Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Highway doesn't need 55 mph standard


The Chilkat River/Haines Highway corridor is a destination, a place to go to, to spend time in, an attraction and asset to our community, not a place we need to coax folks to speed through at 55 mph.

As long as the 55 mph standard is in place, we aren’t going to be doing this right. As long as the 55 mph standard is in place we are letting the folks at the Department of Transportation bully our community into destroying one of its most important assets, the Chilkat River corridor within the Haines Borough.

Mile 3.5 to Mile 12 along the Haines Highway includes high public use areas, used by folks who live in Haines and folks who visit, like Yukoners, for example. Mile 12 to Klukwan is part of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. The entire highway is crossed by wolves, coyotes, moose and bear. Vehicles speeding through at 55 mph won’t help these animals or the people who run into them.

A 55 mph standard means more fill in rivers and wetlands, which is not healthy for the fish in the river, the waterfowl who rest and forage alongside, or the people who recreate here. Bicyclists will be less safe when folks are speeding by at 55 mph or more. The basic premise of the need for a 55 mph standard along the Haines Highway/Chilkat River corridor needs to be challenged by the entire community if we are to be the best we can be for the future.

Kathleen Menke


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