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Gara and French Push Solution for Glen Alps and Powerline Pass Parking Problem

Legislators seek governor's help inserting funds into the budget

Representative Les Gara and Senator Hollis French (both D-Anchorage) are asking Governor Sean Parnell for help solving the major parking problems at Glen Alps, a popular Anchorage recreation area. The legislators asked the governor to support their efforts to include funding for more parking in this year's budget.  This past summer, overflow parking was banned for the first time, blocking access to this area for thousands of Alaskans.

"Many Alaskans live here because of our great outdoor opportunities," Rep. Les Gara said.  "It will be unfortunate if the state doesn't fix the Glen Alps parking problem, and thousands of Alaskans are effectively barred from hiking, biking and running the dozens of trails in that area of Chugach State Park again.  Many people go just to view the scenery.  This is a gem of the Alaska park system and should be made accessible to Alaskans again."

Currently, if residents do not get to the trailhead before the end of the work day, there are often no parking spaces available. - so people don't bother trying to drive up there after work now. The Glen Alps trailhead is a primary access point for Powerline Pass, Flattop, Little O'Malley and O'Malley Peaks, and dozens of other hiking and skiing destinations.   

"The Glen Alps parking lot is, for many Alaskan, the most direct access to the wild lands that border Anchorage," said Sen. French.

The legislators wrote a letter to Governor Parnell on Friday and are hoping to work with the governor and members of the House and Senate finance committees to insert the funding. According to the letter, there is a plan at the Division of Parks to solve the parking problem, but funding for it is not in the governor's proposed budget. The letter suggests that "A supplemental request from your office to the Finance Committees, noting any accidental oversight on this issue would help us get this needed item into the budget."

The links to the documents are:

Letter: http://www.akdemocrats.org/docs/031811_GlenAlps_LTR_to_GoV.pdf

Estimate: http://www.akdemocrats.org/docs/032111_EngineerEst_RoughRoadAndParkingLot.pdf

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