Day Before Dry Dock Update on Parking

The following is a string of emails between Nancy Ging and Whatcom County officials regarding dry dock parking and includes the latest parking map:

———- Forwarded messages ———-
From: Nancy Ging <nancy@turtlehome.com>
To: “Whatcom County Council Office (council@co.whatcom.wa.us)” <council@co.whatcom.wa.us>, Pete Kremen <PKremen@co.whatcom.wa.us>, Frank Abart <FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 23:33:38 -0700
Subject: SITUATION CRITICAL–Ferry Parking Update

Hello, all–
Just in case anyone was wondering, as of late afternoon today (Monday) the  ferry parking area promised by the Lummis was still full of fishing boats. It is hard to imagine how it would be physically possible for that space to be cleared and set up for parking in less than a day. Yet tomorrow is the last day the ferry makes vehicle runs. As a practical matter, it seems to me the County should proceed as if the promised space is simply not available.

The rest of the parking spaces are already full, and people have begun parking outside the County lots and closer to the boats for lack of other options. I can’t even imagine what will happen tomorrow at the end of the work day when there simply is no space left–and no time either. A lot of people have been waiting to see what the final parking choices are before taking their vehicle over.
The situation is past urgent and into CRITICAL. In fact, some feel we passed “critical” on Friday when there was still time to do something orderly, and are now into “emergency.”
I’ve heard there’s an alternate plan to use a WTA shuttle to the Ferndale Park N Ride, but I’ve also heard it is only a 15 passenger vehicle. That’s not even one commuter ferry load. It also will take almost exactly an hour (at best) to make a round trip from Gooseberry to the Park N Ride. During commuting hours, the ferry hauls at least 50-60 people in that amount of time. Would there be standing room on the bus? If that option is put into place, I can’t stress enough that we need to know ALL the details FIRST THING Tuesday morning. (For a lot of people that’s already going to be too late.) It would be rubbing salt into the wound to charge the Ferry Fund extra money for the service and have few able to use it. Please DO NOT WAIT. Only a few hours are left. For that option to work at all, the shuttle should start running as soon as possible on Tuesday so people have time to get their cars to that lot and get back home.
I’m sure it is difficult for non-islanders to imagine the stress Islanders are feeling right now. For us these are major considerations. Here’s just one example: A couple I know in their mid-eighties usually leaves a car on the mainland in case one of them has a health emergency. They are worried this year that if they park a car they will be using a space needed for a commuter who must drive to town every day. For the good of the community, they have chosen to have no car on the mainland this year. As a result, instead of being able to relax during the three weeks of drydock knowing they have a safety plan in place, they will be uneasy knowing if anything happens it will require thousands of dollars of emergency air transportation. There are plenty of people facing similar dilemmas for other reasons, too.
A commuter heading home at the end of the day who can’t find a parking space will be left with NO viable options. I know few who can afford three weeks in a hotel. What would you do? Park illegally, go home on the ferry, and risk an $800+ tow? Drive back into town and impose on the hospitality of friends? Sleep in your car like a homeless person? You may think I exaggerate, but all of these are being seriously discussed. What other options will we have? We’re counting on all of you to work together QUICKLY and get known alternatives in place.
Please help,
Nancy Ging
Lummi Island
758-2529

response…..
From: Pete Kremen <pkremen@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM
Subject: Fwd: SITUATION CRITICAL–Ferry Parking Update
To: dianab@lummi-nsn.gov
Cc: Frank Abart <FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us>, wynnelee@earthlink.net, colleen.mccrory@gmail.com, thetome@juno.com, nancy@turtlehome.com

Diana,
Please see the attached email from Nancy Ging.  As you can see the need for the additional parking during dry dock has not been addressed yet.  Is there anything you can do to provide the additional spaces as well as some assurance that this will be accomplished as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Sincerely,
Pete

*********************

From: Nancy Ging <nancy@turtlehome.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM
Subject: Fwd: SITUATION CRITICAL–Ferry Parking Update

Hello–
Just had a phone message from Pete. He says Frank Abart was just out at Gooseberry around 8:10 this morning. Frank says there is space clear in the Lummi area for at least 100 cars (despite the boats). He also said the only thing the Lummis haven’t done that they said they would is put up signs. Frank is supposed to be sending out an email to everyone with the updated parking information when he gets back to town, so no need to post this anywhere. I’m headed over to the mainland myself in about an hour to get my truck gassed up and run some final pre-drydock errands.

Thanks,
Nancy
*****************
From: Frank Abart <FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: SITUATION CRITICAL–Ferry Parking Update
To: Pete Kremen <PKremen@co.whatcom.wa.us>, Nancy Ging <nancy@turtlehome.com>Good morning, everyone.  I was on site at Gooseberry Point before 7:30 a.m. this morning to view the parking status.  The parking that the County always provides along the roadway to the East of the dock was approximately 20% occupied.  The parking in the fenced lot, County leased, was approximately 80% occupied.  It was the same a few hours later when I was on site again to meet with the Lummi Nation officials to clarify the space that they intended for us to utilize during dry dock.The area just adjacent to, and west of, the fenced lot is the area that has been authorized by the Lummi Nation for parking use during dry dock.  This is an area that has been cleared of boats and Public Works is now active placing barriers to more clearly identify the area.  There is a restricted space on the west side of this area that will be used by the Lummi Nation for boat staging and will not be used for any type of Ferry related parking – again, Public Works will be working to clearly identify these areas today.These spaces are very close to the docking area and will be a great help to the parking needs during dry dock.  As a result, there is not a movement in place to add an additional shuttle service on the mainland.  The parking capacity is very similar to what it has been in previous years for dry dock.Thanks for your patience and understanding regarding these pre-drydock issues.  A map more clearly identifying the lot will be posted on the web and sent out electronically in a very short time.       (Here it is:    2011BDryDockMap#2  )
***************************
I’m at Gooseberry right now and just spoke to some of the County employees setting up the parking area barricades. We have about 40 parking spaces where we used to have 95. I personally wouldn’t call that comparable, though it’s certainly better than nothing. The fenced area west of the year round fenced area is not available this year.
Also, there were spaces available when you were here this morning, Frank, because a lot of commuters had already gone to work. A lot of people also hadn’t taken their vehicles off island yet because they were hoping for some kind of final word about where to park.
Sincerely,
Nancy Ging
Lummi Island
758-2529
*************************
From: Nancy Ging <nancy@turtlehome.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: SITUATION CRITICAL–Ferry Parking Update
To: Frank Abart <FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us>
I’m at Gooseberry right now and just spoke to some of the County employees setting up the parking area barricades. We have about 40 parking spaces where we used to have 95. I personally wouldn’t call that comparable, though it’s certainly better than nothing. The fenced area west of the year round fenced area is not available this year.Also, there were spaces available when you were here this morning, Frank, because a lot of commuters had already gone to work. A lot of people also hadn’t taken their vehicles off island yet because they were hoping for some kind of final word about where to park.Sincerely,
Nancy Ging
**********************
From: Joan Ging <mindfulbreath@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: Ferry Parking During Dry Dock
To: PKremen@co.whatcom.wa.us, FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us, council@co.whatcom.wa.us, colleen.mccrory@gmail.com, wynnelee@earthlink.net, thetome@lummiislandcable.com

Hello,

My mother, Nancy Ging, has been forwarding me messages regarding ferry parking so that I know what to expect when I leave work today.  I appreciate that this information is being sent out, and am appreciative, too, of those who are making sure this information is disseminated to as many islanders as possible during their workday/school day.

I just finished reading Mr. Abart’s response regarding citizen concerns about the substantial decrease in parking spots.  I would just like to suggest some things that might be worth keeping in mind as Public Works assesses the viability of the parking areas that have currently been established:1. The best time to view maximum parking usage would be around 6:30 or 7:00 PM tonight (Tuesday), when the majority of daytime commuters have returned and parked their cars in preparation for walking across the next day.
2. Nearly all of the daily commuters will have left the island (and thus the parking lot) by the 8:20 ferry.  All school kids and the majority of daily commuters are gone by the 7:40 ferry.  Visiting the parking areas midday to assess usage will yield the LOWEST parking usage as opposed to the highest.  A midday visit will, however, provide a realistic idea of how many people park their cars that intend to use their vehicles infrequently – if at all – thus ensuring the spots will not be available to daily commuters.
3. It is unlikely that daily commuters bothered to park a car on the other side this morning (Tuesday).  They had to drive their cars into town today anyway, which would’ve meant losing any spot they had obtained the night before, so most will simply drive across today and hope to find a spot this evening.  In other words, even at 7:30 this morning the majority of commuter cars were not present.
4. Daily commuters also include highschoolers of driving age who are involved in additional credit classes or extra-curricular activities. They often arrive home after most of the daily commuters due to lessons/practices.
5. Even if shuttle service was infrequent and/or only during commuter times (6:00 AM – 9:00 AM, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM), having a shuttle to and from the Ferndale Park’n’Ride would help ensure that no one finds themselves in the situation of just not having a space at all.  Extra cost isn’t exactly ideal, but not being able to get home at all is far worse.
Thank you for your time,
Joan Ging
2113 Tuttle Ln.
Lummi Island
*************************************

From: BBrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us
To: bbgun1010@aol.com
Sent: 9/6/2011 3:58:42 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: Fwd: Dry Dock Parking Communication

—-Original Message—–

Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2011 15:58:19 -0700
From: “Lummi_Island_Ferry Lummi_Island_Ferry” <Lummi_Island_Ferry@co.whatcom.wa.us>
To: “Pete Kremen” <PKremen@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Subject: Dry Dock Parking Communication

Greetings from Public Works.

This brief communication is intended to clear up continuing questions regarding the additional parking provided by the Lummi Nation for the dry dock period. The parking is free and it is located adjacent to the current leased parking in the fenced area on Gooseberry Point. There are approximately 50 additional spaces. While this is not the number of replacements that we were hoping to acquire, it is the best that can be done at this time. The Department was very pleased to organize the spaces at the last minute in an effort to help with the short term dry dock parking.

Public Works was involved with placing some barriers and signs to better identify those spots earlier today. In addition, we will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate other alternatives as necessary.

Thank you for your cooperation and have a great September.

Thank you,
The Ferry Department
360-676-6692  whatcomchief.org

 

 

 

 




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