SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ketchikan's Airport Ferry
By Davey Lopes


October 18, 2007
Thursday PM

The promise of a bridge for 30 years has elected and re-elected many local politicians and sold many headlines in that time. And that is that. Hey let's do it again, shall we? It was so productive the first time. And second time. And tenth time. Etc, etc, etc.

Your emotional description of the ferry's attempt to perform over that time period may sell more headlines and/or get you elected but facts are facts and the ferry has been the most consistent byproduct of local government that they (local government) have their fingers on. That ferry is more consistent than electricity. That ferry is more dependable than the mail. That ferry is an example of what government should be.

I've done some research on the issue, more than just listening to the word on the street and reading farfetched politically motivated letters to Sitnews or Ketchikan Daily News. I'm not questioning anybody's facts or calling them a liar ... but if one person has three or four specific incidences where they have missed flights because the airport ferry wasn't running ... well that doesn't jibe up with the information I've received from ferry personnel and talking with DOT. From personal experience, what I've found is that my own poor time management is the reason I've missed a flight or didn't catch the proper ferry.

Do you truly think that any ferry crew present or past would ignore any community member late for a funeral? Apparently you do not understand that the boat is run by humans! And that those humans are better than average.

If weather is your specialty then you would know the ferry has performed her responsibilities to this community in wind storms that reached 100 MPH. Do you know what the average bridge closure winds are across America? God will not provide a weather waiver for Ketchikan Alaska, where physics do not apply.

How many days would people forego an important trip due to bridge failure per year? Will people be willing to accept that certain days the bridge will be closed - end of story.

In 30 years of riding the airport ferry, the system has never let me down. She's always been on time, never been late and I've never been late or missed a flight because the ferry was having mechanical or time problems or was not running. Not once. Would it be nice to be able to just drive to the airport whenever we wanted? Yes, of course. But it'd also be nice if the Cubs won the World Series. Some things just aren't meant to be.

Your bridge has some mighty big shoes to fill.

Davey Lopes
Ketchikan, AK

About: " Lifetime user of the airport ferry"

Received October 17, 2007 - Published October 18, 2007

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