Ferries are reliable transportation

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On Dec. 8, I enjoyed a very pleasant trip to Hoonah on the M/V Le Conte. The weather wasn't great and the forecast was worse, but that fine, reliable boat kept on schedule.

I'd hoped to attend a meeting about the Alaska Department of Transportation's plan to build a road connection between Hoonah and Tenakee Springs, an ill-advised proposal in line with DOT's long-standing goal of replacing existing ferry service to small communities with smaller, less seaworthy ferries and cross-island roads.

Unfortunately, DOT officials elected to try flying instead of travelling on the state's own ferry. There was snow and wind, neither was exactly surprising in Southeast Alaska in December. The meeting was cancelled because the DOT officials' flight was cancelled. This was the second cancellation for the same reason.

For winter transportation in Southeast Alaska, there is no substitute for safe, reliable displacement-hull ferries.

Molly Kemp

Tenakee Springs

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