“Queuing Alternatives Analysis” Before County Council 2/28

County Council will be asked to vote next Tuesday, 2/28,  on a $22,460 contract for a “Queuing Alternatives Analysis” at the Gooseberry Point dock area. The matter is on the Council’s Consent Agenda, which means the Council expects to agree unanimously to approve the expenditure.*

Here is the exact wording on the Council’s agenda, along with a link to the full Agenda Bill (to see the detailed document of what’s being requested of the contractor who successfully bid on on the project click on the link below to AB2012-098):

Request authorization for the County Executive to enter into a contract between Whatcom County and Transpro Group, Inc. for the Gooseberry Point Ferry Terminal Queuing Alternatives Analysis, in the amount of $22,460 (AB2012-098**)

Here’s some background information copied from a Public Works letter to County Executive and Council included in the Agenda Bill:

Background and Purpose

In the Uplands Lease Agreement for Lummi Island Ferry Use at Gooseberry Point, Whatcom County
committed to implementation of traffic queuing measures at Gooseberry Point terminal in order to reduce
the backup of vehicles waiting to board the ferry along Haxton Way/Lummi View Drive. Under the terms
of the lease agreement, these measures are to be implemented by October 1, 2012.

This contract provides for traffic queue modeling and queuing alternatives development, including
cost/benefit analysis, for Gooseberry Point.

Seven (7) consultants were invited to submit a project proposal for this work based on their
qualifications in the Engineering & Architectural Services Request for Qualifications (RFQ #11-01).
Three (3) project proposals were received, and Transpo Group was selected by a panel comprised of
County and Lummi Nation representatives as the most qualified for the scope of work.

A copy of the proposed contract is also included in the Agenda Bill documents (linked above).

Whether or not this cost will be treated as capital expense or operating expense (which impacts fare recovery) is not clear. The Agenda Bill says it will be charged to Professional Services, which is sometimes part of operating expenses. However, the letter from Public Works says the project “is included as Item No. 25 on the approved 2012 Annual Construction Program, CRP No. 912006: Ferry Queuing”, which I think would be capital expense. I’ve asked Public Works to clarify.

According to the contract, Phase 1 will include onsite inspections and collecting data from the County about current queuing as follows:

Gather and Summarize Available Data: All available ferry ridership data, including vehicles and
passengers, will be obtained from the County. The data should be segmented by month, day of
the week, and scheduled departure. For times when some vehicles are unable to board due to
ferry capacity constraints, the typical number of vehicles that remain /length of queue and the
frequency of occurrences willl’leed to be provided or estimated based on stakeholder input. Daily
traffic count data for Haxton Way and base maps of the ferry terminal will also be obtained from
the County to help determine approximate vehicle arrival rates, and assist in developing the
vehicle queuing model and preparing conceptual alternatives for consideration.

From that data, Transpro will develop a queuing model.

Phase 2 will lead to concept drawings, timelines, and cost estimates of up to three possible queuing plans for reducing queuing impact.

For full details, please see the Agenda Bill document linked above.

Another point on which I’ve asked for clarification is the definition of  “stakeholders” in the contract. Several places in the contract refers to presentations, meetings, and feedback from “stakeholders.” I’ve asked Public Works who that will likely include.

* Here’s what the Council agenda says about how Consent Agenda items are handled:

Items under this section of the agenda may be considered in a single motion. Councilmembers have received and studied background material on all items. Committee review has taken place on these items, as indicated. Any member of the public, administrative staff, or council may ask that an item be considered separately.

** This document has been stored on the Ferry Documents Archive website at:

One thought on ““Queuing Alternatives Analysis” Before County Council 2/28

  1. Nancy – have you learned anything about who the ‘stakeholders’ are? I’ll bet you a delicata squash from last summer’s garden that islanders and maybe even ferry workers aren’t included.

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