The Tazlina docks in Auke Bay. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)

The Tazlina docks in Auke Bay. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Unpacking the implications of a Cascade Point terminal

Let’s look at some of the unsaid items.

Thank you for your news story about Department of Transportation and Public Facilities’ next step forward in moving the ferry terminal to Cascade Point. Let’s look at some of the unsaid items. The Cascade Point terminal is planned for summer-only use, in other words to benefit commercial interests who want speedier access to tourist destinations in upper Lynn Canal. Sounds OK? Maybe not: DOT would benefit by not having to pay as much in salaries and benefits by shortening the work day, avoiding problematic union rules. Who pays more? It is likely the residents of Juneau and CBJ itself would pay more in order to save money for DOT: individuals and families will need to travel further, the public transit problem that already exists to and from the ferry terminal will be heightened; public money will need to go to road upkeep, public protection will need to be extended, as will emergency services of all sorts. Left unsaid is what happens after the tourist season when, we are told, daily service will not be needed. Will be terminal be available for use by current or future mining operations with or without compensation? What will be the impact of DOTPF having to maintain two Juneau ferry terminals?

Implied but not expanded on are two issues: a state paid for ferry terminal on leased land may give a competitive advantage to some commercial activities; creeping construction of “the road” that Juneau commercial interests have long espoused but has failed to pencil out or have broad support.

Unfortunately, I question that these crucial issues will be addressed in DOT’s study.

Margo Waring,


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