Use ferries, not a new road

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2008

I've lived in all three Lynn Canal communities, Juneau, Skagway and Haines for the last 38 years.

I do not usually write letters to the editor unless an issue is really important to me. The important issue for me that just won't go away is the so-called Juneau access road. Not only will this proposed road threaten plants and wildlife of the region, it will not even result in access to Juneau since it will end at the Katzehin wetlands - "the road to nowhere."

To those in Juneau who support this road, I say if you have not done so already, take a boat or ferry along the proposed route and critically look at it. Try to imagine a road there, especially along the steep slopes north of Berners Bay. I am sure you will be just as skeptical as I about the feasibility of this project.

The cost of this project will be amazing. The Department of Transportation is not being realistic with its proposed cost for the road. The road will be unreliable and dangerous to construct, drive and maintain.

What I would like to see is improvement of our ferry system. This form of transportation is a unique way of life for those of us who live along the coast of Alaska. Slower, weather-tough, and more frequent ferries make sense since the waterways are the most reliable highways in a place with steep mountains, numerous avalanche tracts, and mega boulders that lie at the angle of repose.

The ferry ride is a wonderful time to relax, take in the beauty of our region and meet old and new friends. Mass transportation will lead the way to a better future for the world. Besides, the ferry system is already there!

Terry Jacobson


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