Build the road

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2005

I'm in favor of Preferred Plan 2 with reliable ferry service. We will always need consistent, year-round ferry service between Juneau, Haines and Skagway. I recommend that this be a toll road. It could be a graduated fee over the years until it is deemed that the fee be canceled. This off sets some costs, splitting revenue between Juneau, Haines and Skagway and going toward each community's related road expense.

I'm a B&B proprietor and I too have lost business, specifically related to cancellations of planes, ferries and the scarcity of independent travelers. This is just the red ink side of doing business in Southeast Alaska with the lack of affordable access. So, I have been staying busy wooing Alaskans and Canadians to come enjoy Juneau. This makes me see the road as an economic asset for our upper Lynn Canal communities.

Some of us would actually like to get around, flying and/or driving, to experience our beautiful state.

We have five children and six grandchildren born and raised in Southeast Alaska. They have seen very little of Alaska because it is too expensive to go as a family, by ferry or plane, for a few days here and there.

I also feel that we should have, at least, one more major airline coming into Juneau.

Can you tell me, historically did Haines and Skagway kick, scream and try to stop their road connections to the Interior? Were they forced to receive a road or did they welcome it? If Juneau doesn't get a road, would it be proper for us to close their road accesses at the borders for 20-plus years to study the continued feasibility?

In the hearings, someone testified that it would be cheaper to give every Alaskan a plane ticket than build the road. I think that if we don't build the road, every pro-road Southeast resident that is not connected to the Interior by a road system should be given two free round-trip tickets annually. One, anywhere Alaska Airlines flies, and the other the Inside Passage route by Alaska Marine Highway. Maybe that would put the road issue to rest for some. That way we all could be one big happy, safe, unblemished park.

My family and I want the road built ASAP. We have shovels and would be happy to help.

Helen Keso


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