Anchorage

Anchorage mayor candidate Q&As: What’s your assessment of Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure? Do you have a plan to improve it? How?

Seward Highway

In advance of the April 6 Anchorage municipal election, the Anchorage Daily News asked candidates running for Anchorage mayor a series of issue questions. These include questions suggested by readers. Read all the mayor and school board candidates’ responses here.

Q: What’s your assessment of Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure? Do you have a plan to improve it? How?

Anna Anthony

It seems that buses make it around, and I’m satisfied with the amount of snow plows.

Dave Bronson

The current transportation plan is adequate for our immediate future. Beyond that, we must focus on cost savings as we balance our transportation needs with our ability to pay for them.

Jeffrey Brown

Anchorage’s road system needs major changes. We need a downtown thoroughfare for Glenn/New Seward/Minnesota connectivity. It is unbelievable there is no way to bypass downtown for commercial trucks and countless vehicles passing through Anchorage. There are no thoroughfares traversing the Hillside or roads through the mid-Hillside to Northeast Anchorage without many stops on roads that aren’t suitable for big trucks or heavy traffic that needs to get through Anchorage. The port project needs to be completed somehow, and the downtown road infrastructure must be overhauled. Traffic flow patterns need to be improved generally, with investments in modern technology. Having to constantly stop at stop lights that aren’t coordinated is a drain on our time and our gas tanks.

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Forrest Dunbar

A well-connected city, with multiple ways of getting around, is a more livable city and one better positioned for economic success. More and safer bike lanes, better-connected trails, safer pedestrian crossings, more public transit options and well-designed traffic calming are all necessary to create a transportation system built around people, not just cars. Our infrastructure must be updated with an eye towards the future — we can slow our carbon emissions and protect our Arctic from further climate change, while simultaneously making Anchorage a more enjoyable place to live. Protected bike lanes, well-marked trails and reliable public transportation all create additional economic and health benefits, better accessibility to all parts of the city and support a more resilient community.

Bill Evans

Although it is primarily a state project, we need to make progress and get the highway-to-highway project completed. That would be a boon to transportation and would make certain Anchorage streets safer. In addition, we need to work in better cooperation with the state with respect to the maintenance of state roads throughout the city. We can find efficiencies and improvements for maintaining our roads if we improve our relationship with the state.

Bill Falsey

Despite improvements to the PeopleMover bus system and our trail network, Anchorage remains predominately a car city. For motorized traffic, our roads work pretty well. For non-motorized traffic, the city still has work to do — but it is moving in the right direction. Recent initiatives such as “vision zero,” which outlines a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable transportation for everyone, and the move to “complete streets,” like the rebuilt section of Spenard Road, that equally prioritize pedestrian and bicycle safety, show the way. As mayor, I would continue in those directions, improve trail connectivity, and ensure that federal funds received through the AMATS process are not used solely for highway mega-projects.

Heather Herndon

I intend to give this issue to UAA Engineering Department and decrease bus size to recalculate the matrices for the optimal solution in scheduling bus routes to make it efficient before seeking an outside opinion.

George Martinez

Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure needs significant investments and realignment toward our vision of economic growth. I believe that we have a tremendous opportunity to use the expected federal infrastructure and recovery resources to build it out.

Mike Robbins

We need more transportation infrastructure. We need projects that will expand development, eliminate congestion and take the burden off of the current system.

Albert Swank Jr.

As a civil engineer who has designed extensive quantities of road systems within the MOA, yes, I have desires and plans for such. These will also have to be coordinated with the state of Alaska DOT to agree with long-range state planning as well.

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Read more questions:

Why are you running for mayor?

What in your background or experience sets you apart from the other candidates and makes you suited to be an effective mayor of Anchorage?

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What’s the biggest challenge facing city government and how would you address it?

Describe how your administration would approach the coronavirus pandemic

What’s your assessment of how Anchorage’s city government has responded to the pandemic over the past year? What, if anything, would you have done differently?

What role should city government play in repairing economic damage to individuals, businesses and community organizations from the pandemic?

What’s your vision for downtown, and what specifically are your short-term and long-term plans for repairing damage from the past year?

Would you make changes to the Anchorage Police Department and policing policies? Why?

Is the Anchorage Police Department adequately staffed?

Do you support the bond issue on this spring’s municipal ballot that would fund public-safety technology upgrades, including body-worn and in-vehicle cameras for police officers? Explain.

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Describe, with specifics, how you would expand and diversify Anchorage’s economy.

What’s your vision for Anchorage’s economy in the future?

Is taxation in Anchorage too high/about right/too low?

Do you have ideas for alternative sources of city revenue? Explain.

Are there city programs or services you would cut? Explain.

Are there city programs or services you would expand? Explain.

What’s your view of current Anchorage land-use plans? Would you push for changes?

Homelessness remains a persistent, significant problem in Anchorage. What specifically would you do differently from previous administrations?

Name a program dealing with homelessness in Anchorage that you believe is working

Discuss your commitment to transparency and openness in Anchorage municipal government. Do you have suggestions for improving either?

What’s your assessment of Anchorage’s transportation infrastructure? Do you have a plan to improve it? How?

Are there specific transportation projects you would initiate in the municipality if elected?

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The past year has been marked by increasing civic discord in Anchorage. What would you do to reduce frustration, distrust and anger that increasingly has characterized civic conversation?

What other important issue would you like to discuss?

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