In order to plan intelligently and proactively for the new housing and retail either under construction or on the drawing boards for our downtown, the City has commissioned a detailed study to examine current and future infrastructure, traffic, and service needs in the central business district.
The just-completed analysis, prepared by the planning firm AKRF, indicates that the imminent wave of new development can be accommodated by existing road networks and service levels, but that future growth could require additional public investment. Among the steps that may be taken in the years ahead are introduction of a managed traffic system for the downtown, construction of a new multi-level public parking facility, and/or increases in our public safety and public works staffing levels. The costs of such investments, while significant, would be far lower than the fiscal benefits generated by the associated economic development.
AKRF has also recommended the adoption of a new “floating” zone that could provide density bonuses to developers in exchange for public goods such as: construction of new public parking, creation of open space and parkland, rehabilitation of historic sites and buildings, or exceptionally high-quality architectural design.