The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for the April 2 election to the Anchorage Assembly to answer a series of questions on issues facing those bodies. We’re publishing select responses daily. The answers were fact-checked when facts were cited and edited for spelling, grammar and writing style. For more questions and to see all the candidates’ answers, click here. For School Board candidate surveys, click here.
Q: Tell us your ideas about transit and infrastructure in Anchorage.
DISTRICT 2, SEAT A: CHUGIAK-EAGLE RIVER
The Eagle River-Chugiak area has already lost a great deal of transit access and it is certainly a sore point for many of our residents. My district would most likely want to see the current plan revisited.
Public transit is a critical topic for my district. The Anchorage public transit routes were recently cut from the Eagle River - Chugiak area and directly impacted many families, particularly the elderly who depend upon these critical services to live healthy and productive lives. I fully support expanding public transportation to our community.
DISTRICT 4, SEAT F: MIDTOWN
There’s still a lot to be done and the recent earthquake underscored the importance of safe, quality infrastructure. And in some areas, like the Port of Alaska, we must come together to insist that those that benefit from the Port of Alaska make funding a priority. We must also be conscientious as we move forward with major infrastructure projects such as roads to ensure that these projects will serve Anchorage for the long haul, foster community and livable neighborhoods.
Many buses are barely utilized and yet many residents complain that changes in routes has disenfranchised them. Public transit needs to be analyzed not by the elected officials but by transportation experts. Public transportation is important to a vibrant city and it need a rational review.
Transit-Continue to increase the economics and efficiency of the bus system,work closer with fairness to the taxi industry, Uber, Lyft. More incoming parking outside of central city. Work on a commuter train from the Mat-Su. Increase bike routes.Infrastructure, strong economy is number one. The anchor industries, tourism, transportation, port, u-med district, fed, states employees, military and small business have to provide any assistance to allow them to grow and prosper.
DISTRICT 3, SEAT D: WEST ANCHORAGE
I want make Anchorage a great place to live and work--I believe in our city. Even in difficult financial times, we need to continue to invest in our infrastructure and work to improve our city transit. The People Mover has recently changed their structure to be more efficient. I know that in my community, it has made access more difficult for some--but I’ve been encouraged by recent increases in ridership.
Public transit is important but the conditions of our roads is also important.
Make it rain ziplines.
DISTRICT 5, SEAT H: EAST ANCHORAGE
I want Anchorage to be a more livable, walkable, & bikeable city. I’m as guilty as anyone of being constantly in my car, but I also love using the Chester Creek Trail near my house. Our trail system is a tremendous asset, and we have invested in linking it together. As we continue to transition the People Mover to a ridership model, produce more housing in core areas, and build more bike & pedestrian infrastructure, we will have the ancillary effect of alleviating some traffic issues.
DISTRICT 6, SEAT J: SOUTH ANCHORAGE, GIRDWOOD, TURNAGAIN ARM
When people need a car to have a job, that really hits lower paid workers hard. PeopleMover is struggling. Its budget has been cut for years and the results show. It pains me that we have no real bus service in most of South Anchorage. It only functions well in a few parts of town. I’ve lived in cities with such a great transit system, driving a car was the hassle.I have to note that the community of Girdwood formed their own bus service! It is doing well.