By Associated Press - Sunday, November 30, 2014

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The layout of a South Fairbanks neighborhood is being eyed for a possible redesign as a way to cut down on crime and increase property values.

The city has commissioned engineering firm DOWL HKM to draw up plans for the Bjerremark subdivision, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (https://is.gd/YpmRNU) reported.

The firm is drawing a new map, using a model known as “defensible space,” areas with more cul-de-sacs and smaller streets. The intention is to give smaller areas more pride in community, as well as cut down on unnecessary traffic on residential streets.

The concept has been helpful in Anchorage’s Fairview and Mountain View neighborhood, according to Jackson Fox with the Fairbanks Engineering Department. He said the idea for the Fairbanks subdivision came about this summer as the engineering department was looking at using the last of a state grant.

“We devoted the money to other subdivisions for replacing pavement and we have some left over,” said Fox, the department’s planning and permitting manager.



The proposed map is scheduled to be completed next month.

A committee of area residents and others met in October to discuss the project. Planners also are looking for more input through a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Bjerremark .

There is no construction budget at this time.

The city, however, plans to apply for a grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Fairbanks Rescue Mission is among members of the committee looking at the idea. Rescue Mission executive director Rodney Gaskins said he’s glad to see that area get the city’s attention.

“I think they’re right on,” Gaskins said. “I think it’s so important that they’re turning interest to this part of the community.”

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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