We already have a highway to Juneau. Our marine highway provides safe and reliable access to Juneau and contributes to a quality of life that is second to none. It is no coincidence that we enjoy a pedestrian- and transit-friendly community with minimal traffic congestion, qualities that other cities in America only dream of.
Our regional transportation system is a good one, and I believe it will even get better. If we want to, we can build a coastal trail from the Valley, through downtown, to Thane! The Alaska Marine Highway System is poised to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities for improving the fleet and providing more frequent ferry service in and out of Juneau at a lower cost. These are the types of things we can do with available funding and should be doing NOW with our limited federal, state, and local resources, rather than siphoning them off just to keep the idea alive of a marginal, and likely seasonal, road out of town.
For the last 10 years, while the rest of the state and the nation have been taking advantage of more flexible transportation funding programs to improve their local systems, we here in Juneau have devoted too much time, energy, and money to the margin, and to the off chance that someday, somehow, someone will build a road out. On Oct. 3, a vote for improved ferry service is truly a vote for immediate improvements to the efficient, friendly, and safe system we all rely on today. Let's not miss the boat, let's do something NOW.
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