SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Open Letter to DOT: Make Safety a Priority
By Kay Sims and Terry Wanzer


October 16, 2006

Department of Transportation
State of Alaska
Mr. Malcolm Menzies, Director
6860 Glacier Highway
PO Box 112506
Juneau, Alaska 99811-2506

Dear Mr. Menzies,

The highway construction going on directly in front of the Best Western Landing is costing us approximately one to two thousand dollars a day in business reaching the point of being ludicrous, ridiculous, and most important of all, extremely dangerous. We value our guests,customers and employees and hold our breath every time we see one of them cross the street. There are no crosswalks, no crossing guards and absolutely no sidewalks.

Many of our guests are from the Seaview Terrace and the Pioneers home and their only access is walking down the one lane highway to get here. The only access from the Alaska Marine Highway System, the IFA and the parking lots across Tongass, is literally taking your life in your hands and bounding across the street across piles of dirt. It is unbelievable. Our hotel guests who need to access the Post Office, the A&P Market, the Pioneer Home or Medial Clinic, must go down the middle of the highway to get there.

Most drivers are courteous but not all of them and then it is highly distracting as the contractor needs to keep changing the lanes and the availability of the turn offs to the post office and the parking lots. So a driver must be extremely vigilant to avoid hitting crossing families while and at the same time figuring out which lane to take to get where they are going.

Our office looks directly out on the highway and we have seen so many near accidents it is only a miracle that no one has been killed. A small dog was injured the other day and that could have easily been a child. We have approximately 500 to 600 people a day through the hotel and restaurant right now (this is way down due to construction) and the majority of them park across the street or are arriving on the ferries so they must cross this highway. Our hotel guests who need to access the Post Office, the A&P Market, the Pioneer Home or medical clinic, must walk down the center of this two lane highway.

If you are going to have this work go on any longer you must put in sidewalks and you must have crossing guards or we are going to have a major calamity which I don't think anyone wants to see.

It would be nice if someone could tell us how much longer we will be so directly affected here at the Best Western landing.

Please make safety a priority in front of our property.


Kay Sims and Terry Wanzer, Owners
Ketchikan, AK
(October 10, 2006)

Received October 13, 2006 - Published October 16, 2006



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