DOT is holding an open house on the topic at the Annex, Thursday, December 9, from 4 to 7 pm. DOT is looking for comments from the public on this, and will have four alternative plans. Al Beck, the engineering manager, emphasized to me that this project has come from the grassroots up and needs the feedback from the community. Is preserving the trees important to you? speak up. Is there an alternative design that they should consider? bring your ideas with you. Should the scope of the project include the whole of Gold Hill Road or only part of it? now's your chance to let them know. Any aspect of the project: how it should be executed, where, if, all of that: let them know iat this meeting. If you can't make it in person, you can still comment or ask questions to inform your comments, by contacting Beck at 451-5359 or e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want, you can fax them to 451-5126, attention Al Beck.
Alternative one: widen the shoulders on each side of the road, making each shoulder a one-way bike lane. (See the overall road view, with property lines, earthwork lines, existing road, and proposed road limits, in a PDF at DOT.) This alternative would, it looks like, double the size of the roadway (shrubbery would have to be cleared, too).
Here is a cutaway view of what might be a typical section of the road (showing filled roadsides and ditched or cut roadsides).
Alternative two: create an attached two-lane path on one side of Gold Hill Road. (See the overall road view PDF at DOT.)
Here's the cutaway of the attached path.
Alternative three: create a separated bike path (as on the Parks Highway). While this is probably the safest, it takes up the most room and wipes out the most trees. (See the overal road view PDF at DOT.)
Here's the cutaway of the separated path.
Alternative four: take the existing road and make it one-way for automobile traffic (the map shows that as toward UAF), using part of the road for a bike path. This is rather a novel approach, and would serve to encourage bike and pedestrian traffic over vehicular traffic. It would also be the no-disruption version in terms of road-widening or property impact. I don't think it would fly, though--there's just too many people living on the road who rely on cars. Here's the cutaway of this version.