CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The main issue in the area right now is Spenard Road. Spenard Road between Minnesotta and Fireweed is an interesting collection of shops with the potential to become a great shopping district. The variety of locally grown businesses and the private spending improving the area has been a real benefit. The main restraint is the condition of the roadway including the sidewalks and accommodation for the increased number of cyclists and for buses. The shops are great, the shopping stinks.
Funding for the Spenard Road Project from 32d to Hillcrest is part of the Roads and Drainage Bond that will be on the April 2015 ballot.
For more info:
Improvements to the road have been going through a sporadic scoping process for more than a decade. The proposals through this time have been supported by most businesses along the project area. Unfortunately, a few vocal opponents have managed to block progress and create the perception that "business opposes the project."
Businesses do not oppose the
The following petition was sent around in early 2011 and the majority of the business and property owners, 26, signed it to show their support for the proposed project along the north part of Spenard Road (primarily between 32d and Fireweed) .
HAVING TROUBLE VISUALIZING
WHAT THIS WOULD MEAN?
Note the clearly marked crosswalks.
Here's a view to the north with AMH on the right and Play It Again on the left. The Farmers Market is open and the sun is always shining! Down the middle is a safe turn lane.
Check out that wide sidewalk and all the shoppers!
What creates value in a shopping and entertainment area? People coming to stay for all that's going on
Why do businesses want this project? Because the benefits of making an area like this a pleasant place to walk around and hang out are well documented nationwide. Business will prosper.
Why should the neighbors and and the rest of Anchorage want this project? Because it's good for the surrounding area.
Here's a recent study funded by American Express on "Independent Business Districts" that presents info on areas much like Spenard. Just a few excerpts:
Where is this project now?
The committee members were chosen to include the business owners most opposed to significant changes to Spenard Road and the committee worked for consensus. This left it dancing around the issue of converting Spenard Road into a three lane road (2 driving lanes with a center turn lane). The reality is that to achieve the goals the committee supports, a three lane road is required.
For roads with the traffic levels experienced on Spenard, three lanes moves traffic better and safer and it provides room for wider sidewalks and bike lanes. The south end of Spenard Road is a good example of a "3-lane" road. It is combination of 3 and 4 lanes, it moves more traffic than the north end and it has less accidents.
The following was sent to the Municipality of Anchorage road engineers in September of 2011. The engineers had a design meeting these goals ready in January of 2012. Another meeting of the committee should be in January or February of 2012.
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[ at] spenard.biz