Brenner, Ging Emails on Inadequate Dry Dock Parking

Nancy Ging forwarded this email exchange with Barbara Brenner to the Ferry Forum concerning Public Work’s announcement of greatly reduced parking during dry dock.


From: Nancy Ging
Sent: Aug 4, 2011 12:16 PM
Cc: Colleen McCrory , WynneBill Lee , “Whatcom County Council Office (” , Pete Kremen , Frank Abart
Subject: Re: 2011 Dry Dock Parking Map

Thanks, Barbara. That’s exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about. If we and the County are going to pay a fortune to keep operating the ferry at Gooseberry for another 35 years, there have to be ways for people to get back and forth legally without getting their cars towed and without the stress of wondering if they’ll be able to find a place to park or have to stay on the mainland every night after working all day. This is going to be a problem during drydock for every one of those 35 years. Frank can ask everyone to be frugal about how they use the spaces, and the majority of us will be (and always have been). But the reality is that every commuter, everyone who has a health problem that requires getting to town either frequently or quickly, everyone with kids who do extracurricular activities–all those people need transportation on the mainland during drydock. Drydock parking has always been difficult, but at least it has usually been possible to find a legal spot eventually. Reducing the spaces by one third makes the situation desperate. Right now there are no reliable and reasonable alternatives for most people to get to town without a car. The bus service is simply too infrequent, difficult to manage with a load of supplies,  and scheduled badly to match the ferry times.

I really appreciate your concern. As always, you seem to understand the human terms of the problem.
Even a shuttle to a parking lot on the edge of town would be helpful. There’s a private parking area near the freeway entrance at Slater Rd. I don’t know who owns it. It might be possible for a shuttle bus back and forth from there to the ferry to make round trips in 20 minutes to match the ferry schedule. There also are some fairly large parking areas that seem to be little used around some of the businesses near that same area on Slater. They might be willing to help out for a reasonable fee, too. I believe WTA has offered a free shuttle van on the mainland side in the past for commuters if enough people could arrange a matching schedule and route. Perhaps this would be a good time to ask them to help for 2-3 weeks each year.
I do NOT think we should even remotely consider parking anywhere near the Casino. It seems clear we need a solution independent of Lummi Nation if we hope to have reasonable costs.
Thanks again for your concern,
Nancy Ging

Lummi Island

On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM, <> wrote:

I have asked the executive and public works director to look for alternatives, such as another parking place away from the ferry with shuttle service. I am not sure that is possible but if you have any ideas, I would definitely be interested.
I am so sorry about this.
Barbara Brenner
In a message dated 8/4/2011 6:40:47 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Thanks, Barbara! Is the County working on developing alternative options? The parking has never been adequate during drydock, and reducing it by a third is going to create some real hardships.

Nancy Ging
Lummi Island

6 thoughts on “Brenner, Ging Emails on Inadequate Dry Dock Parking

  1. I support Nancy Ging’s suggestions and hope that an alternative to restoring the 95 parking spaces will be resolved reasonably. We barely make it with the 95 spaces as it is. Please, please, please find an alternative to replacing the 95 spaces during dry dock. – Stella Benson

  2. Thanks, Nancy,
    As with all ideas – if not expressed, nothing can or will happen! At least, the problem has been brought to the attention of the “right” people. A workable schedule is the solution to a shuttle. Here’s hoping some good thinking will come into the picture!

  3. I emailed a copy of my suggestions to Barbara Brenner to my daughter Joan, who commutes along Slater every weekday. Here are her thoughts (with her permission):

    From Joan:
    I had tried to think about that lot, too. 20 minutes is too short for a round-trip from that lot, it takes more like 12 minutes to get to the island from that spot, and that is without a tractor pulling onto the road or commuter traffic slowing down or other unforeseen circumstances. I think it will need a minimum of 30 minutes to make the trip with load/unload times on each end. However, even if it only ran once an hour, most people could work that out just fine. The farthest parking spots were 10-15 minutes away walking-wise, so people are used to waiting a little while for the next ferry during dry dock.

    Second, you would ABSOLUTELY need security patrol there. It is fairly dark and exposed. So add that factor into the cost.

    I agree that a solution that would be independent of the tribe would be ideal. For political reasons as much as financial ones.

    I think having that lot available to commuters, particularly, would be good. You could reduce the number of hours a shuttle bus would have to run. If you told people commuter shuttles would be available between 6 AM and 10 AM and then 3 PM and 7 PM, for example, you’d be encouraging most commuters to park there. That’d be 8 round-trip shuttle trips/day if you did it once per hour, which all seems somewhat reasonable. It might be beneficial to have the day before dry dock include shuttle runs throughout the entire day to help everyone get their cars off the island to the lot. Same thing on the day after dry dock ends.


  4. I find it amazing that we use to be able to park across the street using almost the whole area.
    What has happened that we are not able to do this anymore?
    Who decides this?
    I’m beginning to think our representatives just don’t care anymore.

  5. Contact Frank Abart and Pete Kremen (respectfully, of course) about dry dock. I think that very specific, concrete ideas for dealing realistically with potential 😉 dry dock parking problems would be most useful and effective.

    At this point, we don’t know the what/why behind the reduced parking, To me, the biggest on-going problem we have is islanders being outside pretty much any and all information and decision-making loops.

    Thank goodness for the Ferry Task Force. I sincerely hope that their their intelligent, fiscally realistic and community-centered effort and report will at last show County government that islanders *can** contribute in a major positive way to solving some of the ‘ferry’ (including dry dock) problems we all (county, islanders, all ferry users) continually face.

  6. I agreed we definitely need to resolve the limited dry dock parking issue as soon as possible especially for those who made flight arrangements in advance to spend 9 full days on Lummi which means they can only stay 4 days prior to the first day of the dry dock then leave the island on the last day of the ferry run if they can’t park their car on Goosenberry for the remaining 5 days stay on Lummi. How inconvenient! We would like to know how many days can they park their car on goosenberry lot (if they manage to find a parking spot) without be towed away?

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