Ask President Gamble
Welcome to Ask President Gamble.
UA President Pat Gamble created this site as a platform for UA employees to ask questions about their workplace, UA policies, practices and issues in an effort to improve communication between the staff and the President's Office.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Efforts to improve traffic flow at UAA
From Steven Williams, Campus Visitor
It was wonderful to see Kathryn's article in the ADN (8/24/2014) about the expansion of UAA. It is truly amazing how much has occurred in recent years. But there was one aspect she didn’t address: The terrible mess where there is such a conflict between UAA Drive vehicle traffic vs. UAA East-West student pedestrian/bicycle crossings along UAA Drive. It is dangerous to UAA students, it is dangerous to UAA vehicular traffic. Stoppage/Go means that traffic backs out on to NL Blvd, it means that traffic backs out into Providence Drive. Why? Because - properly - vehicular traffic is required to stop and yield to pedestrians/bicyclists at the street-level cross-walk that parallels the just-above skywalk which nobody uses to get from the East Campus to the West Campus. With the addition of the “Engineering” Garage, this pedestrian traffic will only increase. The current (summer 2014) UAA/NL intersection enhancement will do nothing to alleviate this conflict. I have inquired of UAA’s Engineering/Planning Divisions as to what they plan to do about this problem. No Reply. Anything you can do? Thanks ...
Thanks for the question, Steven. I’ve looked into this matter.
The recently approved UAA Anchorage Campus Master Plan (Sep 2013) envisions a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly campus. UAA’s FY16 Capital Budget request includes a project to improve pedestrian traffic both North/South and East/West across campus. This request will work its way through the UA system this fall, with the Board of Regents scheduled to take action on the capital budget in November. The UA budget is then forwarded to the governor for possible inclusion in his budget, which goes to the Legislature. It’s too early to say yet whether or not the request will ultimately make it through the process. Of course, not everything worthwhile can be funded.
But my understanding is that if this project is funded, UAA’s FY16 Master Plan Circulation Improvement project shows it as a possible pedestrian underpass at UAA Drive, similar to the one at Elmore Drive that serves the UAA Student Housing area.
UAA Drive is a Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) road. UAA and the Municipal traffic department have conferred on this issue several times over the years to address valid concerns like yours. Interestingly, MOA has determined the intersection operates within municipal safety parameters, so risk is being considered. Furthermore, UAA Drive currently serves as the northern access route for the UMED district. This is one reason why UAA supports the Northern Extension project, a plan to divert a substantial amount of the through traffic as well as provide an access point on east campus. We are projecting a reduced load on UAA Drive, which will greatly improve the situation.
The UAA Engineering parking garage is also expected to reduce surface traffic on UAA Drive. Those accessing the garage from the North will turn onto Mallard Lane – in fact, the second southbound lane DOT recently added will merge directly onto Mallard. The garage will have a North/South spine connection to the newly renovated former Engineering Building, and thus connect students to our existing spine network.
I hope this answer helps, Steven. If you have additional questions, please contact Chris Turletes, UAA’s associate vice chancellor for facilities and campus services, directly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-786-1110.