Lawmakers Push to Remove Contentious Median
Improving safe flow of traffic and meeting community needs are top concerns
ANCHORAGE (Nov 18, 2010) – Citing safety concerns and community complaints, two Alaska lawmakers today asked Governor Parnell to remove a contentious median along part of Debarr Road in Northeast Anchorage. Senator Bill Wielechowski and Representative Pete Petersen have spent many months talking with angry residents and Department of Transportation officials in attempts to stop a project that many residents feel was unnecessary and likely to cause more harm than good.
“Many residents living on Debarr Road and in the Nunaka Valley and surrounding areas are very upset about this median,” Senator Wielechowski said today. “They feel their concerns were not adequately heard and addressed.”
Representative Petersen added “Almost everyone I have spoken to about this median said they saw very few accidents before the median and now since it’s been put in place, there have been more accidents and unsafe traffic violations than they’ve ever seen before.”
Sen. Wielechowski and Rep. Petersen have been working to resolve this issue for months. They temporarily halted the project months ago and urged the DOT to work with local community members before moving forward.
The Northeast Community Council voted to urge the elimination of the median from 6011 Debarr Road to Nunaka Drive. Sen. Wielechowski and Rep. Petersen then sent a letter to DOT supporting the community council resolution. The DOT however ignored the wishes of the Council and built the median. The legislators then met with DOT and asked that the community concerns again be taken into consideration. The DOT has refused to make any changes.