Count your blessings before you build

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I made my first visit to Juneau in early June, and when I arrived I noticed how charming the town appeared. I reside on the Kenai Peninsula and one of the first things that was apparent to me, besides the great beauty, was the lack of motor homes. I assume most of the Juneau residents oppose building a road from Skagway to your community but just think, you could be driving behind a bunch of motor homes. They block your view, drive slow, stop whenever the drivers see an eagle or sea lion, park on the beach (you're going to need a lot of beachfront RV parks), drive up all the streets (especially steep one-lanes), usually tow another gas guzzling SUV, stay for a long time because they can, not to mention catching and canning a ton of fish. They don't spend much money though, just purchase gasoline, a few trinkets and minimal food, then leave all their trash and pumped septic tank waste behind.

Another great thing about Juneau that caught my attention, is all the great hiking trails right at your doorstep. Now think, you can have all these motor home tourists coming around and hiking, smoking, polluting, pooping and trampling all the hiking trails that are so dear to your hearts. And you thought the dogs were getting to be a nuisance on Juneau trails. Just wait and see. You can keep countless local clubs busy, adopting sections of the new highway to clean up all the garbage the new visitors leave along the way. You think Sunshine Cove is getting trashed? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Maybe you should consider setting up new laws to ban RVs from entering the downtown Juneau district. Otherwise you are going to have total gridlock down there. You thought parking was an issue. By the way, I forgot to mention that you best start reading up on how to handle anger with compassion and empathy prescribed by the Dalai Lama because you will become well-acquainted with the term "road rage."

I could go into all the pragmatic reasons as to why this shouldn't happen but others have probably beat that dead horse. Think before you build, but if you do build, count your blessings now because Juneau will never be as charming as it currently stands.

Robert DeCino


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