A coalition of local businesses has thrown its support behind a plan to make the Mountain View commercial corridor safer and cleaner.
The idea: Bring the Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s ambassador program east.
The security and maintenance ambassadors clean up trash, remove graffiti, patrol streets and assist police when necessary. Currently, the program is confined to the downtown area and funded by members of the Anchorage Downtown Improvement District. But the Mountain View Business Roundtable wants in.
Led by the Anchorage Community Land Trust, local companies have contributed nearly $20,000 to bring ADP ambassadors to Mountain View. The program would span the commercial district between Reeve Boulevard and Boniface Parkway and run from July through October, according to ACLT Executive Director Kirk Rose.
“It’s a one-of-its-kind effort,” Rose told attendees at Monday’s Mountain View Community Council meeting. “We think this is going to be huge value added to the neighborhood.”
When the Anchorage Downtown Partnership brought the ambassadors to Mountain View for a test run this spring, the results were obvious. Over the course of a week, they hauled 11 tons of garbage from the neighborhood’s main roads. They removed 27 pieces of graffiti and power-swept 24 blocks. They handled 22 cases of public intoxication and 23 issues with panhandlers. Local businesses took note.
Monday, the community council passed a resolution in support of the ambassador project, and several longtime residents spoke up in favor of the plan.
“We do need the help. I don’t care how many garbage cans you put out, I’ll guarantee you that in front of my house, [litter] will never stop being a problem,” said Niki Burrows. “Kids drop everything, no matter what. I’ve got little liquor bottles all over the place all the time.”
A dedicated cleanup crew seems like the only thing that might make a noticeable difference, she said. Cleaner streets might dissuade people from littering in the first place. Former community council president Don Crandall agreed.
“I think it sets an example for the rest of the neighborhood, too,” Crandall said. “I actually did see some other people picking up trash the other day, and it always warms my heart.”
Local businesses who pitched in to bring the ambassadors to Mountain View include Red Apple, JL Properties, McKinley Services, McDonalds, ACLT, Credit Union 1, SignCo, Alaska Mining and Diving and others. If the first few months are a success, Rose said, his organization hopes to keep the program running throughout the year.
“I’m really proud to be piloting it in Mountain View,” he said.