by Roberta McCreary
July 30, 2005
I am sorry Mayor Weinstein, but I am NOT convinced you've done the homework on this one. I live above Casey Moran Float...and according to the drawing in yesterday's paper, I may have the benefit of being one of the few residents in my neighborhood who will be able to glimpse the channel and Gravina Island between the two ship docks. (By the way, I noticed that drawing had float planes landing, but no float plane docks to go to.)
Since the discussion of new docks started and exorbitant sums were paid to consulting firms, there has been inadequate attention spent to upland development and transportation flow..to the effect on our community AND the comfort of the visitors who come here.
No money will come from taxpayers pockets? What is the basis of your casual reference to $10 million available for the uplands redevelopment? It's hard to believe that the $70 million will cover design and construction of docks and land developments to accomodate the increased traffic. If our pocketbooks are not tapped, it will only be because private interests have taken over the redesign of the uplands for their own benefit...without a workable plan and without consideration of the needs and comfort of our community and our visitors.
Where will people park? There is already inadequate parking for the residences in this area. Two small public lots, with 24 hour and 4 hour parking limitations, the remainder is street parking with 2 hour limits. It looks like the artist's depiction tried to make Water Street wider...I wonder how you are going to do that? Already there is not enough width for two people to walk on the North (West) side sidewalk.
What about the property values of our homes when the natural scenery is replaced with 13 story movable buildings?
I have also spoken to tourists who find their way onto our boardwalk. They are very troubled about the negative effect on the attraction of our community as we lose the pristine beauty of our area...with a very unattractive bridge (as depicted on today's SitNews)or the extension of the docks obliterating what little is left of our natural beauty and historic, funky shoreline. Maybe the projections of less cruise ship consumers coming to Ketchikan will continue to be true...because they just don't want to fight the crowds and uncomfortable conditions they face when off-loading here? Maybe new docks won't really increase the number of customers but reduce the number? Wouldn't that be ironic? Friends of mine visited here this week, from the Sapphire Princess. That ship, one of the newer jumbos, had only 2000 of the 2900 passengers berths sold, at the end of July in peak season. My guests complained about crowded streets and nothing but jewelery store after jewelery store downtown and then enjoyed a cup of tea on my deck as one way to see and enjoy our beautiful community. Well that won't be available to them here in a couple of years, will it! Have we asked the cruise ship customers what they think about our plans? Or only the cruise ship lines who hold us hostage?
Take a look at Terry Pyle's art enhanced photo of the narrows and the shoreline busy with whales, fishing boat, tug boat, Coast Guard ship and float plane...without cruise ships. Now superimpose five cruise ships...we may barely be able to see the spire of the First Lutheran Church at the West end and the radio towers at the East end...what an attractive sight as you come around Pennock Island and get your first view of Ketchikan!
I hope our community will give this initiative very serious thought and vote down this bond issue. I honestly believe this is a flawed plan without adequate land use planning to make it viable without hurting our citizens.
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