The road to nowhere

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, August 04, 2006

Regarding the public's response to the question of whether or not the state should build a road from Juneau to the Katzehin Flats (the road to nowhere), I wonder which part of "No" the governor and the Department of Transportation do not understand. Survey after survey indicate that most of the citizens of the Upper Lynn Canal area do not support construction of the road for various reasons: It is too difficult to build and maintain; it's too expensive; it's too dangerous (I wrote a letter to the Juneau Empire several years ago emphasizing this factor), and many of the citizens of Juneau do not support the construction of a road to the Katzehin.

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Despite all that we've preached and practiced about planning, we now learn that the DOT didn't plan to obtain permission from the Haines borough for construction within the borough, until it reached city limits. Duh.

And speaking of planning, what plans have been made to get us poor walk-on passengers to the airport if we are just going down to Juneau to get a jet? There is no public transportation provided now at the Auke Bay terminal. Some cabs will wait for ferries, if they know one is due, but often times, passengers have to call for cabs. I can imagine a cab making a trip out to the Katzehin terminal to pick up passengers for the airport. And who will man that desolate terminal in the middle of winter?

Cordova has repeatedly voted down a road connecting that town to the rest of Alaska, so Juneau is not the only isolated community. And how about Kodiak? And the Pribilofs? The Alaska Marine Highway System does need improvement, but it's a far better alternative to a road in Southeast Alaska. The money and effort should be put into the ferries and not into a road.

Joan M. Snyder


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