Major Dry Dock Parking Changes (?)

Below is an email from Pat Dunn (email is part of the public record, as it went to all task force members) with some hearsay / information about dry dock. I’ve emailed Frank Abart for confirmation or refutation, but I know that we all have been planning for months based on past dry dock experiences and need a heads up ASAP if there’s to be a radical change.

I believe that ALL islanders, should have the equal opportunity to lobby for what they need during dry dock. No way for that to happen without sharing Pat’s information broadly.

Perhaps it’s finally time for islanders to collectively propose serious  practical ways to restrict the number of cars at Gooseberry Pt. during dry dock, e.g., no more than one vehicle/family, or none permitted to park for more than 3 days, or paid parking for commuters and others needing to travel daily.  

We need better solutions, ones that work for all of us whose lives depend on using the floating county road between the mainland and Lummi Island.    Rapid, thoughtful effort by a few determined volunteers could generate a viable proposal, I think. This is NOT one for the Task Force at this point in time.

From Pat Dunn:

Sent: 7/23/2011 1:53:23 PM
Subject: dry dock

Thought you might be interested . . .

While picking up trip sheets for Diane yesterday, I talked to Frank Abart for a few minutes.  He said that the lot directly across from the ferry landing (next to the fenced lot that is leased for ferry parking) will not be available to islanders for parking during dry dock, ie, parking will be severely limited; and cars parked illegally will be towed.

The subject of having foot ferry service during dry dock to both Gooseberry Point and Fairhaven was brought up.  The gooseberry service would be more limited than now.  There is parking in Fairhaven at the terminal ($6/day or $30/week locked at night, per the website).  There is WTA Go-Line (every 15 minutes) bus service.  Personally, I love this idea of a dry dock alternative in Fairhaven (as have several others I’ve mentioned this to) & will be lobbying for this choice.

While probably too late in the game for the task force to examine & make a recommendation, we can let PW know our own opinions.


3 thoughts on “Major Dry Dock Parking Changes (?)

  1. If a foot ferry to Fairhaven is a serious consideration for dry dock this year, maybe Public Works could also look at a downtown landing. I can’t remember who owns the vacant lots there but I do remember that they were looking at ways to generate money from that property, and at $6 a day (or less?), at least it would be something. If the foot ferry is fast enough (fast cat) it might make more sense to go directly downtown and be closer to the main bus hub and the majority of services. Also, with generally better weather conditions in the summer the fast cats could probably keep to schedules without any weather delays.

    • Have you looked at the fuel use of a Fast Cat? My guess the usage on a limited schedule would be about 300-400 gallons a day, the Chief uses an average of 142. It would require a crew of at least two, if you would like to pay for this additional feature, feel free to do it without any subsidy from the taxpayers, most of us would rather keep that for the current route which is struggling to keep operating. Trips would likely be a least $15.00 one way and it would not likely have enough riders to even come close to paying for itself. Both the WSF and BC Ferries tried this approach, the result was a dismal, expensive failure, and these were on routes of considerable ridership, not the paltry few we have here. I prefer to keep the use we have with the attendant high usability.

      There are other ways to insure adequate parking which a number of us are working on.


  2. When the ferry issues first became public, Tammy and I visited the Port of Bellingham offices at Fairhaven and later called the main port office to confirm what we had been told.

    (1) Yes you can rent a parking space for a day, week, month etc. BUT THAT DOES NOT GUARANTEE ANYONE A PARKING PLACE. iF YOUR CAR IS IN A RENTED SPACE IN THE PORT LOT AND IF YOU
    SHOULD HAVE TO REMOVE YOUR CAR FOR WORK OR SHOPPING THE PARKING SPACE IS NOT SAVED. If you come back and someone else has taken your space, too bad. You have to go inside and rent
    another space. With the likely blood bath generated by islanders fighting Alaska Ferry passengers, parking will be horrific and more than a little costly.

    (2) Street parking in Bellingham and Fairhaven is limited to 24 hours before your car is towed or the wheels are chocked. Thus you would have to go over every day and move your car to a different spot.

    (3) The gravel lots east of the port are private and parking is not allowed on them.

    It would be grand if one could rent a secure space that only the one renting the space could use. Unless the port has changed the game, that information is still good. We have not re-researched the parking issue since then.

    If Frank Abart has cut a deal with the port, then it surely would be nice to know.

    We hope this helps in some way.

    Tammy and Jim Strong

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