At every red light we have time to contemplate the importance of our transportation system. Roads are expensive to build and to maintain. We need to get all we can out of our investment.
The quality of our roads has been improving over the years. They are now designed for all users, bicycles, walking and cars. Projects for the Hillside are lined up for Abbott and O’Malley. Girdwood is getting a paved road in the new townsite. Changes to John’s Road and Klatt have help things move along in Oceanview.
But we are missing some important pieces. Girdwood may be getting upgrades to Egloff Drive, but the crucial safe crossing between the old and new townsites is moving slowly. Safe ways for students to cross Abbott to Service High and Trailside and cross O’Malley to O’Malley elementary are missing. We need to find some way to get the decision making system for our roads to be sensitive to these needs.
In my first term, I have been surprised that the most frequent phone call I get concerns speeding in neighborhoods. Until just a few years ago, we have built neighborhood roads in South Anchorage wide and straight. Like drag strips. We need to continue to go back and use the variety of ‘traffic calming’ tools available. I was fortunate to be able to amend the budget to double the amount of money available for traffic calming. I will continue to press for new roads that are designed to minimize this problem.
I understand how the road planning system works in Anchorage. I've been on the citizens advisory committee for several road projects in Anchorage including O'Malley Road. As a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission I was part of the Citizens Advisory Group for roads across Anchorage. As the business member of Anchorage's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee I have had a close connection with funding for projects in Anchorage. In my first term I have been on the AMATS Policy Committee helping decide how we spend federal road funds.
Fix what we have first
Consider all users when rebuilding and building new road
Design neighborhoods roads for safety first.