Local business creates petition regarding snow removal process in Downtown Anchorage

The restaurant said it is now taking action and is looking for a solution to the cover parking spaces, by creating a petition.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 3:38 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:12 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s been a quiet week and a half at Originale, a Downtown Anchorage Italian restaurant.

“It’s been really difficult,” said Rene Kennicott, the manager of Originale. “One day last week, we actually closed at noon, because we only had two customers.”

Kennicott says that comes after significant snowfall in Downtown Anchorage filled the streets and parking spots available outside of their restaurant.

“We have no parking at all for customers,” Kennicott said. “You can’t really expect a customer to park in a parking garage, spend 10 minutes to walk here, run in for a minute, pick up there to go order, and then go back to the parking garage.”

According to Kennicott, the restaurant has seen a 50% drop in revenue due to the snow.

The restaurant said it is now taking action and is looking for a solution to the covered parking spaces by creating a petition.

“We are hoping for a resolution with Downtown Partnership and street maintenance to be able to communicate well on getting the issue resolved so that all of the businesses in Downtown Anchorage have parking all the time,” Kennicott said. “Right now what is happening is Anchorage Downtown Partnership shovels all of this snow from the sidewalks into the on-street parking, and it ends up sitting there for two to four days.”

Radhika Krishna, the executive director of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, said the petition is an example of small business frustration and the impacts the snow has had on them.

“Every time that, you know, a snow event happens we want to learn from it. So we are of course going to work with our partners to find out how we can improve services the next time this happens,” Krishna said.

In the past, Kennicott said Originale has presented the Anchorage Downtown Partnership with a possible solution of moving the snow into a snow berm at the edge of the sidewalk.

“Then when they can communicate with street maintenance to say — street maintenance can say, ‘OK, we’re going to be doing this area of downtown tonight.’ So Downtown Partnership can shovel that area, they can shovel that berm, then into the street, and then street maintenance can haul it away,” Kennicott said.

Kennicott adds that the idea was rejected by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership.

Krishna adds that her team is prepared to listen and find a solution. However, at this time a solution has still not been determined.

Kennicott said the snow outside Originale was cleared on Wednesday night. She said the petition will be brought forwarded to the Anchorage Downtown Partnership during a meeting in December with the Municipality’s street maintenance and the Municipality’s ombudsman.