Anchorage is far off, even with road

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2004

We would do well to reflect on the outside perspective Kevin Harun's Oct. 21 letter offers us about the Juneau road. He said "The reality is that Juneau is too far away [from Anchorage] to pop on down in a car to visit the legislature and then drive back."

To give some dimension to the reality Kevin is talking about, the road distance between Juneau and Anchorage is greater than the road distance between New York and Chicago. And the roads between here and Anchorage, especially if the Juneau-to-Skagway road were to become a reality, don't compare to the interstate highways through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and part of Illinois linking New York to Chicago. Especially not when the snow starts flying. And even if the four states just mentioned were all parts of a mega-state like ours in which either Chicago or New York were the capital, it would still be improbable for the residents of either town "to pop on" over in a car to visit their legislature. They'd likely fly, for the same reasons the folks coming to Juneau from Anchorage to do business fly.

The larger reality may just be that Alaska is simply too large for even the best of road systems to ever bridge the large time-distance chasms that will still separate Alaskans from one another - no matter how fast they drive.

Rai Behnert


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