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There have been two articles in the “My Turn” section of the Juneau Empire this week:  Yesterday “What Kind of Ferry System Do You Want?” by Bob Doll, and this morning “Southeast Residents Need to Take Action to Protect our Ferry System” by Dixie Hood.

So, if you care about our ferry system, it’s time to act.  I did.  Unfortunately neither of the two articles gives the link to submit comments online – I eventually found it: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/stwdplng/projectinfo/ser/newwave/SATP_FINAL/thoughts.shtml

Here’s what I said:

“I strongly disagree with any decision to eliminate ferry transportation from Bellingham, WA. This would strand (more likely eliminate) visitors from the lower 48 wishing to visit southeast by flying to Seattle and traveling up the Inside Passage by ferry.  The option of renting a car and driving the 1002 miles to Prince Rupert to catch the ferry there, or booking an expensive flight to Prince Rupert  for the same reason, would be a huge disincentive to visitors.   This ferry trip is a magnificent attraction to tourists visiting southeast, not to mention a godsend for those of us who need to go south to make major purchases which cannot be shipped back home by air.  In the last three years I’ve made the trip three times, and each time I am extremely grateful that we have the ferry to Bellingham.

“The Alaska Marine Highway is one of the features that makes Alaska unique, and its value to the state in informing tourists and others about our unique geological and cultural heritage is priceless.  The designation of the Marine Highway as a national Scenic Byway speaks to its scenic, natural, historical, and cultural value.  Abolishing the already tenuous link to the lower 48 by eliminating trips to Bellingham would be disastrous.”

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