Some hard facts

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2001

Contrary to the assertions of Julie Smith, JDHS students aren't "suffering" because an excessive number of students drive cars to school. I'm tired of hearing students whine about parking when taxpayers provide them with adequate free transportation to school every day!

When I attended JDHS back in the 1960s, there was no parking problem, and it wasn't due to a smaller student body. It was because students were not allowed to drive their cars to school, except for the few seniors who had after-school jobs that were not reachable by walking or public transportation. The rest of us rode the bus, walked, or rode our bicycles.

The School Board should again adopt that policy, along with restoring a school lunch program and a closed campus, so that the neighbors of JDHS don't have to put up with the lunchtime speeding, illegal parking, traffic congestion, cigarette butts, lunchtime drug use, and misbehavior of irresponsible student drivers that now occurs.

Ms. Smith needs to learn some hard facts about the cost of her automobile use, one of the reasons why this country is being held hostage by Arab extremists. Nothing is more flagrantly wasteful than the parade of self-important Americans driving down our highways, with one person in each vehicle. This selfishness is costing our country its independence as well as its clean air!

She also doesn't understand that her dream parking garage will cost from $25,000 to $40,000 per parking space. For that price, we could provide limousine service for many years for students who are too lazy to use their legs for primary transportation, as my generation did. We grew up understanding that driving is a privilege, not a right.

I suggest that Ms. Smith advocate instead for adequate and safe bicycle lockers at JDHS, so that students who choose a healthy way to go to school have a place to park where their vehicle won't be stolen or vandalized. If she gets rid of her car and walks to school, she would be doing herself, her fellow students, and her community, already overwhelmed by too many automobiles, a great favor.

Dennis P. Harris

Juneau



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