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Public input sought on pedestrian, bicycle-friendly Glacier Highway plan

Posted: February 1, 2013 - 12:00am

Public input is currently being sought on the new Glacier Highway Bike & Pedestrian Improvements project by the Alaska Department of Transportation and project contractor, Kittelson & Associates, according to a release from the DOT.

The project will aim to make the section of Glacier Highway from Walmart to the Western Auto area more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. The release stated that DOT and the contractor have developed initial improvement options for this road corridor, which will be presented at a public meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the Gruening Park Office/Recreation Room. Anyone who walks or bikes this area and has thoughts on current issues or improvements that could be made, is encouraged to attend. The meeting will provide an overview of current conditions and treatment options, and will provide time for feedback and comment.

Glacier Highway was originally built to be the main highway for traffic through Juneau. In the 1970s, Egan Drive was built to parallel Glacier highway to allow long distance trips at higher speeds. Glacier Highway now functions as a local access and circulation route for motor vehicle traffic with an origin and/or destination within the local area.

The Lemon Creek area has high residential concentrations, as well as numerous businesses and a middle school. Because of the area’s relative concentration, people often use non-motorized transportation to shop, go to school, or access transit stops.

Because Egan Drive is closed to non-motorized vehicles, Glacier Highway is the only route between Mendenhall Valley and downtown. This means that Glacier Highway has multiple purposes for bicyclists, serving both local trips within the Lemon Creek area and through trips from the Mendenhall Valley to downtown, making it a critical link in the local and regional bicycle network. Together, these features provide a great reason to make Glacier Highway more compatible with its current day primary function of local circulation and pedestrian and bicycle use.

For more information about the meeting, call Sheinberg Associates at 586-3141.

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