Business Map of Downtown Anchorage Alaska

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					             Citizens Transportation Plan
                         Public Comment Draft

     Prepared by the Anchorage Citizens Coalition

                                  May 23, 2005

                    This plan is endorsed by the following individuals:
                                        Kay Brown
                                      Andre Camara
                                        Karin Have
                                       Mary Hertert
                                      Dianne Holmes
                                       Barbara Karl
                                Frank & Jeanne McQueary
                                      Mike Mitchell
                                       Susan Olsen
                                       Walt Parker
                                    Cheryl Richardson
                                        Trish Rolfe
                                       Joette Storm
                                      Kevin Waring
                                       Larry Weiss

 Comments to the Municipality on its Long Range Transportation Plan
goals and strategies, close May 25, 2005, and can
                 be made at
  Comments on this draft Citizens Transportation Plan can be made at until the Municipality‟s Draft LRTP goes to public
                           hearing in mid-July.

Key issues to consider in your review: Primary goal p 8, policies pp 8-17
                and investments listed by area pp18-23.

                               EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This Citizens Transportation Plan was written to provide depth and detail for
Anchorage‟s 2005 Long Range Transportation Plan. The Citizens Transportation Plan
provides realistic steps to begin shaping the northern community described in
Anchorage 2020.

The Citizens Plan recognizes that Anchorage‟s transportation system must sustain the
city‟s economic health by accommodating the needs of businesses and supporting
Anchorage‟s role in the state and international economies. The Plan addresses local
transportation needs for cost-effective road, transit, freight, bicycle, and pedestrian
improvements. It helps make Anchorage a city that attracts families who might
otherwise choose to live in the Mat Su Valley.

Other northern cities around the globe rely on compact land development and
comfortable, frequent transit to make their cities attractive, healthy, functional places
to live and work. It is time for Anchorage to learn from their experiences and take its
place as a great northern city.

The Citizens Plan provides additional, important detail for elements that are
underdeveloped in the municipality‟s process, especially regarding
    transit,
    pedestrian and bicycle,
    land use development,
    travel demand management,
    freight and regional passenger movement,
    public involvement, and
    project evaluation.

In addition, the Citizens Plan supports a number of road improvements that will make
neighborhoods better places to live while improving mobility and access. While new
roads are necessary, relying on road construction to relieve congestion will not solve
our transportation problems.

The Citizens Plan outlines a 20-year plan that implements Anchorage 2020 and
responds positively to Anchorage‟s northern climate by supporting a transportation
system that makes it more convenient for people to walk, bicycle, use transit, and
drive less to meet their daily needs. People will be able to get where they need to go in a
timely manner, with choices of how they get there.

This plan builds upon an initiative by the current administration to integrate the
municipality's budgeting processes by combining budgets of “capital improvement
projects” and “transportation improvement projects.” Along with geographic
organization of projects, this integrated approach will give neighborhoods a better
understanding of the future.

                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE                                                                     1

I   INTRODUCTION                                                            2

II ANCHORAGE 2020 – THE VISION                                              4

III TRANSPORTATION POLICIES                                                 8

    A. CREATING BETTER TRANSIT SERVICE                                      8

    B. MAKING IT EASIER TO WALK AND BIKE THE CITY                           9

    C. LIVING UP TO THE ANCHORAGE 2020 PLAN                                 11

    D. USING OUR ROAD SYSTEM MORE WISELY                                    13

    E. STRENGTHENING OUR ROAD NETWORK                                       15


IV. PROJECT SELECTION CRITERIA                                              17

   TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM                                                    19

    A. AREAWIDE                                                             19

        1. Chugiak-Eagle River                                              20
        2. North Anchorage and Downtown                                     20
        3. East Anchorage                                                   21
        4. Midtown and University-Medical District                          21
        5. South Anchorage                                                  22
        6. Girdwood-Seward Highway                                          23

                              CHARTS AND TABLES

Table 1.1 - People Living Closer to Town Make Fewer Trips                   7
Table 1.2 - Prople Living Closer to Town More Often Walk and Take Transit   7

Anchorage can build a first class transportation system to maintain the city‟s economic
strength, relieve congestion and respond positively to Anchorage‟s location as a sub-
arctic northern city.

This Citizens Transportation Plan was written to illustrate the kinds of investments
needed to achieve the vision of Anchorage 2020. Anchorage 2020 was developed by
hundreds of citizens and adopted by the Assembly four years ago, and it is critically
important that transportation investments do their part to achieve its goals. The Citizens
Plan works from that vision and provides realistic steps to begin shaping the northern
community described in Anchorage 2020.

The Citizens Plan recognizes that Anchorage‟s transportation system must sustain the
city‟s economic health by accommodating the needs of businesses and supporting
Anchorage‟s role in the state and international economies. The Plan addresses local
transportation needs for cost-effective road, transit, freight, bicycle, and pedestrian
improvements. It provides additional detail where it is needed, especially in transit, bike
and pedestrian and land use development to complement transportation investments.

Planners expect a 30% increase in regional population, and a 40% increase in traffic.
While the people of Anchorage welcome new neighbors and businesses, most do not
welcome a 40% increase in traffic.

Instead of turning first to new road construction to relieve congestion, this plan calls for
reducing and managing demand for automobile travel and promoting transportation
choices before considering the addition of roadway capacity for single-occupant vehicles.
Anchorage 2020 calls for reducing reliance on the automobile. Northern cities around the
globe have taken the course and been rewarded with improved mobility, robust
commerce and cleaner air. In the U.S., Portland, Oregon, is building a more livable city
that is attracting considerable growth and commerce.

It is time for Anchorage to learn from their experiences and take its place as a great
northern city.

The Plan recommends a range of transportation and land use policies, strategies and
investments that set priorities for cost-effective street, transit, freight, bicycle, and
pedestrian improvements while recognizing the transportation system must address the
needs of all users of the right-of-way and accommodate those needs in the most efficient
way. It organizes projects geographically so that neighborhoods can better understand
investments and how they will affect families‟ quality of life.

It offers important detail to implement transportation system elements that are
underdeveloped in the municipality‟s process, namely, the
     transit,
     pedestrian and bicycle,
     land use development,

     travel demand management,
     freight and regional passenger movement,
     public involvement, and
     project evaluation..
In addition, the Citizens Plan offers a number of road improvements that will make
neighborhoods better places to live while improving mobility and access.

Residents, employees, visitors, and firms doing business in Anchorage, all need
transportation choices that make it convenient to drive, walk, bicycle and take transit to
their destinations. This Citizens Plan proposes a balanced transportation system that
supports neighborhood livability while encouraging community growth.

If the community starts today, it will take ten years before the land development and
transportation changes called for in Anchorage 2020 will become apparent, and another
ten years before Anchorage will look and feel like a real northern city. What better time
to start building that northern city than now?

Anchorage is a city of 270,000 located in a flat triangular “bowl” surrounded by the
ocean on two sides and the mountains of Chugach State Park on the third. Originally
built as a tent town supporting the construction of the Alaska Railroad in 1915,
Anchorage has grown to become Alaska‟s center of commerce, health care, education
and transportation. Even so, Anchorage boasts healthy populations of bear, moose,
wolves, salmon and trout. Many visitors remark that this community has the most
beautiful location in the world.

Like many other modern cities, Anchorage faces a number of challenges to its
economic prosperity and overall quality of life.

While Anchorage’s traditional downtown is still viable and anchored by City Hall, the
State Office Building, the Alaska Railroad terminal, Port of Anchorage, quality parks,
restaurants, arts and shopping, more new commercial buildings are being built in
auto-oriented midtown. There is very little residential development in either Downtown
or Midtown.

Over the years, Anchorage naturally turned to other cities in the “lower 48” states
for transportation and building designs, rather than to northern European cities such as
Helsinki or Oslo. Most of Anchorage was built at the height of America‟s love affair
with the automobile, leaving many roads wide and fast, without safe sidewalks or
pathways. Both downtown and the newer, auto-oriented midtown are dominated by
surface parking lots, and cars speed through town on “couplets,” while the transit system
is underdeveloped, with less service per capita than similar western cities.

Anchorage perceives it has a congestion problem, but in fact, it is the least congested of
America’s largest 85 cities according to the national authority, the Texas Transportation
Institute. For example, it takes only an additional 2 to 3 minutes to drive eight miles

from Minnesota Boulevard to the Glenn Highway through the infamous Lake Otis and
Tudor intersection at rush hour, compared with midday travel times.

On the other hand, the Mat Su Valley is growing 2.7 times faster than Anchorage, and
about 20,000 vehicles currently commute between the valley and Anchorage each day.
Those numbers gradually swell to 48,000round trips as the highway passes through Eagle
River. This sprawling growth erodes Anchorage‟s position as Southcentral Alaska‟s
commercial and residential hub and burgeoning commuter traffic threatens older,
established east side and downtown neighborhoods.

In official Long Range Transportation Plan documents, planners predict traffic will
increase by 40% on Anchorage‟s roads, even though only 30% population growth is
expected (by combining Anchorage and Mat Su populations - 92,000 new residents in
Anchorage and 61,000 new residents in Mat Su.) Older, low income neighborhoods
close to downtown are being asked to accept north-south freeway connections while
highways one mile east still do not carry the number of cars they were built for 25 years

Planners propose spending more than $1 billion over 20 years to add road capacity, but
acknowledge that traffic congestion will only get worse. There is no mention of how
increased traffic will affect neighborhood and commercial districts’ economic value,
health, safety or livability. Transit gets a nod, but is not considered a full partner in
relieving congestion as planners claim “area wide use will reach only 2% of all daily
trips,” and ignore transit‟s importance in relieving congestion at rush hour.

Portland, for instance, translates its 4 percent share of regional trips taken on transit, into
40 percent of its downtown commute coming in on transit. Ed McMahon recently
reported that northern European cities bring 60 percent of their commuters in on transit.
Bringing in large numbers of people, without their cars, builds active, thriving
downtowns that are healthier, more quiet and more pleasant or workers and shoppers than
auto-oriented downtowns.

Unfortunately, Anchorage’s transit has not kept pace with population growth,
having lost 33% of its service between 1982 and 2002 while population grew by 25%.
Per capita service is 60 percent of what it was in 1982. Anchorage provides half as
many buses and provides half to two thirds the service when compared with US cities
the same size.

Draft municipal plans do not take transit expansion much beyond the five-year expansion
program approved in 2002, yet they call it a “20 year plan.”

On the other hand, under this administration in the last two years, transit has reversed its
decline and added service for the first time in twenty years. Ridership rebounded,
reaching a peak of 15,000 riders per weekday this spring, a number not seen since 1985.
Unfortunately, the transit funding used to add service comes from a one-time source, and

the challenge remains to find long term funding so transit can provide a convenient,
reliable alternative to driving.

When they are “improved,” Anchorage‟s streets are frequently widened to the full
extent of the available right of way, instead of basing the street design on its function and
purpose by considering adjacent land uses (that are frequently residential) and using
travel lane width and landscaping to make travel safe for all roadway users. In the
winter, Anchorage‟s sidewalks are frequently icy, as climate change brings less snow and
more winter rain, making it dangerous to walk.

Roads are sanded and treated chemically to provide traction for cars, and on dry days,
sanding materials are kicked into the air, driving many people into emergency rooms with
asthma attacks and upper respiratory infections. Children living near busy” roads are
250% more likely to have asthma, and furthermore, their schools tend to be more low
income than the less affected, suburban schools. Safety and health suffer as roads
become wider and faster.

While many people urge adding parking spaces downtown, a 1998 study showed 22,000
parking spaces in the downtown core, occupied to only 45 percent of capacity. Parking
supply is a key factor in automobile travel, second only to land development patterns.
The 1998 study urged reaching 85 percent capacity before considering additional parking,
and in the meantime recommended improved directions to existing parking, discouraging
large surface parking lots, and charging for off street parking.

The Citizens Plan outlines a 20-year plan that implements Anchorage 2020 and responds
positively to Anchorage‟s northern climate by supporting a transportation system that
makes it more convenient for people to walk, bicycle, use transit, and drive less to meet
their daily needs. People will be able to get where they need to go in a timely manner,
with choices of how they get there.

Hundreds of citizens worked to develop Anchorage 2020 that was adopted in early 2001.
The comprehensive plan calls for Anchorage to become a true northern city that
embraces winter with land use, transportation and building designs that are appropriate
for our northern climate.

When describing what they like about their town, people talk about Anchorage‟s
   Natural beauty and setting
   Trails, parks, greenbelts and open space
   Outdoor and recreational opportunities
   Cultural facilities and events
   Accessibility to the wilderness
   Small-town feel with big-city amenities
   Friendly, caring people
   Educational facilities and programs
   Economic development and employment opportunities

Some of the things they want changed –
    Expand, improve mass transit
    Become a true northern or winter city
    Improve urban design, architecture, landscaping, streetscape, signs
    Become a more pedestrian friendly city
    Relieve traffic congestion
    Maintain, improve existing roads and add new roads.

During the planning process, citizens were offered four future “scenarios,” to choose
from. They were
    Current trends, with no major changes to the comprehensive plan or zoning
       map. Private developers would largely continue to determine the location, type,
       and pace of development.
    Neighborhoods, to be considered the most important aspect of community life.
       Schools, community centers, local parks, and neighborhood shopping districts
       would become centers for activities and local businesses.
    Urban transition, a more traditional urban character in Downtown, Midtown,
       and nearby neighborhoods, balanced by a more suburban, rural neighborhood
       character for South Anchorage.
    Slow growth, satellites, with slower population growth in the Anchorage bowl to
       conserve open space and maintain Anchorage‟s established residential character
       and “traditional” lifestyle. Anchorage would continue to grow as a regional
       workplace and marketplace for satellite residential communities in Chugiak-Eagle
       River and the Mat Su Borough. Public initiatives would enhance Downtown and
       Midtown as an attractive, convenient place to work and shop.

Citizens chose a combination of “neighborhoods” and “urban transition” for
Anchorage‟s future. They rejected “current trends” and sending new growth to “satellite
communities” to the north.

Now Anchorage is developing its Long Range Transportation Plan, a “key
implementation tool” of Anchorage 2020. It is essential that transportation programs and
projects fulfill Anchorage 2020 by building the urban core into an active city center with
sidewalks full of people going to work, shopping and to the park. Cars will move slowly
though downtown, and transit is fast and convenient. Neighborhoods maintain their
value as good places to raise children, and neighborhood centers attract families walking
to convenience shops and businesses. Transit provides a true alternative to driving, and
children walk safely to school.

Citizens rejected sprawl when they developed Anchorage 2020, and this Transportation
Plan promotes a phased approach to infill and redevelopment to restrain sprawl and
demonstrate the benefits of compact, transit oriented development. Without “phasing,”
Anchorage does not have enough population growth to turn any one part of town into the
vibrant, transit oriented, walkable community described in Anchorage 2020. Even with
phasing, experts from cities that have already begun this journey towards compact

development say it will take 10 years before noticing a difference, and 20 years before
change is apparent.

Building mixed-use, high-density development downtown and in one designated town
center – Creekside - will start to shift trips from automobiles into transit and walking.
See Tables 1.1 and 1.2 that shows people who live downtown already take fewer trips
and walk and take transit more often. 35% of people living in Anchorage‟s Central
Business District walk or take the bus to work according to the 2000 US Census.

Compact development reduces people’s need to travel and how far they travel by
providing a greater range of housing options, employment opportunities, and services
within a given distance. By developing shopping and small commercial districts on
major streets, people from adjacent neighborhoods can walk for daily commercial needs
if they choose, thereby reducing the need to drive miles to procure simple groceries and
dry cleaning.

Instead of segregating land use types so people are required to travel long distances to
satisfy their daily needs, land use types will be carefully integrated so short trips,
frequently by transit or non-motorized modes of travel, can accomplish the same

Anchorage’s share of federal transportation dollars has begun to decline. We can
expect public resources to become more limited, including roads and the financial
resources available to maintain and improve them.

The most efficient modes of travel are those that require the least resources per
person-trip. A single-occupant vehicle (SOV) consumes approximately 20 lane feet (20
linear feet of one travel lane) of roadway (assuming a 10-foot car with 10 feet of
headway). A standard People Mover bus carrying one person in each seat consumes
about 60 linear feet of roadway, which is 1.5 lane feet per person (assuming a 40-seat bus
that is 40 feet long, with 20 feet of headway).

This means that 40 persons in 40 single-occupant cars require 800 feet of roadway, while
40 persons in one bus require only 60 feet of roadway. In other words, a person riding a
bus is 12 times more efficient in the use of the roadway and takes up less than eight
percent of the space than a person driving an SOV.

Bicycling and walking are also more efficient than the SOV. They use no gasoline, cause
no pollution, and require much less expensive facilities than those needed to support
automobile, truck, and bus traffic.

                                      Table 1.1
               People Living Closer to Town Make Fewer Daily Trips*
                (Anchorage Household Trip Survey, AMATS 2002)

*A trip is travel from one place to another. A journey from home to the grocery store, the
dry cleaners and return home is counted as three “trips.”

                                      Table 1,2
                      People Living Closer to Town More Often
                               Walk and Take Transit
                                 (US Census 2000)

Residents                     Walk & Bike to work           Bus to Work

Downtown                                 31%                    14%

South Addn.                              10%                      4%
& Fairview

Jewel Lake                                2%                      3%

Develop a balanced, equitable, and efficient transportation system that provides a range
of transportation choices; reinforces the livability of neighborhoods; supports a strong
and diverse economy; reduces air, noise, and water pollution; and lessens reliance on the
automobile while maintaining accessibility.

1. Public Transportation
Develop a public transportation system that conveniently serves city residents and
workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can become the preferred form of travel
to major destinations, including Employment, Town and Neighborhood Centers and
Pedestrian Districts. Add routes along major streets to facilitate prompt, direct travel
with high frequency to facilitate transfers.

A. 30% of Downtown and U/Med work and school commute trips will be made by transit
by 2015, and 50 percent by 2025.
B. 20% of Midtown work commute trips will be made by transit by 2015, and 35 percent
by 2025.
C. Expand bus service to meet the growing demand for work and non-work trips, operate
as the principal transit service for access and mobility needs, help reduce congestion, and
support the economic activities of the City.
D. Support transit and bus connections as the foundation of the regional transit system,
with completion of the system to connect all regional centers, Wasilla, Palmer, major
attractions, and intermodal passenger facilities as a high priority for the region.
E. Develop streetcar lines to connect the Downtown and Midtown Employment Centers,
and eventually the U/Med Employment Center, to provide connections to employment
opportunities and other destinations, including shopping, education, and recreation.
F. Implement transit-preferential measures on major transit routes to achieve travel times
competitive with the automobile and to improve service reliability.
G. Develop alternative forms of transit, including vanpools and dial-a-ride in
low-density areas.
H. Consider a voucher system to serve seniors and disabled persons.
I. Support a public transit system and regional transportation strategies that address
the special needs of the transportation disadvantaged and provide increased mobility
options and access.
J. Locate major park-and-ride lots only where transit ridership is increased significantly,
vehicle miles traveled are reduced, transit-supportive development is not hampered, bus
service is not available or is inadequate, and the surrounding area is not negatively
K. Develop a secure funding source for transit service beyond contributions from the
general fund.

L. Base decisions about transit alignments and their connections to other regional
facilities on individual corridor studies.

Long Range Transit Plan, Transit Development Plan, Transit Funding Plan, Regional
Transportation Plan.


1. Traffic Calming
Manage traffic on Collectors and Local Streets, along Arterials, and in centers consistent
with their street classifications, classification descriptions, and desired land uses.

A. Manage traffic on Collectors and Local Streets consistent with the land uses they serve
and to preserve and enhance neighborhood livability.
B. Use a combination of enforcement, engineering, and education efforts to calm vehicle
C. Encourage non-local traffic, including trucks, to use streets of higher traffic and truck
classifications through design, operations, permitting, and signing.
D. Implement measures on Local Streets that do not significantly divert traffic to other
streets of the same classification.
E. Implement measures on Collectors that do not result in significant diversion of traffic
to streets of lower classification.
F. Reduce traffic speeds through street design and enforcement in high-density 2020
Major Employment Centers, Town Centers and Neighborhood Centers, including main
streets and centers, to levels that are appropriate for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Traffic Calming Plan, Street Design Standards, Context Sensitive Design Protocol,

2. Pedestrian Transportation
Plan and complete a pedestrian network that increases the opportunities for walking to
shopping and services, schools and parks, employment, and transit.

A. Promote walking as the mode of choice for short trips by giving priority to the
completion of the pedestrian network that serves Employment Centers, Pedestrian
Districts, schools, neighborhood shopping, and parks.
B. Support walking to transit by giving priority to the completion of the pedestrian
network that serves transit centers, stations, and stops; providing adequate crossing
opportunities at transit stops; and planning and designing pedestrian improvements
that allow adequate space for transit stop facilities.
C. Create Safe Routes to Schools within one mile of each public school in Anchorage by
ensuring direct pedestrian linkages and year around maintenance.

D. Ensure year around maintenance of major pedestrian routes to schools, along arterial
and collector streets and in Major Employment Centers.
E. Enforce ordinances that require property owners to clear sidewalks adjacent to their
F. Improve the quality of the pedestrian environment by implementing pedestrian design
guidelines to ensure that all construction in the right-of-way meets a pedestrian quality
standard and by developing special design districts for Pedestrian Districts.
G. Increase pedestrian safety and convenience by identifying and analyzing high
pedestrian collision locations; making physical improvements, such as simple linkages,
signal improvements, traffic calming, crossing improvements in areas of high pedestrian
use, directional signage and design standards that separate sidewalks and trails from the
vehicle travel lanes; and supporting changes to adopted statutes and codes.
H. Develop a citywide network of pedestrian trails that increases pedestrian access for
recreation and transportation purposes and links to schools, parks, transit, and shopping
as well as to the regional trail system and adjacent cities.
I. Provide pedestrian pathways on both sides of streets and establish parallel pedestrian
rotes along freeways with safe crossings at frequent intervals.

Pedestrian Safety Plan, Pedestrian District Policies, Street Design Standards, Context
Sensitive Design Protocol.

3. Pedestrian Districts
Create Pedestrian Districts to establish a system of pedestrian ways to serve all types of
pedestrian trips, particularly those with a transportation function.

A. Pedestrian Districts are intended to give priority to pedestrian access in areas where
high levels of pedestrian activity exist or are planned, including Major Employment
Centers, Town Centers and Neighborhood Centers.
• Land Use. Zoning should allow a transit-supportive density of residential and
commercial uses that support lively and intensive pedestrian activity. Auto oriented
development should be discouraged in Pedestrian Districts. Institutional campuses that
generate high levels of pedestrian activity may be included in Pedestrian Districts.
• Streets within a District. Make walking the mode of choice for all trips within a
Pedestrian District. All streets within a Pedestrian District are equal in importance in
serving pedestrian trips and should have sidewalks on both sides.
• Characteristics. The size and configuration of a Pedestrian District should be consistent
with the scale of walking trips.
• Access to Transit. A Pedestrian District should have, or be planned to have, frequent
transit service and convenient access to transit stops.
• Improvements. Develop a Pedestrian Design Guide to design streets within Pedestrian
Districts. Improvements may include widened sidewalks, curb extensions, street lighting,
street trees, and signing. Where two arterials cross, design treatments such as curb
extensions, median pedestrian refuges, marked crosswalks, and traffic signals should be

considered to minimize the crossing distance, direct pedestrians across the safest route,
and provide safe gaps in the traffic stream.

Pedestrian District Policies, Pedestrian Design Guide

4. Bicycle Transportation
Make the bicycle an integral part of daily life in Anchorage, particularly for trips of less
than five miles, by implementing a bikeway network, providing end-of-trip facilities,
improving bicycle/transit integration, encouraging bicycle use, and making bicycling

A. Complete a network of bikeways that serves bicyclists' needs, especially for travel to
employment centers, commercial districts, transit stations, institutions, and recreational
B. Provide continuous bicycle facilities and eliminate gaps.
C. Install bicycle signage along bikeways where needed to define the route and/or direct
bicyclists to a destination or other bikeway.
D. Increase bicyclist safety and convenience by making improvements, removing
physical hazards such as dangerous storm grates, and supporting changes to adopted
statutes and codes that would enhance the safety of bicyclists.
E. Provide short-term and/or long-term bicycle parking in commercial districts, along
main streets, in employment centers and multifamily developments, at schools, in
industrial developments, at special events, in recreational areas, at transit
facilities including park-and-ride lots, and at intermodal passenger stations.
F. Encourage the provision of showers and changing facilities for commuting cyclists,
including development of such facilities in commercial buildings.
G. Increase the number of bicycle-transit trips.
H. Promote bicycling as safe and convenient transportation to and from school.

Anchorage Trails Plan update, Pedestrian District Policies, Street Design Standards,
Context Sensitive Design Protocol.

Coordinate Land Use and Transportation
Implement Anchorage 2020 by merging long-range transportation and land use planning.

1. Transit-Oriented Development
Reinforce the link between transit and land use by establishing the priority to build
transit-friendly residential and employment development downtown, at Creekside Town
Center and Mountain View Art District as the first phase of implementing Anchorage
2020‟s land use goals.

Explanation: Through a number of land use and transportation studies, it has become
apparent that Anchorage will need to set priorities for infill and redevelopment to
accomplish its goals of a vibrant downtown and reduced reliance on the automobile. By
first focusing infill and redevelopment Downtown, in Muldoon‟s Creekside Town Center,
and Mt View‟s Art District, Anchorage can demonstrate the benefits of transit oriented
development within ten years or less.

A. Focus medium-density and high-density development, including institutions, in
transit-oriented developments Downtown until initial density and transit goals are
B. Adopt land use intensity and mode share (how many trips will be made by walking,
bus and vehicle) goals for Downtown, Midtown, U/Med and Creekside Town Center.
C. Establish criteria for setting priorities of completing land use and transportation plans
for the Central Business District, Hillside, Midtown, Mountain View Art District and
D. Consider the existing or planned availability of high-quality transit service when
adopting more intensive residential, commercial, and employment designations,
including government facilities and provide transit facilities on a site or adjacent to a
transit stop.
E. Establish objective criteria for determining the location of Employment, Town and
Neighborhood Centers and Transit Corridors.
F. Set priorities for which centers will receive initial assistance for infill and
G. Develop overlay zones for projected Town and Neighborhood Centers and Transit
Corridors to preserve the option of Transit Oriented Development in those locations not
immediately chosen for infill and redevelopment assistance.
H. Limit drive through facilities Downtown and in the U/Med District

Central Business District Plan, Creekside Town Center Plan, Employment, Town and
Neighborhood Center Criteria, Transit Corridor Criteria, Transit Oriented Development
Overlay Zoning.

2. Connectivity
Support development of an interconnected, multimodal transportation system to serve
mixed-use areas, residential neighborhoods, and other activity centers.

A. Provide interconnected local and collector streets to serve new and redeveloping
areas and to ensure safe, efficient, and convenient pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle
access with preference for public streets over private streets.
B. Create short blocks through development of frequent street connections in mixed-use
areas of planned high-density development.
C. Provide convenient and safe bicycle and pedestrian connections to transit routes,
schools, and parks, as well as within and between new and existing residential

developments, employment areas, and other activity centers where street connections are
not feasible.

Subdivision Standards, Street Design Standards, Context Sensitive Design Protocol

3. Right-of-Way Opportunities
Preserve existing rights-of-way unless there is no existing or future need for them,
established street patterns will not be significantly interrupted, and the functional
purposes of nearby streets will be maintained.

A. Evaluate opportunities and the existing and future need for a bikeway, walkway, or
other transportation use when considering vacation of any right-of-way.
B. As a condition of street vacation, require pedestrian and bicycle facilities if needed,
with first preference for dedicated right-of-way and, secondarily, through a public
walkway and bikeway easement.
C. Acquire or control parcels of land that may be needed in the future for any
transportation purpose when the opportunity arises through sale, donation, or land
use action.
D. Preserve existing and abandoned rail rights-of-way and examine their potential for
future rail freight, passenger service, or recreational trail uses.
E. Consider the need for maintaining right-of-way for other infrastructure needs.

Pedestrian Safety Plan, Anchorage Trails Plan, Pedestrian District Policies, Street Design
Standards, Long Range Transit Plan.

Anchorage‟s road system has been built over the last 85 years. Managing these
transportation assets in a fiscally responsible way ensures that transportation dollars are
available for a wide range of transportation solutions. These solutions include non-capital
strategies (such as reducing travel demand), efficient use of roadways, and cost-effective
partnerships with other agencies.

1. Traffic Classification Descriptions
Maintain a system of traffic streets that support the movement of motor vehicles for
regional, interregional, interdistrict, and local trips as shown. For each type of traffic
classification, the majority of motor vehicle trips on a street should conform to its
classification description.

A. Establish classifications for traffic street that describe how a traffic street should
function (what kinds of traffic ie truck, automobile, bicycle and pedestrian, and what
kinds of trips are expected) and what types of land uses the street should serve.

B. Match street and highway design to the road‟s land use character, recognizing that the
character may from primarily commercial to primarily residential. Recognize that streets
and highways may have a regional function, either alone or in concert with other nearby
parallel collectors, and design them to operate appropriately for adjacent land uses.
C. Develop maps showing the traffic classifications.

Context Sensitive Design, Official Streets and Highways Plan.

2. Transportation System Management
Give preference to transportation improvements that use existing roadway capacity
efficiently and improve the safety of the system.

A. Reduce and manage automobile travel demand and promote transportation choices
before considering the addition of roadway capacity for single-occupant vehicles.
B. Employ transportation system management measures, including coordinating and
synchronizing signals and intersection redesign, to improve traffic and transit
movements and safety for all modes of travel.
C. Design, build, and operate the transportation system so that it can be safely
navigated by all users.
D. Compare the full costs and benefits of building roads, transit and pedestrian facilities
over the life of the project. Include monetary, congestion, social, environmental, health
and safety costs.

Transportation Demand Management Plan, Transit Development Program, Street Design
Standards, Pedestrian District Policies, Context Sensitive Design Protocol

3. Travel Management
Reduce congestion, improve air quality, and mitigate the impact of development-
generated traffic by supporting transportation choices through demand management
programs and measures and through education and public information strategies.

A. Develop neighborhood-based programs to promote and support multimodal
strategies and trip reduction strategies and programs.
B. Meet the access and mobility needs of businesses and employees in key employment
and regional centers with customized alternative transportation programs that result
in reduced congestion and improved air quality.
C. Support and encourage a “car sharing” program.
D. Require institutions to regulate parking facilities, first to provide short-term parking
for visitors and, second, to minimize the amount of employee parking through
demand management measures such as carpooling, ridesharing, flexible work hours,
telecommuting, parking management, and employer-subsidized transit passes.
E. Require institutions to mitigate excessive parking impacts on residential areas.

F. Require institutions and other large employers to participate in programs to reduce
single-occupant automobile trips.

Transportation Demand Management Plan, Transit Development Program.

4. Parking Management
Manage the parking supply to achieve land use and transportation policy objectives for
neighborhood and business district vitality, auto trip reduction, safety for all modes and
improved air quality.

A. Develop parking management programs and strategies that improve air quality, reduce
congestion, promote alternatives to the drive-alone commute, and educate and involve
businesses and neighborhoods.
B. Consider transportation capacity and parking demand for all motor vehicles in the
regulation of the parking supply.
C. Eliminate requirements for off-street parking in areas of the city where
there is existing or planned high-quality transit service and good pedestrian and
bicycle access.
D. Support land uses in Major Employment, Town and Neighborhood Centers and
Pedestrian Districts with an adequate supply of on-street parking.
E. Develop and maintain on-street parking meter districts to provide for customer
turnover, reduce on-street parking use by commuters, efficiently allocate parking among
diverse users, encourage the use of alternatives to the automobile, and provide a funding
source for transportation projects within the districts.
F. Encourage the redevelopment of surface parking lots into transit-supportive uses or
development or to include facilities for alternatives to the automobile.
G. Limit the development of new parking spaces to achieve land use, transportation,
and environmental objectives.

Parking Management Plan, Long Range Transit Plan, Central Business District Plan,
Midtown Plan, District Plans.

1. Freight Classification Descriptions
Create a system of truck streets and districts and other freight facilities.

A. Freight Districts
Freight Districts are intended to provide for safe and convenient truck movement in
areas serving large numbers of truck trip ends and to accommodate the needs of
intermodal facilities.
• Land Use. Freight Districts encompass truck terminals, freight intermodal
facilities, and industrial districts. Encourage national and international

shipping firms to locate near intermodal facilities within Freight Districts.
• Function. All streets within a Freight District are intended to allow truck
• Improvements. Street improvements in Freight Districts should be designed to
serve truck movements and access to industrial areas.

2. Freight Intermodal Facilities and Freight Activity Areas
Develop and maintain an intermodal transportation system for the safe, efficient, and cost
effective movement of freight, goods, and commercial vehicles within and through the
city for access and circulation in Freight Districts.

A. Participate in the planning and development of marine, aviation, and rail facilities
with the Port of Anchorage, Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport and other
affected agencies, groups, and individuals.
B. Address freight movement and access needs when conducting multimodal
transportation studies or designing transportation facilities.
C. Participate in planning for improvements to national highways.
D. Support rail as a mode for freight movement within the Southcentral Alaska and to the

3. Truck Movement
Provide a complete, safe, and reliable system of Major and Minor Truck Streets for local
truck movement, connecting Freight Districts, intermodal facilities, and commercial

A. Encourage truck through-traffic on National Highways and Major Arterials for
mobility and to access local destinations.
B. Identify measures to improve truck access into and within Freight Districts.

4. Multimodal Passenger Service
Participate in coordinated planning, development, and interconnection of Anchorage
regional, and intercity transportation services for passenger travel.

A. Support continuation of Anchorage‟s Downtown People Mover Center, Alaska
Railroad Terminal and Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport as multimodal
transportation hubs, serving as the primary passenger transit, rail air facilities in the
Anchorage Metropolitan area and providing direct connections among passenger rail,
bus, streetcar, intracity buses, taxis, and airport shuttle buses.
B. Support continuation of Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport as the
multimodal passenger air facility hub by encouraging direct connections for all modes,
including commuter rail, buses, taxis, and airport shuttles.
C. Support development of passenger transfer facilities in Palmer and Wasilla.

D. Support commuter rail service where it will reinforce Anchorage 2020 and is an
efficient alternative to the automobile.

1. Public Involvement
Carry out a public involvement process that provides information about transportation
issues, projects, and processes to citizens, businesses and other stakeholders, especially to
those traditionally underserved by transportation services, and that solicits and considers
feedback when making decisions about transportation.

A. Involve community members who are traditionally under-represented in transportation
planning activities.
B. Conduct the most collaborative process appropriate for the decisions being made.
C. Develop a public involvement plan for each road improvement and planning process,
and allow the public to review and comment on it before it begins.

2. Coordination
Coordinate with affected state and federal agencies, local governments, neighborhoods
and providers of transportation services when planning for and funding transportation
facilities and services.
A. Coordinate the funding and development of transportation facilities with
transportation and land use plans and with public and private investments.
B. Develop processes for allocating and managing transportation funds and resources to
achieve maximum benefit with limited available funds.
C. Involve affected agencies, local governments, neighborhoods, and transportation
providers in updates of the Long Range Transportation Plan.
D. Pursue opportunities to improve the transportation system, including grants,
private/public partnerships, and other non-traditional funding mechanisms.

3. Transportation Education
Implement educational programs that support a range of transportation choices and
emphasize safety for all modes of travel.
A. Publicize activities and the availability of resources and facilities that promote a
multimodal transportation system.
B. Implement educational programs that recognize the need for developing and
maintaining a multimodal transportation system that supports the movement of
freight as well as people.
C. Increase public awareness of the benefits of walking and bicycling and of available
resources and facilities.
F. Develop a strong school curriculum and program on transportation safety and travel
choices with emphasis on environmental consequences, neighborhood livability,
personal safety, and health.

4. Project Monitoring and Evaluation
If a project could potentially have significant impacts on adjacent streets, the City may
conduct performance monitoring over several months. For example, the City should take
traffic counts before and after traffic calming projects to assess changes in traffic patterns
and the potential for diversion. Adjustments to signal timing, striping, and signage can be
made to fine-tune operations and safety on the project street.
The results of project, plan and program evaluations shall be made available on the web,
and in some cases may be presented to the affected neighborhoods.

Evaluation criteria were derived from Anchorage 2020 goals, existing Capital
Improvement Program criteria, and community transportation strategies from Anchorage
2020. Together, the ten criteria are „cross-modal‟; they evaluate various policy concerns
and support a balance among modes. The evaluation criteria should be applied to a
project list to provide a relative ranking of how well each project meets local
comprehensive plan and transportation goals. The higher the total score, the more the
project supports the overall transportation goals. Evaluation criteria are briefly described

   1. Supports commercial and residential land uses, transit friendly development and
      increased walking, biking and transit.

   2. Reduces VMT (Vehicles Miles Traveled) per capita.

   3. Addresses an existing deficiency or hazard by improving pedestrian, bicycle,
      and/or vehicular safety.

   4. Minimizes or reduces impacts to the natural environment, and/or utilize good
      resource management.

   5. Provides or improves access to and within major activity centers.

   6. Provides or increases access (for employees and freight) to existing or emerging
      employment areas.

   7. Has a high level of community support within the district.

   8. Increases both the efficiency and effectiveness of the system by wise application
      of available financial, capital, and human resources.

   9. Supports a high level of street connectivity for all modes and improvement of the
      built environment, especially in areas where deficiencies exist.

   10. Addresses an area wide need with a multimodal approach.

Outcomes implementing Anchorage 2020:

• Reduce traffic impacts, including speeding and traffic volumes, on neighborhoods.
• Manage auto congestion.
• Provide good transportation choices.
• Improve transit service levels and access to routes.
• Expand opportunities to walk and bike safely.
• Improve safety and livability on local streets.
• Protect the natural environment and the public health.
• Provide better access to jobs.
• Ensure safe and efficient movement of goods.

Plans and programs are areawide. Capital projects and transit routes are listed
geographically by region. (Costs are shown in parentheses.)

The detailed transit improvements described below are estimated to cost $43,000,000
each year to operate and represent the full 20-year expansion of Anchorage‟s transit

Shuttles, streetcars and buses are assumed to cost the same to operate, at $100 per hour.
Routes are based on five mile increments. Routes in the bowl are assumed to operate at
15 mph, and routes to Chugiak-Eagle River and Girdwood are assumed to operate at 30

Transit routes listed below will provide twenty four hour service to most parts of town.
The frequency listed below is for peak hours (7-9 am and 4-6 pm). “Base” hour buses
between 6am and 10:00pm will run half as often, and “Reduced service” buses between
10pm to 6am will run one quarter to one third as often.

$250,000 per mile to construct a sidewalk on both sides of a road on an established right
of way

Pathways and Trails
$500,000 per mile to construct an unpaved pathway
$1,000,000 per mile to construct a basic paved trail
$1,500,000 to $2,000,000 per mile to construct a trail along wetlands, slopes, private
property needing purchase for right of way.


   1. Long Range Transit Plan (300,000)
   2. Transit Development Program (75,000)
   3. Transit Funding Plan (150,000)
   4. Bus Stop Shelter Construction Schedule (50,000)
   5. Signal Preemption Plan (50,000)
   6. Advance Queing Plan (50,000)

Sidewalks, pathways and trails:
   1. Establish a full time pedestrian/bicycle coordinator position ($90,000)
   2. Pedestrian Safety and Access Plan ($250,000)
   3. Context Sensitive Design Protocol ($50,000)
   4. Street Design Standards Update ($200,000)
   5. Pedestrian District Policies ($25,000)
   6. Anchorage Trails Plan Update ($200,000)

Ongoing capital projects, cost per year
   1. Traffic Calming                                                     1,500,000
   2. Spot pedestrian improvements and repair                             1,500,000
   3. Safe Routes to Schools                                              1,500,000
   4. Bike/Pedestrian Directional signs for existing routes                  50,000

The following projects illustrate investments that implement Anchorage 2020. This list is
not complete, but it is a beginning.

1. Chugiak-Eagle River
   1. Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek to Anchorage, 15 minute service
   2. Dial a Ride Transit to neighborhoods
   3. Institute commuter rail to Palmer with park and ride at Parks Highway
       ($3,000,000 yr to operate)

Trails and Sidewalks
   1. Separated sidewalks along Old Glenn through Eagle River ($1,000,000)
   2. Separated pathways along Old Glenn, Eagle River to Peters Creek ($5,000,000)
   3. Separated pathway along Eagle River Road ($10,000,000)

   1. Glenn Highway, Add 3rd lane northbound between Hiland and Artillery Rd

2. North Anchorage and Downtown
   1. Free ride zone downtown with shuttle among major destinations.

   2.   I-L, A-C and Gambell-Ingra, 10 minute service between downtown and midtown
   3.   15th Avenue, I Street to Muldoon, 10 minute service
   4.   South Addition to downtown, neighborhood shuttle once an hour
   5.   Streetcar line along A-C Couplet between Downtown and Midtown
   6.   Government Hill 10 minute service

Trails and Sidewalks
   1. Install directional signs to trails alongside couplets connecting downtown and
        midtown ($50,000)
   2. Government Hill Trail, Connect Government Hill to Downtown ($1,000,000)
   3. C St, 2nd Ave to Ocean Dock Rd, multipurpose pathways on both sides of road
   4. Ship Creek Trail, complete to Mountain View from Downtown ($9,000,000)
   5. Coastal Trail, rehabilitate Downtown to Pt. Woronzof ($2,500,000)
   6. A-C Couplet, construct continuous pathways Government Hill to OMalley
   7. E and Arctic Blvd, construct continuous separated pathway, 2nd Avenue to
        Dimond ($5,000,000)
   8. Fish Creek Trail, construct from Fish Creek to Arctic ($150,000)
   9. Fish Creek Trail, construct from Coastal Trail to Minnesota ($2,000,000)

   1. C Street – Reconstruct port access ramps at base of Govt Hill to reduce vehicle
      speeds and provide safe pedestrian, bicycle access
   2. Aero Dr., 36th to Northern Lights – narrow road, install separated pedestrian
      facilities and landscaping
   3. 9th Ave, Reconstruct to 3 lanes with pedestrian amenities, Ingra to L
   4. E Street, Reconstruct to provide pedestrian access from ARR terminal to
   5. Mt View, Reconstruct to 3 lanes with pedestrian amenities, landscaping, Pine to

3. East Anchorage
   1. Lake Otis, DeBarr to Abbott, 10 minute service
   2. Bragaw, Glenn to Northern Lights, 6 minute service
   3. Bonface, Glenn to Tudor, 10 minute service
   4. Baxter – Turpin, Glenn to Tudor, 10 minute service
   5. Muldoon, Glenn to Tudor, 6 minute service

Sidewalks, pathways and trails
   1. Campbell Creek Trail, street crossings at Lake Otis, New Seward and Dowling
   2. Lake Otis, separated pathway on west side DeBarr to Northern Lights ($250,000)
   3. Airport Heights, separated pathways DeBarr to Glenn Highway ($250,000)
   4. DeBarr Rd, construct separated pathways Lake Otis to Muldoon ($5,000,000)

   1. Muldoon Town Center Couplet – Add new collector loop providing access within
      Creekside Town Center
   2. Fireweed Lane - Reconstruct to 3 lanes with landscaping and pedestrian facilities
      on both sides. Find locations for shared parking by small businesses.
   3. Lake Otis, Northern Lights to DeBarr – to 3 lanes with roundabout at 24th Avenue

4. Midtown and University-Medical District
   1. Link Midtown, U/Med and Downtown with 10 minute service
   2. Fireweed Lane, Spenard Rd to Rogers Park, 10 minute service
   3. Northern Lights-Benson, Minnesota to New Seward, 6 minute service
   4. Northern Lights-Benson, Airport to Minnesota, 10 minute service
   5. 36th Avenue, Spenard Rd to University, 6 minute service
   6. Spenard Rd, Fireweed to International Airport 6 minute service
   7. Tudor, Minnesota to Muldoon, 10 minute service

Sidewalks, pathways and trails
   1. Northern Lights-Benson, reconstruct and separate sidewalks Minnesota to New
      Seward ($10,000,000)
   2. A Street, complete midtown trail, Tudor to Fireweed, with pedestrian/bicycle
      overpasses at Benson and Northern Lights. ($7,500,000)
   3. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, construct pathway linkages to
      International Airport Rd and Postmark Drive ($500,000)
   4. Postmark Drive, construct multipurpose pathway, both sides ($250,000)

   1. C Street, Dimond to OMalley – extend as arterial (under construction)
   2. Northern Lights Blvd, Aero to Postmark – Add pedestrian facilities on both sides,
      a center turn lane at intersections, maintain 30 mph speeds throughout
   3. Spenard Road, Hillcrest to Minnesota – to 3 lanes, with pedestrian facilities and
      landscaping on both sides
   4. Arctic Blvd, Fireweed to International Airport – to 3 lanes including landscaping
      and pedestrian facilities on both sides
   5. 36th Avenue, A Street to Arctic – 3 lanes with landscaping and pedestrian
      facilities on both sides

5. South Anchorage
   1. Raspberry-Dowling, Sand Lake to Bragaw 15 minute service
   2. 92nd-Abbott, Sand Lake to Hillside 15 minute service
   3. Omalley Rd, Minnesota to Hillside 15 minute service
   4. Huffman Rd, Old Seward to Birch, 15 minute service
   5. De Armoun Rd, Old Seward to Hillside, 15 minute service
   6. DART or deviated route service to Upper Hillside and Jewel Lake areas

Sidewalks, pathways and trails
   1. Coastal Trail, construct Kincaid to Potter Marsh ($20,000,000)
   2. Abbott Loop, multipurpose pathways on both sides of the street 68th Avenue to
      Abbott ($500,000)
   3. Minnesota Bypass, multipurpose pathway Old Seward to International Airport
      Drive ($5,000,000)
   4. Dimond Blvd, reconstruct sidewalks to separated pathways Kincaid Park to New
      Seward ($10,000,000)

   1. DeArmoun Road – soften curve above Elmore and install pedestrian facilities on
      both sides of the road, keeping vehicle speeds at 30 mph throughout.
   2. Abbott Loop Road – Abbott to 68th, repave and add pedestrian facilities on both
      sides. Add roundabout at new ball fields.
   3. Raspberry Road, Minnesota to Jewel Lake – narrow road and add pedestrian
      facilities on both sides.
   4. Raspberry-Dowling – connect from Minnesota to C Street
   5. 92nd Ave, Abbott to Brayton – construct new facility
   6. Strawberry Road, Northwood to Sand Lake – add pedestrian facilities on both
      sides of the road, maintain existing vegetation.
   7. Old Seward Highway, Rabbit Creek to Potter Marsh – repave and add pedestrian

6. Girdwood, Seward Highway
    1. Alyeska Lodge to Dimond Center, 20 minute service

Sidewalks, pathways and trails
    1. Crow Creek Road, separated trail to Crow Creek Mine ($2,000,000)

   1. Local road improvements


Description: Business Map of Downtown Anchorage Alaska document sample