I note that recently some of my friends and neighbors are once again calling attention to the fact that Juneau has been overwhelmed with tourists. It has adversely affected Juneau as a community and on an individual basis. I know this as I live on Thane Road and am forced to run the Franklin Street gauntlet every day during the season. We also suffer the incessant noise from the floatplanes and helicopters.
But I doubt if anything can or will be done about it, at least anything that would actually make a difference for Juneau’s livability.
Some of you may remember an old sci-fi movie entitled “The Blob.” It is about an alien lifeform that consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. That is what has happened to Juneau, but it did not happen quickly. It happened gradually, insidiously over time, yet by invitation of our city fathers.
A few weeks ago there was a meeting of those concerned about the adverse effect the blob (excuse me, tourism) has had on our lives in Juneau. Those in attendance included several Assembly members, who apparently were there to remind the gathering about the benefits of tourism. Benefits? What benefits? I can only think of one, and that is money. But that is all that matters to the Assembly. Over time the names and faces on the Assembly have changed, but not their thinking when it comes to tourism. It’s like a variation of the old saw about General Motors. “What’s good for the cruise lines is good for Juneau.”