Hundreds of citizens worked to
develop Anchorage 2020 that was adopted in early 2001. The comprehensive plan calls for
Anchorage to become a true northern city that embraces winter with land
use, transportation and building designs that are appropriate for our
When describing what they
like about their town, people talk about Anchorage’s:
o Natural beauty and setting
o Trails, parks, greenbelts and open
o Outdoor and recreational
o Cultural facilities and events
o Accessibility to the wilderness
o Small-town feel with big-city
o Friendly, caring people
o Educational facilities and
o Economic development and
Some of the things they
o Expand, improve mass transit
o Become a true northern or winter
o Improve urban design,
architecture, landscaping, streetscape, signs
o Become a more pedestrian friendly
o Relieve traffic congestion
o Maintain, improve existing roads
and add new roads.
During the planning
process, citizens were offered four future “scenarios,” to
with no major changes to the comprehensive plan or zoning map. Private developers would largely
continue to determine the location, type, and pace of development.
to be considered the most important aspect of community life. Schools, community centers, local
parks, and neighborhood shopping districts would become centers for
activities and local businesses.
a more traditional urban character in Downtown, Midtown, and nearby
neighborhoods, balanced by a more suburban, rural neighborhood character
for South Anchorage.
Slow growth, satellites, with slower population growth in
the Anchorage bowl to conserve open space and maintain Anchorage’s
established residential character and “traditional”
lifestyle. Anchorage would
continue to grow as a regional workplace and marketplace for satellite
residential communities in Chugiak-Eagle River and the Mat Su Borough. Public initiatives would enhance
Downtown and Midtown as an attractive, convenient place to work and shop.
Citizens chose a combination of “neighborhoods”
and “urban transition”
for Anchorage’s future.
They rejected “current trends” and sending new growth to
“satellite communities” to the north.
It is essential that
transportation programs and projects fulfill Anchorage 2020 by building the
urban core into an active city center with sidewalks full of people going
to work, shopping and to the park.
Cars will move slowly through downtown, and transit is fast and
maintain their value as good places to raise children, and neighborhood
centers attract families walking to convenience shops and businesses. Transit provides a true alternative
to driving, and children walk safely to school.
Citizens rejected sprawl
when they developed Anchorage 2020, and this Transportation Plan promotes a phased approach to infill and redevelopment to
restrain sprawl and demonstrate the benefits of
compact, transit oriented development. Without “phasing,”
Anchorage does not have enough population growth to turn any one part of
town into the vibrant, transit oriented, walkable community described in
Anchorage 2020. Even with
phasing, experts from cities that have already begun this journey towards
compact development say it will take 10 years before noticing a difference,
and 20 years before change is apparent.