Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 8:43 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

East End Road plans need to be put into effect sooner, not later

As a teenager born and raised in Homer, with a busy schedule and a love for an athletic lifestyle, I like to bike and travel with efficiency. Now if I lived in town I would not have much of a problem because there are maintained sidewalks, bike paths and even a boardwalk or two throughout the city limits.

Instead, I live seven miles out East End Road where most of the 45-mph zone road has a non-existent shoulder and people driving far above the speed limit throughout the day. The state has promised to continue the relatively new bike bath farther out East End Road for years now, and they are not following though on their word.

I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about wanting a safe bike and pedestrian path, for I see people everyday risking their lives while trying to bike or walk on East End Road. Some are braver than others and don't mind being 20 times smaller than the semi taking a sharp corner beside them.

I, on the other hand, would prefer to not have to worry about my family having to come and clean my guts up from across the road. I would love to be able to walk an easy five minutes down the road to my friend's house or bike up the hill for a snack at the Fritz Creek General Store, but for the care of my own safety, I won't. My parents feel the same way and do not want to put my life in jeopardy for just a bite to eat.

I understand that funding may be an issue, along with good timing with the seasons. If the community and the state were able to plan and find the funding for the first two miles of East End Road, then I am sure they can find a way to do it again for a few extra miles.

I am also aware that many people living near East End Road have property lines that exist all the way to the ditch, and that extending the shoulder of the road would cut into their property. But just think of what giving up a few feet could do for both them and the rest of the East End community.

After several years of meetings and discussions, it's time to stop talking and start doing. For all those who have already been working hard for this issue to pass, thank you, and I hope that our efforts be put into action soon.

Mariah Stuart