The recent business proposals that have been discussed in the Old Seward Oceanview Community Council meetings have focused on high-traffic businesses with locations across the country, such as drive-through coffee shops that aren’t nearly as good as Kaladi’s.
The businesses trying to move into this area are in direct opposition to the 2020 Anchorage Bowl Comprehensive Plan, which identifies Huffman as a potential “town center” that is comfortable for both pedestrian and car traffic. Unfortunately, I have seen scant effort to increase comfort for pedestrians, but instead I have seen businesses geared towards cars, and one can deduce that this approach will not lead us toward the “town center” plan.
Concerns from residents over increased air pollution from car exhaust, as cars idle in drive-through lines and even more noise pollution from businesses that unambiguously attract cars, seem to be ignored.
The municipality had a great idea by labeling Huffman as a budding town center. I don’t envision walking alongside multiple queues of two-ton polluting machines on wheels lined up for national-brand coffee or other widely known chain retailers as a desirable town center. When I imagine a vibrant and inviting town center, I envision walkability, greenery, interesting and unique local shops. One of those is way better for community health, too.
— Nicole Zegiestowsky
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