It will likely be fall before a traffic revision at Auke Bay is finalized. But state DOT officials say they are listening to local concerns.
The project calls for a roundabout at the intersection of Glacier Highway and Back Loop Road, but residents say that’s not the answer.
The state project, to be built by the Alaska Department of Transportation, has an emotional side and twice petitioners have taken their fears to city hall.
Auke Bay resident Sally Burnham on Monday presented the Juneau Assembly with a thousand signatures collected at various Auke Bay businesses. Last month, Friends of Auke Bay turned in petitions signed by 450 people.
Burnham owns Custom Cuts. She says she’s already moved her business once due to road construction. She handed each Assembly member a thick stack of papers with signatures of people all over Juneau who object to the roundabout, which could mean the demise of DeHart’s convenience store and gas station.
“We are petitioning to protect and enhance the Auke Bay neighborhoods as a safe, walk able place to live, dine, shop, recreate, work and transit,” Burnham says.
She says DOT needs to rethink the plans for the area.
That’s exactly what’s happened, according to DOT spokesman Jeremy Woodrow. “DOT is definitely looking at other alternatives for the corridor there, specifically the roundabout option,” he says.
Woodrow says project engineers are looking at how the project can meet neighborhood concerns and still resolve area traffic issues.
The project is part of the Auke Bay Corridor Study to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety. It includes the Auke Bay roundabout or other solution; improvements at Glacier Highway, Fritz Cove Road, and the south entrance to the University of Alaska Southeast; sidewalks along Glacier Highway from Fritz Cove Road to Seaview Avenue and to the North UAS Access intersection; and wider lanes and shoulders.
- In visits to the Lower 48, Alaskans may have caught a ride in an Uber or Lyft car. Now, people around the state can use the ride-sharing companies at home. This month, Alaska became the latest state to make way for the transportation apps.
- It’s do-or-die week in Olympia. It's cliché to say, but if lawmakers don’t pass a budget and send it to the governor for his signature before midnight on Friday, state government will go into partial shutdown. Washington lawmakers are optimistic that won’t happen.
- The management slate won this year’s Sealaska board election. Three incumbents and a newcomer who ran with them beat out eight independent candidates.
- A local archaeologist says there may be the remains of a historic Alutiiq fish trap on the north end of Kodiak Island. Those types of man-made formations are rare to discover in the region, he said.