With the high density of housing in East Anchorage, it’s important to develop and grow our community parks for our kids to have a safe place to play. Over the years I have worked with neighbors, Parks & Rec, community councils and the Anchorage Park Foundation to improve many parks in our area including:
- Russian Jack Springs Park – new playground equipment, a safer park entry and new parking lot, enhanced picnic and play areas, increased signage and a new lighted multi-use trail
- Nunaka Valley Park – facility improvement plan and renovations
- Skatepark in Russian Jack – after years of advocacy, I’m excited to announce that Anchorage’s first in-ground skate park just opened in East Anchorage!
- Cheney Lake Park – improvements including trail updates, replacement of broken picnic tables, benches and other equipment
- Creekside Park – improvements identified by the community that included fixing playground equipment and picnic tables, removing graffiti, replacing nets on tennis court and cleaning the picnic shelter
- Muldoon Town Square Park – for years, worked tirelessly with residents to turn the undeveloped site at Muldoon and DeBarr into a large park for all to enjoy. Supported the ordinance to designate the area as parkland, and happy to be breaking ground in 2016!
- Polar Bear Playground – championed the acquisition of funds to transform an abandoned area into a community hub in North Russian Jack Springs Park
- Vandalism Prevention for Mountain View and Russian Jack Park
- Dave Rose Park – field upgrades
- Community Gardens – worked to add funding and break through a bureaucratic stranglehold so we could build a community garden near the intersection of Bragaw and the Glenn Highway. Also added funding for a trail to the popular McPhee Community Gardens.
- Ira Walker Park Improvements – upgrades to identified safety problems with the playground equipment, removing graffiti and additional educational information
- Centennial Park – park upgrades
- Davis Park – renovated three ball fields used by the little league service, Mountain View Community and Polar Little League
- Valley Street Park – added funding to improve the trail and clean up the creek and park
- William B Lyons Park – improvements were made with community volunteers and a capital grant to upgrade the play area that sits next to the Mountain View Boys & Girls Club
Park Clean-Up & Maintenance
Each year the Anchorage Park Foundation coordinates Neighborhood Park Fix-Its with community volunteers who contribute their talent and energy to improving neighborhood parks. The Foundation works with community council committees and neighbors to prioritize the fix-its to ensure that funds be used to meet community needs. Through support of legislative grants, the Rasmuson Foundation and volunteers we accomplished great strides to improving our parks. In 2012, the Foundation had 250 volunteers and gave 750 volunteer hours to improve 8 neighborhood parks in Anchorage, including Nunaka Valley North and Windsong Parks.
MULDOON FARMERS MARKET
Starting in late 2014, I joined neighbors in Muldoon with the goal of establishing a “market by the mountains,” a grassroots, all-volunteer effort to bring Alaska-grown, farm fresh produce and locally-sourced goods to the Eastside. After countless volunteer hours, I am pleased to report that the Muldoon Farmers Market is open for business and in its second successful season. With the overwhelming community response we’ve seen so far, the Market appears to be here to stay. Hope to see you there!
ROADS AND TRANSPORTATION
Over the years, I have listened to the concerns of East Anchorage residents and worked with state and local agencies to make East Anchorage a safer place for both drivers and pedestrians.
When I talk with constituents, a big concern is speeding cars and large trucks on our neighborhood roads. For years, I have worked with residents to construct traffic calming and pedestrian safety improvements throughout East Anchorage. I have met with the Mayor’s office and Traffic Division on multiple occasions to continue advocating for improved safety in many areas. The Municipality is required by the terms of state grants to work with the community councils to identify projects and bring forward proposals, and I have consistently worked with community councils to prioritize available funds.
Just recently, eight flashing signs were installed in various neighborhoods – a proven method in slowing traffic down. Old grant funds are also going towards construction of speed humps on major streets of concern (such as Boundary Avenue), which is currently underway.
If you have concerns for traffic safety in your neighborhood, please contact me and let’s see what can be done!
Glenn/Muldoon Interchange – While construction has been a pain for everyone this summer, this interchange had become increasingly dangerous and congested with traffic from the combination of the new shopping center at Tikahtnu Commons, the VA clinic, access to JBER and Bartlett High School. Traffic consistently backed up onto the highway and became a safety concern for pedestrians and students. Largely federally funded, this project is expected to significantly improve safety and relieve traffic issues.
Here are a few examples of other improvement projects I’ve been involved with over the years:
- Duben Street upgrades (Patterson St East to Muldoon Road)
- Duben Street upgrades (Muldoon to Bolin)
- Muldoon Road Pedestrian Safety (at Duben Street)
- Foothills East Subdivision Area Street Reconstruction
- Residential Pavement Rehabilitation in Mountain View and Muldoon Areas
- Intersection Improvements Study (at Caribou and Boniface)
While road projects are often a sign of improvement, sometimes they simply don’t work for a community.
One example of this is the recent Muldoon Channelization Project (or Muldoon medians). I’ve been very vocal in my opposition to the project, given the countless constituents and business owners I’ve heard from that disagree with the median locations. After holding a Town Hall to connect residents with DOT on the matter, we were able to successfully adjust some of the plan before construction began. However, as expected, certain medians have still resulted in increased traffic on neighborhood streets.
I will continue to work with the Municipality of Anchorage and the Department of Transportation on a plan to address these issues and minimize impact on local roads.