Juneau grows without a road

Letters to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Does Juneau really need a road out? Would the cost of building and maintaining the road be offset by the "larger economy" the road would bring?

With the Alaska state deficit growing, and the building of the new fast ferries, building a road out of Juneau would further put the state in debt. In addition, maintaining this long expanse of road would be timely and expensive. Already, service of residential roads in the Juneau area has been slowed due to lack of money, disappointing many. Taxes would rise, along with a growth that Juneau is not ready for.

Why the public of Juneau would want a road is unknown. If Juneau has not been growing, how come schools are being overcrowded with students? Just this year Juneau-Douglas High School received 200 more students than expected. Many of these kids, who are freshmen, sit aimlessly in the school with gaps in their schedules. If Juneau really wants growth, it has to be prepared.

Furthermore, many areas that would be turned into residential housing are out the road in locations that are currently underdeveloped. With many of the homes already out there not receiving city water, how could we expect an increase in population?

Juneau has gone countless years without needing a road, and is probably the most rapid-growing town in southeast. Does the town of Skagway grow much from the road that links it with the rest of North America? You might also notice that if you drive the road from Skagway to Whitehorse, almost all buses going into Skagway are empty. This is because many of the riders take the cruise ships or ferry to Skagway. After arriving in Skagway they take the buses north, not to come back.

Finally, Juneau has survived through the toughest times of our history without a road, including World War II, so why would this wonderful city of untapped resources want to give itself up to the normal rush and demands of the world?

Want more roads? Move down South.

Ben Schlechter


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