OP-ED: No need for Anchorage to rush into Woronzof land swap

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is the crown jewel of the Anchorage park system, an 11-mile trail from downtown to Kincaid Park. The health of the Coastal Trail is a good measure of our success in reaching our goal of being the No. 1 city in America to live, work, and play. Developing Anchorage as a world-class winter city also means we need sensible, efficient ways to manage winter snowfall. To prevent contamination of our waterways, we need to improve the Kloep Snow Dump Facility, a large snow dump on airport land used by both the municipality and the state.

A land trade proposal before the Anchorage Assembly to swap Coastal Trail park land for the snow dump threatens to divide the community. In my discussions with airport management, the mayor’s office and the Alaska Department of Transportation, a complex set of federal aviation regulations may be forcing negotiations between one public entity — the Municipality of Anchorage — with another public entity — the state-owned Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport — over reasonable use of public land. It seems odd that a federal regulation would create some kind of bidding war between two public entities.

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