Spenard Business Owners React to Road Reconfiguration Plan
Pedestrian-friendly changes require major construction
ANCHORAGE - A plan to reconfigure Spenard Road is getting mixed reaction from business owners in the area.
The Anchorage Assembly’s plan is to condense the road between Hillcrest and 27th to three lanes—one in each direction and a turning lane. There would still be four lanes from 27th to Benson because of the high traffic volume.
“You can go to three lanes and get just as many cars through, and it's much safer to do that, and it's also easier to cross when there's only three lanes,” said Bosco’s owner John Weddleton.
The project would widen the sidewalks and make the area more pedestrian-friendly. There is no designated crosswalk between Northern Lights and Fireweed.
Some storeowners are concerned major construction on the road will negatively impact business. Assembly Chair Ernie Hall says the project would move in phases to limit the affect on customers and stores.
There’s been a lot of discussion about Spenard Road for years and some business owners say they just want whatever is best for the neighborhood.
“As long as in the end it's more efficient and we have this pedestrian issue, as long as we take care of all the issues and all the businesses are still here in the end and we're all happy and thriving, two thumbs up to whatever works,” said Annie Pazar, owner of Bella Boutique.
Hall says the project could be started sometime in 2015 or 2016 and is estimated to cost around $20 million.