Division  of Statewide                                                               
Design and  Engineering Services, Department of  Transportation &                                                               
Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),   explained  that  DOT&PF  planning                                                               
personnel determine the locations  for which traffic is measured.                                                               
He added that  every year DOT&PF personnel  visit communities and                                                               
collect traffic  counts for a period  of seven days.   He relayed                                                               
that the best definition of ADT  can be found in the 1965 Highway                                                             
Capacity Manual.   He stated that ADT is the  total volume during                                                             
a given period  in whole days greater than one  day and less than                                                               
one  year divided  by the  number  of days  in that  period.   He                                                               
explained that DOT&PF  gathers seven days of  traffic data, which                                                               
is seasonally adjusted to determine the ADT figure.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP suggested that  ADTs are performed primarily                                                               
for road  maintenance and construction planning  purposes and not                                                               
for the DMV application being discussed.                                                                                        
MR. EPSTEIN responded  that the principal use of ADT  data is for                                                               
DOT&PF design engineers to establish  thickness of pavement cross                                                               
4:31:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  referred to  Slide 8  and mentioned  that in                                                               
2013, Angoon  had a  traffic count  of 915, and  in 2015,  it was                                                               
433.  He suggested that  there was an obvious seasonal variation.                                                               
He  commented   that  the  traffic  count   variations  certainly                                                               
affected  the  current statutes  on  OHDL  and asked  how  DOT&PF                                                               
factored   in  these   variations  for   decisions  on   pavement                                                               
MR. EPSTEIN replied  that in the case of  Angoon, DOT&PF collects                                                               
four traffic  counts and two of  them are on the  principle road,                                                               
Killisno Road.   The count for one segment was  915 and the count                                                               
for the other segment was 433.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  offered that  the  traffic  counts are  for                                                               
planning and  design purposes for  a road, and DMV  is interested                                                               
in a  community wide  count.   He asked how  a yearly  average is                                                               
determined  considering  the   different  counts  from  different                                                               
segments of road and seasonal variations.                                                                                       
MR. EPSTEIN  responded that  the traffic  counts are  adjusted by                                                               
using data from continuous count  stations (CCS).  He stated that                                                               
DOT&PF can keep track of  seasonal fluctuations in volume and use                                                               
the continuous  count data to  apply seasonal correction  to data                                                               
collected in the summer.                                                                                                        
4:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  for clarification  of  the  traffic                                                               
count numbers for Angoon - 915 and  433.  He asked if they are on                                                               
two different  segments of  the same road  and for  two different                                                               
MR. EPSTEIN  answered that  the traffic counts  are for  the same                                                               
year, same time.   He explained that the traffic  count of 915 is                                                               
the one  done on the  heavily used segment  of road going  to the                                                               
seaplane base,  and the traffic count  of 433 is the  one done on                                                               
the much  longer segment of  road going to  the ferry.   He added                                                               
that roads are divided into segments for traffic counts.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked if these  numbers are ADT counts based                                                               
on multiple days.                                                                                                               
MR.  EPSTEIN  answered yes,  the  data  was collected  from  both                                                               
segments of  road, and seasonal  adjustment factors  were applied                                                               
to the data  from the two counts.   He added that the  ADT on the                                                               
segment closest to town was 915 vehicles per day.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked for clarification of  the sentence on                                                               
Slide 8,  which states that in  2013, Angoon had a  traffic count                                                               
of 915  and was  deemed not  eligible for OHDL  but in  2015, the                                                               
traffic  count  was 433.    He  said  the  counts were  from  two                                                               
separate years.                                                                                                                 
MR. EPSTEIN confirmed  that 915 is the count from  one segment of                                                               
road and 433 is the count from the other segment of road.                                                                       
4:36:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked what traffic  count number DOT&PF would                                                               
ascribe to Angoon for OHDL  eligibility, given the traffic counts                                                               
from two segments of the same road.                                                                                             
MR. EPSTEIN  conceded that  as an engineer,  his main  concern is                                                               
the integrity  of the data,  not applying traffic count  for OHDL                                                               
4:37:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP   commented  that  Angoon  appears   to  be                                                               
ineligible  for OHDL  because of  the  traffic count  of 915  and                                                               
asked  why   the  traffic   count  of   433  wasn't   taken  into                                                               
MS. WILBER  answered that each  community with  different highway                                                               
segments  has a  different traffic  count for  each segment  each                                                               
time a traffic  count is performed.  She added  that DMV has used                                                               
the  highest  traffic  count  in   a  community  to  determine  a                                                               
community's  eligibility for  OHDL.   If the  count is  over 499,                                                               
then  the community  is not  eligible.   She  mentioned that  she                                                               
would follow up  on the inconsistency between  the information on                                                               
Slide 8 and the testimony by Mr. Epstein.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked  whether DMV considers the  usage of a                                                               
road when it  bases eligibility on the highest  traffic count for                                                               
a segment of road.                                                                                                              
MS. WILBER answered yes.                                                                                                        
4:39:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  if   performing  traffic  counts  is                                                               
difficult, expensive, or complicated.   He mentioned that traffic                                                               
counts are not performed in all communities.                                                                                    
MR. EPSTEIN replied  that his region is  Southcoast Region, which                                                               
is small and  does not have many communities.   He said two years                                                               
ago,  Kodiak, the  Alaska Peninsula  and  Aleutian Islands,  King                                                               
Salmon, and Iliamna  were annexed to this region.   He added that                                                               
DOT&PF personnel traveled to Kodiak  and King Salmon and that the                                                               
King Salmon  trip was very  expensive at a  cost of $10,000.   He                                                               
maintained  that  northern  and  central Alaska  have  scores  of                                                               
small,  remote   communities,  and  it  would   be  prohibitively                                                               
expensive  to visit  them.   He said  that he  does not  know how                                                               
traffic is  estimated in those  communities, but he  offered that                                                               
it is done using CCS data.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked what the traffic count is in Kodiak.                                                                  
MR.  EPSTEIN responded  that Kodiak  has roads  with much  higher                                                               
traffic counts  than Killisno  Road in Angoon  but also  has low-                                                               
volume roads as well.                                                                                                           
4:42:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked why  DOT&PF did  a traffic  count in                                                               
Kodiak, as it  has a DMV office, has a  population of 15,000, and                                                               
the traffic count would be high.                                                                                                
MR.  EPSTEIN  explained  that  the  region for  which  he  is  an                                                               
engineer was reconfigured two years  ago, and Kodiak was added to                                                               
the   region's   jurisdiction;    therefore,   DOT&PF   had   the                                                               
responsibility to count traffic in Kodiak.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX clarified that  her question was, "For what                                                               
reason ... are you counting traffic in Kodiak?"                                                                                 
MR. EPSTEIN explained  that is it part of  DOT&PF's obligation to                                                               
the   Federal  Highway   Administration  to   count  traffic   on                                                               
federally-funded roads, and  the data is used for  good design on                                                               
road projects.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  added  that  the data  is  used  for  road                                                               
construction and maintenance.                                                                                                   
4:45:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK mentioned that  he has installed many highway                                                               
traffic recorders (HTRs) and asked if DOT&PF designs them.                                                                      
MR. EPSTEIN  replied that the  new term for  HTR is CCS  and that                                                               
DOT&PF personnel apply already existing design standards.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  added that  the recorders detect  the number                                                               
of  axles,  distance  between  axles, and  speed  and  weight  of                                                               
[HB 82 was held over.]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects