Hellish road conditions across Anchorage put pedestrians in danger

Hellish road conditions across Anchorage puts pedestrians in danger
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:14 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Back-to-back snow storms in Anchorage have left streets and sidewalks a mess, with some neighborhoods yet to be plowed on Friday morning.

“I’ve never seen conditions like this,” resident Deborah Randall said. “I’ve never seen these ruts like this, the ruts are absolutely horrendous!”

Randall said she has not been able to walk on a sidewalk yet, since the ones she has encountered have not been plowed out.

“Basically you walk on the road and take your life in your own hands,” Randall said.

Residents shared that it is not just sidewalks that people are struggling with — People Mover passengers say public transportation has also been difficult with the snowfall.

Gary Meats uses a walker and bus transportation to get around, he describes the conditions as “like hell”. It’s dangerous for him and for others on the road.

“Dangerous is, that’s the easy word I put for it,” Meats said. “People don’t realize that there’s nowhere else for us disabled people to go, we have to go in the street to walk that way because the sidewalk’s not plowed. And people don’t want to pay heed to us.”

Even catching the bus is more difficult with unplowed sidewalks.

“You have to stand almost right in traffic to catch a bus, and that makes it more dangerous for us,” Meats said.

This weekend’s weather conditions could further delay sidewalk cleanup, according to Justin Shelby with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Shelby says all DOT roads have been plowed out but colder weather moving in over the weekend could create sidewalk plowing delays.

“It makes the ice harder to get off of the roads,” Shelby said. “That makes our sidewalk cleaning efforts much more difficult as those snow berms harden into ice berms.”