The city's proposed land swap that would put 134 acres above downtown Douglas up for development is in need of further evaluation before consideration by the assembly. The transportation system for the added population resulting from such development should be worked out before the land is transferred.
Until the development-permitting process actually begins, the city is not required to plan or build appropriate new roadways for egress from the benches above Fifth Street. The narrow streets were not designed to be urban thoroughfares. Traffic on the Douglas Highway will become even more congested in the mornings and evenings, with additional traffic all day long. Movement of residents of West Juneau and North Douglas will be slowed as they attempt to exit their driveways or access the Douglas Bridge. Shouldn't a little more thought and planning go into a proposal that will affect most of the residents on Douglas Island?
Juneau's present vacancy rate offers time for CBJ officials and the residents of Douglas to work together to come up with a better plan. The January 19 meeting of the Douglas Advisory Board should provide an opportunity for the dialogue to begin.
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