The reasons people are against the Juneau road are flimsy. Even with the road, many in town simply could not afford to take a ferry across Lynn Canal and then drive to Juneau. However, merchants who ship from Juneau could see lowered costs and jobs would be created in trucking, auto repairs and service, road repair, and accommodating Juneau visitors.
The road also would provide emergency transportation when planes can’t fly. It would save lives. It would mean more access for outdoor activities. It would also help people travel to work at the mine.
The road will not destroy the fishery. Roads have been built in many places where they haven’t damaged the local fishery.
What I see is some who want to box us in and limit our freedom to travel because they are afraid it will hurt their store or company. Any progress will help and hurt people. But it’s a good thing if it helps more than it hurts. What they fear is competition. Well, that’s the American way, and without it the consumer suffers.
They bring up all the reasons not to: road maintenance, avalanches, car accidents, environmental concerns. Well, we can keep ourselves boxed in and keep watching Haines stagnate or we can build the road and make things better.
Blocking this road is wrong. Blocking freedom of transportation is wrong. Distorting facts to prevent the road is wrong. But doing this for selfish reasons with total disregard for the people of Haines is dirty.