Conceptual design of improvements to one section of Shelikof Street. Image Dowel HKM.
Though it doesn’t seem possible, engineers hired by the city have a plan that could provide better pedestrian access on Shelikof Street, while increasing parking on the narrow street.
Aaron Christi of Dowl HKM told the Kodiak City Council this week that the project objective was to provide better access for cruise ship passengers, who disembark at Pier Two, because the funding comes from the cruise ship head tax.
— (Shelikof 1 23 sec "As the project evolved … the sidewalk would be going in.")
City Councilman Tom Walters was against the idea of funneling visitors down Shelikof because of potential conflicts with commercial vehicle traffic servicing the fish packers on cannery row:
— (Shelikof 2 20 sec "I just don’t think … laughing at that sort of thing.")
Councilman Terry Haines agreed, saying a route that takes the pedestrians up to Rezanof Drive and then into town would be preferable.
— (Shelikof 3 14 sec "I believe if you build it … up there, just like lemmings.")
Deputy Harbormaster Lon White said his department recognizes the hazards of mixing pedestrians and cannery traffic, and has tried to direct cruise ship passengers on to shuttle busses, but to no avail. He reminded the council that while cruise ship passengers use Shelikof about 20 days a year, locals walk it every day.
As for parking, he also pointed out that quite a bit more can be built along the street.
— (Shelikof 4 36 sec "One is down adjacent to … improve the access corridor.")
In the end, the consensus of the council leaned toward the Shelikof option. The price tag for that plan is estimated to be about $1.25-million, about $400,000 more than the Rezanof route.