I wrote the letter to the editor titled "Visitor believes no road limits tourists' options" and I also read Mr. Nielsen's letter "The road can't be justified by money or convenience," and I have some comments about what he said.
In May of 2002 I paid the state of Alaska over $3,000 to ride round-trip to Alaska on their 48-year-old ferry to Haines. The food was really bad and the staterooms spartan, to say the least. This was for an 18-foot pickup and two 60-year-old Vietnam vets escaping their wives for a month.
We also took the cross-Gulf trip back to Juneau to again catch the old Mantanuska for a few hundred more. This was after my trusted '86 Ford gave out in Anchorage after driving that gravel pit in Canada they call a road, forcing me to spend another $16,000 for a four-year-old Ford pickup in Anchorage to get home.
So you see, my first visit to Alaska cost me about $22,000 and a total of 13 days riding ferries. The moral to this story is: make the Juneau to Haines/Skagway road. A toll road with maybe a $100 or more round-trip toll and a smaller toll or a free trip for Alaska residents. One more thing about the traffic this may generate: the Mantanuska holds 88 cars, so only every six days would this road have a big traffic jam. I love Alaska - wish I was younger; I would move here.