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Ten months ago, when the FMATS Policy Committee decided that the Cushman and Barnette bridges would be one-way facilities in accordance with the 30-year-old Illinois Street Project, it looked like the restoration of those streets to two way traffic flow to revitalize downtown was as good as dead.  And there was reason to believe that at June 16th’s meeting, the FMATS Policy Committee would administer the coup de grace to that catalyst economic revitalization measure.  But it was not to be.  Because of your input and refusal to give up on getting the best infrastructure for downtown, the restoration of two-way traffic could still occur sooner than later.

Rather than leave you with the impression that a two-way restoration is alive and well, though, let me suggest that two-way is sort of pickled or under glass.  The restoration of two-way will, by direction from the FMATS Policy Committee, become the subject of further analysis, perhaps a federal Environmental Assessment, a process that will take several years.  (There could be a shorter route to two-way, but the foregoing is the most likely result of FMATS’ recent decision.)  So while the Barnette Bridge and Illinois Street projects proceed, downtown stakeholders can take another run at bringing two-way traffic and streetscape improvements to downtown.  Read full story here.

Thanks to so many of you for your time, attention and effort to keep Vision Fairbanks moving forward.

What you can do:

  • Contact FMATS coordinator Donna Gardino to thank all seven FMATS Policy Committee members for supporting the motion that kept the two-way restoration alive.
  • Keep after improving downtown’s infrastructure; keep the faith that it can be done.
  • Switch tracks . . . back to creating new zone types, new revitalization tools for downtown.  Gird for Ordinance 2010-09’s appearance at the Borough Assembly July 15.
  • Attend a Vision Fairbanks Work Group meeting July 6 @ 4 PM at the Downtown Association Conference Room, 410 Cushman Street.  These meetings are open to one and all.