The neighborhood plan: sidewalks, safety and housing

Affordable housing and sidewalk improvements top the list of priorities among residents surveyed for the Mountain View Neighborhood Plan.

More than 150 people who call Mountain View home answered questions on everything from transportation to local parks to future neighborhood expansion. The survey was conducted by the Anchorage Community Land Trust, which is working in tandem with the community council to develop the plan for growth. Radhika Krishna began working on the draft plan for ACLT in 2013, and said it’s intended to be a living document that helps prioritize future projects.

Krishna said the project is currently nearing the end of the community feedback phase. ACLT hoped to wrap it up by May, at which point it would start preparing the plan for final review by the Anchorage Assembly this fall. People interested in filling out a survey or leaving a comment can contact ACLT or call 274-0191, she said.

The survey questions focus on several topics.

Housing – The majority of responses said the neighborhood needs more affordable housing, and larger accommodations for larger families. Some people asked for upgrades to some of North Mountain View’s older apartment buildings, and many responses suggested new townhouses or duplexes instead. Anchorage vacancy rates currently hover around 3 percent, according to state housing statistics, and many survey respondents suggested new housing developments on empty lots along Richmond Avenue, Mountain View Drive and Commercial Drive.

Bus Transit – While many people who answered survey questions said they were happy with Mountain View bus service, others asked for extended hours – specifically at night. The Municipality of Anchorage recently released proposed changes to People Mover bus routes and schedules, but Mountain View’s route 45 hasn’t seen any big changes.

Sidewalks – Recommendations vary, from better sidewalk snow removal to the addition of public restrooms and more crosswalks. People asked for more sidewalks in both North and South Mountain View.

“Snow removal on the sidewalks would decrease people walking on the street,” said one written survey response.

Green Spaces – Litter, drinking and drug use in local parks are big issues for many people who responded to the neighborhood plan survey. Many people said they’d prefer better maintenance of existing neighborhood parks to construction of new ones. Some people suggested better lighting and surveillance at Davis Park, while others said more trash cans might help fix the litter problem.

Art, Culture and Landmarks – Several people who answered survey questions suggested bringing more Alaska Native art into the neighborhood. Others suggested more dining options, and members of a Homeward Bound focus group supported the idea of a Mountain View recreational center.

 

Before the plan is ready to progress to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Krishna said ACLT will survey businesses and gather economic data with the help of Leadership Anchorage volunteers and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

It will also present the draft plan and gather feedback at a multicultural night event at Mountain View Elementary School next week, Krishna said at a community council meeting Monday.

 

 

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