Juneau asked, and legislative staff answered: 'Juneau doesn't feel safe' - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, June 17, 2021
HomeAnchorage Daily PlanetJuneau asked, and legislative staff answered: ‘Juneau doesn’t feel safe’

Juneau asked, and legislative staff answered: ‘Juneau doesn’t feel safe’

THE COMMENTS ARE DEVASTATINGLY CONSISTENT

The Juneau Economic Development Council surveyed legislative employees and legislators about their experiences in Juneau this year, and JEDC got an earful.

The feedback comes at a time when the Juneau Assembly is debating putting on the ballot the building of a $32 million performing arts center (JACC), plus a $8 million parking structure to go with it.

The summary of the comments on the survey is: “Downtown Juneau is not a place to take your children.”

Here are the optional comments on Question 7 of the “2018 Alaska State Legislature Survey of Juneau Residents” followed by the remarks from “non-Juneau Residents.”

“Using the following ratings: Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Dissatisfied, Very Dissatisfied, or Not Applicable, please rate the following aspects of downtown Juneau.”

JUNEAU LEGISLATIVE WORKERS (RESIDENTS) SAY:

  • Need police presence walking around downtown, especially during 5pm – 9pm.
  • The cleanliness can’t really be helped because of the construction. I do feel a little nervous with all the homeless people downtown about safety, especially for some of the women who are living downtown. If I go out to dinner with them, I don’t let them walk home.
  • Keep supporting policies that support small business, they’re making downtown vibrant & interesting again!
  • I used to walk the streets of Juneau at night for the joy of being out in the dark. Now I am fearful of every corner and every person. Will I be mugged or worse? Will I get to my car and find that it has been broken into? The safety situation is out of control.
  • The covered walkways are nice, especially since sidewalks are not cleared as quickly as streets. I walk a lot and often have to walk in the streets.
  • This is [name]. I am horribly biased in favor of Juneau, having been raised here and heavily involved in capital-move fights.
  • Downtown is unsafe. I carry mace to walk home even after work. Police don’t respond (don’t care?).
  • Bringing my children downtown to walk through clouds of smoke and get yelled out by drunk people has become a problem and I just avoid it now.
  • Really need to do something about the vagrants downtown in our primary entertainment area.
  • Designated snow removal times – rotating streets ie. No parking here between x and x every Tuesday (sleeping hours) for snow clearing.

Businesses put chain link fences on their entries to prevent homeless encampments in downtown Juneau.

NON-JUNEAU RESIDENTS SAY THE SAME AS RESIDENTS, BUT MORE:

  • Franklin Street is scary with drunks and vagrants. I rarely go to shop downtown…
  • The downtown area of Juneau has not been very safe this year and traveling and parking downtown is congested and narrow…
  • The construction happening dampers I do not feel safe walking in downtown after work…
  • Too many suspicious looking…
    I don’t always feel safe walking downtown due to the number of suspicious characters. There’s also a lot of trash and pot wrappers. Between the pot shops…
  • Plowing/ice removal on pedestrian walkways is needed…
    Empty storefronts and closed seasonal businesses can give poor impression. there is far too much smoke in downtown. There needs to be designated smoking…
  • Too much dog poop. IGA too expensive…
    Juneau is a nice town, friendly people. Re-open the AJ mine and build the road. When there was a lot of snow, there was no way a wheel chair or person with…
  • Twice couldn’t drive up Main Street to 5th Street…
    Very surprised that sidewalks in residential blocks don’t get cleared (Calhoun near…
  • Over 10 years downtown Juneau staffer, safety has really become a concern. Drivers frequently don’t stop at stop signs and roll through intersections…
    Around the bars and the transit center can feel a little sketchy for a person walking…
  • I’ve been coming to Juneau for 20 years and this is the worst I have ever seen it. Living downtown is a nightmare now. I am constantly encountering people under the influence of substancses that harass me, follow me, and yell things at me…
  • I live and work downtown within a block of capitol so everything is convenient…
  • S. Franklin is dangerous…
  • I pretty much have to step over passed out drunk homeless people to get to my apartment, screaming all hours of the night and I feel unsafe coming home late at the sidewalks were tough to navigate earlier this winter…
  • As the snow is melting, i’m seeing a TON of dog poop that wasn’t picked up during the snowy days. Wish..
  • I feel safe downtown during the day (not at night), but never further south than the Senate Building. I understand it snows for days at a time sometimes and removal I am not comfortable walking to the library parking garage due to homeless and…
  • I like lots about downtown Juneau and what is available to do there, but the atmosphere on the streets, especially South Franklin, isn’t always great…
  • There are way more homeless people on the streets downtown and it makes it feel It appears to me that the city has become more run down and more unsafe to walk…
  • I worked in the legislature in the 90s and am back for this session. It seems like the sidewalks are crumbling and there are more drunk people down by the Marine
  • I love the classic look of downtown Juneau- however, a lot of the building’s facades…
  • The vagrants yelling and fighting with each other all hours of the day is extremely…
  • Several times I had to walk on the road because Gastneau/Gold had so much snow piled upon the sidewalk – it was unwalkable. This is dangerous for me but also super inconvient for drivers who have to avoid pedestrians in the street…
  • The stores aren’t operational and if they are, they close to early for anyone working a 9-5 position to visit them after work and even on the weekends…
  • No parking, drunks everywhere, snow piles blocking sidewalks, shops all closed for tourists…
  • The number of drunks, homeless and drugged individuals has increased dramatically. It doesn’t feel safe to walk around downtown…

Read more of the survey at this link.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Ahahahah serves them right, they get to experience what they have done to this state!

  • Let’s use the money to move the Capital to Willow, just like the voters wanted, problem solved

  • All of this is disheartening, but it could get worse: Wait until ANTIFA, which undoubtedly has a large following in Juneau, starts roaming the streets looking for conservatives to “discipline.”

  • While safety concerns came up as a first time issue in this survey, your blog seriously misrepresents the survey results. Please read the whole survey.

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