Fairbanks, AK - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly will introduce a resolution Thursday during their regular meeting in support of a new bike path along the Richardson Highway. The project to connect Salcha and Eielson Air Force Base is in the very early stages of development.
Borough Assembly member Janice Golub says the project comes in part because the Richardson Highway is unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. "If you drive for instance past Eielson Air Force base, the road narrows dramatically down to two lanes, there is a shoulder, it’s kind of a small shoulder," she says. "Then you have high speed traffic that’s coming through all the time. You have military traffic, you have large trucks, you have a lot of tourist traffic, RVs that type of thing.”
Golub and Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins are sponsoring the resolution. She says four different options were presented at community meetings in Salcha earlier this spring. Golub says the most popular proposal involves a bike path the stretches for roughly two miles between the Johnson Road intersection at the Richardson highway and the Salcha School.
“Folks felt that that was the most useful, it would serve the most residents and that was destination points at both areas because the Salcha Senior Center is out by Johnson road as well so folks felt that that was the two most travelled points that they would really like,” says Golub.
There’s no timeline or budget yet for the project. The Borough will have to submit a proposal to the state Department of Transportation to add the project to a ‘needs list.’ In the meantime, Salcha residents are circulating a petition in support of the proposal. According to language in the resolution, a survey at Eielson Air Force Base has also garnered overwhelming support.