This written opinion is coming to you from the perspective of a seasonal visitor staying here temporarily on a topic that affects the residents of Juneau, Douglas and all Alaskans for a long time to come. I offer this on the subject of the construction of a paved road connecting Juneau to an inland highway that serves as an artery for national and international travelers. I have consolidated thoughts of mine, as well as opinions of others in the local and seasonal community, and classified the building of the "Road" into three segments:
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1) The growth and development that can occur within will solidify and re-establish an already established capital.
2) A new alternative will be introduced to those residents, inducing the freedom to pack up the car and drive out of town whenever they so desire. Also, the hopeful lifting of restriction on departing from Juneau via airplane and the compromising of fare rates for flights on Alaska Airlines. Currently, the ways to arrive in Juneau consist of sailing or ferrying in, flying in or being birthed. The road will introduce many other routes to arrive, including hitchhiking to Juneau, escaping to Juneau at a fairer cost or chartering a limousine to Juneau, probably arriving at the Baranof.
3) The trucking.
1) The potential for the crime rate to increase will rise, allowing Juneau to join a long list of transient towns. There is a somewhat of a mystique about this place because of the ways to gain entry into Juneau. Everyone you meet or see has adventured or paid a large sum to get here. The amount of recreation vehicles will increase dramatically, lending toward my most important point.
2) By building the road, and allowing us to continue development on the rest of the 2 percent of the Tongass National Forest allotted, we will support the consumption of more fossil fuels in a time when we need to begin retracting ourselves from such methods of fuel.
3) The impact on the environment, particularly in Berners Bay, will far surpass any study put forth due to the fact that the potential of Juneau supersedes many of our expectations.
The final segment is the ugly: That would be the anticipation of Fourth of July parade traffic.
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