Roundabout design moves forward

Here’s a conceptual sketch of a proposed new roundabout on Mountain View Drive.

Roundabout sketch

Art courtesy Earthscape


It was one of four ideas presented by local landscape architects during a Tuesday meeting at the Anchorage Community Land Trust.

Earthscape, a small Anchorage firm, is working on the project alongside Kinney Engineering and municipal planners, who identified a roundabout as the best way to handle growing traffic at the intersection of Mountain View Drive and McCarrey Street. The whole proposal is estimated to cost around $3 million and is scheduled for completion in 2016, according to the Municipality of Anchorage.

After hearing comments from Mountain View residents in December, Earthscape landscape architects presented design concepts inspired by Mountain View’s streetscape and ideas of growth and transformation. The outreached arms were influenced by existing art in the neighborhood, said Earthscape principal M. Elise Huggins.

“We couldn’t help but notice that there’s an awful lot of body parts in Mountain View,” she said.

The raised hands design raised some eyebrows: Would it look creepy? Could it be misinterpreted? But everyone agreed the roundabout should feature something colorful and welcoming, and after some discussion the hands design won out. Representatives from the Mountain View Lions Club, ACLT, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the Mountain View Community Council were all part of the conversation.

They agreed the banner should read “Welcome to Mountain View.” The roundabout would also probably feature tall birch trees around the inner circle, Huggins said. Most of the arms would stand more than eight feet tall. The sketch above and model below represent the general concept — Earthscape is still tailoring the final design.

Before the project can go forward, the Municipality must secure a right-of-way from JBER and more than $1.5 million in funding.

What do you think of the roundabout design concept?




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4 replies »

  1. i like the idea of the the round about. But the concept with the arms, is slightly unsettling. Buried alive is one, and any arm should have a body. And labeling mt view as rising from the trouble is both not true for everyone and stigmatizing.
    The faces project was an amazing outreach to the community but the product is a little hard edged.
    And I think the round about might be suffering from good intentions. Best of luck though.

  2. I like the hands, though I agree with Duke, they could be seen as creepy. However, done properly a warm sense of greeting can be delivered to people passing by. The banner should just say Welcome to Mt. View! Forget the “embrace it” or “pride” statement. Let’s let actions speak lowder than words.
    Go Mt. View!!

  3. Without reading your article and only seeing the conceptual drawing, my first thought was “creepy.” I also think the motivational-poster-type sayings, such as “embrace it,” is cheesy. Mountainview is a historic neighborhood that is part of the fabric of Anchorage. I would think something more esteemed and traditional would be a more proper entrance for Mountainview.

    But, I second E.P.’s comment: “Go Mt. View!!”

  4. I hope these opinions actually matter because the picture seems to have struck the same chord in us all. The hands are creepy, reminiscent of a zombie movie. “Welcome to Mountain View” or just the name “Mountain View” would be fine. “Embrace it” seems forced and parental.


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