Solutions sought for key problems

Posted: Sunday, June 04, 2000

Sometimes simple problems invite simple solutions.

Juneau residents who participated in the development of a city Transportation Vision Plan identified a variety of problems. Working with traffic planners, they also came up with some possible answers. Those recommendations are included in the newly-released plan. A few are listed here.

Issue: Too little parking is available downtown during the day. In particular, downtown workers park in residential neighborhoods, preventing residents from parking in front of their homes.

Recommendations: Convert parking to diagonal spaces where possible. Use incentive plans to encourage people to park in more remote locations. Provide metered parking with consolidated pay stations. Improve public transit to downtown.

Issue: Motorists often fail to yield to pedestrians outside the downtown area.

Recommendations: Redesign large intersections to provide shorter crossing distances. Devices that could be used in crossing areas include curb extensions (sections of sidewalk that extend into the street) and pedestrian refuges (raised islands in the street, near the medians or corners). Use bright, international, ladder-style crosswalk markings.

Issue: Streets in newer developments do not interconnect, looping through the neighborhoods or extending for distances without side streets. These require bicyclists and pedestrians to make long trips, often on busy roads with no sidewalks or shoulders.

Recommendations: Seek all opportunities through easements to create open and inviting links between dead-end streets. Adopt ordinances that require developers to create interconnected streets. Encourage property owners to provide side or rear access.

Issue: there are too few places to sit in Juneau.

Recommendations: Urge retailers to sponsor benches and other attractive places to sit. Purchase 200 new benches and install them in appropriate locations, preferably with a litter can, shade and lighting.

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