Legislators Urge Anchorage Mayor to Put Money for Speed Humps to Work
Communities requested the money, lawmakers secured it, but Mayor rejected it
(Anchorage) Senator Bill Wielechowski and Representative Pete Petersen today wrote to Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan urging him to reconsider his decision to reject state funding for traffic calming and pedestrian safety in Northeast Anchorage.
Currently, more than $550,000 in state grants for traffic calming in the area are on hold because the mayor has not taken action to accept them. Budget cuts last year eliminated Anchorage’s citywide traffic calming program, so Petersen and Wielechowski secured the state grant as an alternative source of funding for speed humps and other traffic calming in Northeast Anchorage.
“As we crafted the capital budget for Northeast Anchorage, we worked closely with the Municipality and received assurances that these funds were needed and would be put to good use,” said Wielechowski. “It was a complete surprise to me when I learned that they were suddenly no longer wanted.”
Wielechowski noted that previous studies had identified a significant need for traffic calming and pedestrian safety throughout Northeast Anchorage, and that such projects were a top priority for the local community councils and area residents.
“The community asked for speed humps, and we secured money to put them in.,” added Petersen. “It’s getting late in the construction season, and there’s no reason not to get to work making these streets safer.”From 2005 to 2007, there were 19,361 traffic accidents in the greater Anchorage area. According to the Alaska Department o Transportation website, these accidents led to 57 fatalities and 5,960 injuries. In recent years, the cost of putting in one speed hump in Anchorage has been around $3,500.