Road extension speeds up residents’ concerns

Posted: Friday, May 05, 2006

Spring is in the air and that means, for residents of the Poppywood Subdivision, the roar of 4x4 trucks, four-wheelers, and dirt bikes speeding up and down our road. More often than not, the adolescent to young-adult drivers are dangerously exceeding the residential speed limit. The results of the increased traffic are numerous: the scream of motors coming down the road, damage to our already not-up-to-borough-code gravel road, and danger for the families that used to enjoy a bike ride, run or stroll down our road.

Four years ago, the residents of the Poppywood area attempted to address these very concerns with the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly by opposing the extension of our road. Instead, approval was granted for the extension in order to accommodate a new subdivision. Unfortunately, this extension also made our road a direct connection to a gravel pit. Needless to say, the gravel pit is the playground of all these 4x4 s and our road is the speedway into it.

The frustration and anger comes in the fact that residents predicted this very scenario and were essentially brushed aside four years ago, in favor of increasing the tax rolls and appeasing a developer. The Kenai Peninsula Borough is solely responsible for our lessened quality of living in this area and our subdivision’s loss of geographical community. Don’t get me wrong, our new neighbors are great, those who have chosen to make a home here are also community-minded — that was never our concern in opposing the road extension; rather, it was the condition of the road and safety with the increased traffic.

These issues, which we were assured would be looked at, have not. The road is in even worse condition; the Borough inspector had blockades put over a portion of it two weeks ago, and safety remains a real concern. The State Troopers and Borough Roads Department can attest to the number of calls over recent weeks reporting speeding, questionable activities at the gravel pit, and the seriously damaged road.

I would urge the Borough Assembly, Roads, and Planning Departments to listen to residents, put community ahead of the bottom line, and be responsible to your constituents. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from us on the next Spring day.

Elizabeth Scarlett

Soldotna



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