Story last updated at 3/13/2013 - 2:06 pm
Do you go to Douglas often? Would you like to? Well, this has been a big discussion for years. There should be a second crossing from the Valley to North Douglas.
A reason people want a second crossing is because it's more convenient for most people who live in North Douglas as well as Valley residents who want to live in North Douglas. For example, Eaglecrest skiers and snow boarders need to take a 20 to 30 minute drive (give or take) just to get to the road leading up the mountain. Having a second crossing would make this trip much faster. I asked Heavyn Stears, an eighth grade student what she thought about having a second crossing and she said, "Yes, there should be another way to get to Douglas. It would save money on gas." When I lived in Douglas it was hard to get somewhere on time, and a small trip to the store became an aggravating errand. In the winter, sometimes the road would be so bad that I would need to stay home and miss school because we could not drive down Douglas Highway. If there were a bridge that was not as far away from where we had lived, I may have gotten to school on those snowy days.
Furthermore, I think more people might want to live in North Douglas if there were a faster way to get there. Eighth grade student Hannah Harrington she said, "A lot more people would want to move to Douglas if they had a faster way to get there." Dylan Magnuson, another eighth grader said, "It would let people travel more quickly and I think that would give them a good reason to want to live out there."
The final reason we need another crossing to Douglas is because of safety issues. According to the Voter Information Municipal Election packet of Oct. 5, 2005 there are statements that the police and fire departments of Juneau strongly agree to having another bridge. The bridge would help them get to an emergency faster and more safely. Driving safely is something I worry about. Around the month of November 2009, my mom and I were in a car accident on North Douglas Highway. I bruised the bones in my foot and my mom suffered from neck stiffness. It haunts me to think that if we were farther out North Douglas or someone was hurt more seriously, would help have come in time? Would you be reading what I am saying right now? There are a lot of fatal accidents that have happened in Douglas, and I think if there had been a faster way to get to those people they may have been alive today.
However, I do understand why some people would not like having another crossing. Douglas does not have a lot of traffic and by adding another bridge traffic would definitely increase. Still, there are many more reasons to build the bridge than not build it.
In conclusion, there's no question that we should build a second crossing from Douglas to the Valley. Not just because it's more convenient for the people who live there, but also for the people that could live there, and for the safety of anyone passing through. So come on Juneau, let's start building.