Last week’s approval of a rezoning on Rezanof Drive East brought up a number of concerns regarding traffic on that stretch of the road.
KMXT’s Maggie Wall reports the area near Mill Bay and Rezanof has a reputation for being very dangerous and the assembly would like that to change.
Rezanof Drive East presents a number of safety challenges. First it’s one of the few long stretches of straight road around town and there’s the temptation to go fast–or to pass. It heads directly north so that the back side of hills-in this case the one right near Mill Bay Coffee-seldom see much sun and are icy in winter.
Then you add school children crossing, the trailer park at the Mill Bay corner, plus the bike trail, and access to the ocean. Mix in an influx in residential housing, sprinkle in some new and old businesses, and it’s no wonder the Rezanof Drive-Mill Bay Road-Woodland Drive intersection has a reputation for being dangerous.
These concerns and more were brought up during last week’s regular meeting of the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly when the assembly approved the rezoning of a parcel at that corner from rural residential to commercial.
While the assembly has jurisdiction over zoning matters, it doesn’t have control over the state-owned Rezanof Drive. Decisions on the road itself are up to the state Department of Transportation.
The assembly unanimously approved the rezone as an appropriate use of the property. While discussing the rezone, a number of assembly members took the opportunity to express concern about traffic patterns in the area.
One reason cited for endorsing the rezone is the way the immediate area has developed into a cluster of business activity. However, it’s that cluster of activity that contributes to a variety of concerns about that intersection. Assembly member Jerrol Friend:
Assembly member Sue Jeffrey said the Mill Bay Hill is icy and there needs to be a way to force people to slow down. She suggested a three-way stoplight:
Borough Mayor Jerome Selby told the assembly that the state Department of Transportation studied the intersection just two years ago and decided that a stoplight was not warranted.
In the end, the assembly members decided to take the safety issue up at a future assembly work session.
I’m Maggie Wall.