Four lanes with a median, or four lanes with an additional open center turn lane? That's the question being hotly debated in Wasilla as the state plans an upgrade to the Parks Highway in the fast-growing Mat-Su city. The Alaska Department of Transportation wants a median with access turn lanes every half-mile, while Mayor Verne Rupright and the owners of many businesses along the Parks want the open center turn lane, commonly known as a "suicide" lane. The arguments are getting personal, reports the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.
One particularly vocal Valley resident, Bill Bruu, has accused Wasilla politicians of promoting business interests to further their own political careers. Rupright tells The Frontiersman:
"I guess you call those accusations of felony crimes," Rupright said. That meeting "was the first time I've heard anything like that. ... It was a surprise. It's like, where is that coming from? Where's the evidence, not a scintilla of evidence. We have lunch with business people and people from the community weekly, not just one guy. Every Friday, I'm sitting in Evangelo's with nothing but a table of those people."
Rupright didn't help his case, however, by being recorded at a city council meeting cursing and then saying "I'll kill you" after Bruu addressed the council.
Read more at The Frontiersman: Debate over Parks Highway upgrade gets personal in Wasilla