Soundview sidewalks get attention

The city of Homer has received a $500,000 state grant to improve pedestrian access and safety on Soundview Avenue. The half-million dollar Transportation Alternatives Grant from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities adds to $200,000 the Homer City Council appropriated earlier to add sidewalks between Mullikin Street and Cabana Court, an area near West Homer Elementary School. The grant will complete the project, and provide a continuous Soundview Avenue sidewalk to the school. The project also will install pedestrian safety and traffic calming features, Jenny Carroll, city special projects and communications coordinator, said in a press release.

The West Homer Elementary School neighborhood has expanded over the years, with traffic increasing as Soundview Avenue was finished and connected to Bartlett Street, creating a shortcut from downtown Homer to the Sterling Highway and the West Hill area. Not all subdivision sidewalks were connected. Improving pedestrian safety has been a priority since the city’s 2004 Nonmotorized Transporation and Trail Plan was adopted.

The grant agreement is expected to be finalized this fall, with construction to start in 2017.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at