The City and Borough of Juneau is conducting a short online survey about what the community wants to see from Marine Park ahead of renovations. (Courtesy Photo / CBJ)

The City and Borough of Juneau is conducting a short online survey about what the community wants to see from Marine Park ahead of renovations. (Courtesy Photo / CBJ)

Opinion: Overcrowding makes Marine Park survey a silly exercise

No matter what they do the area will be overcrowded with tourists…

  • By Ray Preston
  • Tuesday, December 20, 2022 10:35am
  • Opinion

Currently, the City and Borough of Juneau is conducting an online survey about the future of Marine Park. It is posted at the CBJ website. The introduction to the survey states that the city “is in the process of planning upcoming renovations to Marine Park. The results of this survey will help direct renovations so that the park meets the needs of Juneau residents.”

As if.

The entire survey has an other worldly flavor to it. It has a false underlying premise, which is that Marine Park is even available for use by the locals during the only time of the year that one would want to use it, which is the spring and summer months, which comprise the tourist season. Increasingly in recent years the park is so crowded with tourists and businesses catering to tourists that it is a deterrent to the locals. So what is the point of asking local residents their opinion about renovations if no matter what they do it is essentially off-limits to the locals. Why bother?

The idea that the city really wants to know what the residents would like to see is belied by the very last question of the survey. Question No. 18 states as follows: “Write one word that describes your vision for Marine Park.” One word. Give me a break.

Here is what I would like to see. I would like to see some picnic tables under cover, but the entire area would be roped off with signs that read: “RESERVED FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS ONLY!” “ALL OTHERS, KEEP OUT!”

Perhaps I overstate, but here’s the thing, no matter what they do the area will be overcrowded with tourists and that overcrowding will deter use by the locals. This means their survey is a silly exercise.

• Ray Preston is a Juneau resident. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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