Gooseberry Pt Parking Lease Ends April 16, 2012

This just in from Jack Louws, in response to queries I’ve made the past week. (Update, later in day from initial post: In response to query, the ‘white paper’ Jack referred to in 1st paragraph was a 1 or 2 page talking points/wish list that the PLLC Board gave him during their meeting with him last Wednesday, Feb.  8, 2012). LICA liaison Bill Lee also attended that meeting.)

> [Original Message]
> From: Jack Louws <jlouws@co.whatcom.wa.us>
> To: <BBGUN1010@aol.com>; Frank Abart <FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us>
> Cc: Nadean Hanson <NHanson@co.whatcom.wa.us>; <wynnelee@earthlink.net>
> Date: 2/14/2012 8:22:17 AM
> Subject: Re: Fwd: April 16 last day of parking at Gooseberry?
>
> Good morning everyone,
>
> The ferry lease is going to expire on April 16th. I have a meeting with the Lummi Nation early in March, and I plan on bringing this subject up for discussion. The current PLIC board is not in favor of renewing the lease, as per the meeting I had with them this week, and as per their cost saving measure white paper.
>
> There is parking along the shoulder of the road that will continue to be available, but security will be an issue and concern for those leaving cars on the mainland.
>
> The end of the lease, and the offsite parking area, seems to be in conflict with the Nation wanting us to do a channelization study for the ferry loading zone at Gooseberry. While we may fix and compact the loading area, it appears we will clutter the roadway with parked cars with the elimination of the parking lot.
>
> At this time the decision has been made for us. The existing lease does not have a renewal clause.
>
> I am going to enter the discussion cautious, as I’m not sure I know all the ramifications of decisions yet.
>
> Have a great day,
>
> Jack

2 thoughts on “Gooseberry Pt Parking Lease Ends April 16, 2012

  1. I just emailed this letter to the council members, Jack Louws, Frank Abart and PLIC:
    Dear County Executive Jack Louws, Whatcom County Council Members, and Public Works Director Frank Abart,

    I am writing to you now to express my concerns and offer several proposals to help ease the adjustment for Whatcom Chief ferry walk-on passengers after the Gooseberry Point parking lot lease agreement ends.

    I’m a Lummi Island land owner and resident, and a regular walk-on commuter who works on the mainland. Since the latest ferry surcharge rate increase, I keep my vehicle parked at the Gooseberry Pt. parking lot almost all of the time for financial necessity and to assure that my presence at work is not interrupted by any unscheduled ferry back-ups.

    I generally support the cost saving recommendations of the Whatcom County Ferry Task Force and the County Public Works implementation of these recommendations for the long term viability of ferry service to the mainland from Lummi Island. But I seem to be one of regular group of walk-on commuters to the mainland that have not had much if any voice through the Ferry Task Force or the Protecting Lummi Island Community (PLIC) group to address our concerns for continued and ample ferry parking on the mainland. Walk-on use now, and especially during the busier summer season, decreases the need for extra ferry runs for vehicles and decreases vehicle wait time in-line.

    Since it appears at this time there will no longer be the additional expense of a parking lot lease and night security service, and there will be a subsequent decrease in the level of service for walk-on passengers, I propose that the $75.00 surcharge on a $40.00, 25 ride, pedestrian punch card be eliminated once the Gooseberry Pt. parking lot lease ends.

    I need to know where I can legally park. I further propose that roadside signage or other forms of designation for ferry commuter parking be created by Whatcom County Public Works for legal parking along county roadways.

    I would appreciate your serious consideration of these proposals, and I am available for more discussion or to provide additional information.

    Sincerely,

    John Robinson
    3679 Sunrise Rd
    Lummi Island, WA 98262
    360-758-7260

  2. Thanks for sharing your letter, John. Please be sure, once the new Ferry Advisory Committee is appointed, to bring them forward.

    Better yet — apply for the advisory committee. I for one think we need that committee to have at least one commuter who will make sure that commuter needs are considered. You’d bring other skills and balance to the group, as well.

    re: task force recommendations. My memory (you can check out their report using the link on the NEWS page) is that the revised fare schedule the Task Force recommended eliminated the $3 surcharge entirely, restructured fare categories and reduced passenger fares. (summer surcharges were added JUST for cash fares during summer months.) There was a *great* deal of discussion among the task force members, based on all the input (and it was a LOT) from islanders. Mr. Abart has, unfortunately, so far remained attached to the current inequitable $3 surcharge-for-all.

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