Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:42 PM on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Community road meeting needed




As you may be aware, the Department of Transportation has started moving forward this summer on Phase II of the East End Road project. This will take place from the end of Phase I, to Waterman. Activities this season have included property acquisition.

As you may recall, the last public meeting on this topic was at Paul Banks Elementary School, three years ago. The outcome from attending the meeting that spring evening was, the department stated the Fritz Creek Swell was their next safety priority, with available funding, and that area would be addressed first.

As I have spoken to neighbors and other community members this summer, the following items remain open items. I would like to raise these to you as points of concern:

1) Why has there been such limited public discussion of the current department plans for Phase II? No public meeting has been held.

2) Why does the design take the bike path to the south side of the road?

3) A crosswalk at McLay Road will simply be unsafe. Traffic speeds up eastbound after Kachemak Drive. As the road will we re-engineered, this will increase. There is very limited traffic enforcement east of Homer. Why not construct a tunnel, it probably has a higher cost, but it is certainly safer. Why cross at McLay, a crossing at the Kachemak Drive intersection would make more sense.

The department should address these items, to the community, before construction. We have seen this, time and again, statewide, where the department builds something unsafe, later resulting in injury or death, then a retrofit. Why can this not be addressed properly, beforehand, to properly meet community needs?

The following website gives more details. I urge you to contact the department and Rep. Paul Seaton with your concerns:

http://projects.whpacific.com/eerr/

representative_paul_seaton@legis.state.ak.us

Matt Smith

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