A Peek at Likely New Queuing Plan on Gooseberry Pt

Here’s a short preliminary description of the re-queuing plan to be completed at Gooseberry Pt by October 1, 2012 (required as part of the Gooseberry Pt lease negotiation with the Lummi Nation).

My description is based on a recent conversation I had with Chris Brueske of Public Works. As things can and do change, my description should not be regarded as the Final True Word — we need to wait and see the Public Works official announcement when it is issued, probably some time during dry dock. I accept sole responsibility for any errors in translating what Chris said. If anyone has more information, please submit a comment with corrections.  (Bill Fox reported something similar on NextDoor LI.)  (The County Council reviewed the requeuing plans generated by an engineering consultant (cost $22,400) but decided all were too expensive to be implemented at this time.  The plan below is what the Council told Public Works to do in late July /early August.)

There will be 3 lanes in the ‘triangle’ area now used for parking:

  • one lane for traffic coming off the ferry
  • two holding lanes next to each other , with a space between the end of the dock (where cars will still line up, I’m pretty sure) and the start of the 2 holding lanes.
  • Some parking around the concrete island, including 3 handicapped spaces (…?).
  • Two loading lanes probably won’t hold all waiting cars in times of heaviest demand. It’s not yet clear to me how such situations will be handled.

How will drivers know how to line up & load?

  • Not by electronic signage (too expensive) to indicate which lane or car is supposed to load next.
  • Not by hiring a new county employee to direct traffic from the holding lanes onto the dock (too expensive), or by have a crew member to run off the ferry and down the dock to direct traffic.
  • Written signs will tell drivers how to line up and load.  PW has suggested wording for signs and asked LIFAC to get islander input on that wording, or to suggest alternatives.  I don’t know what LIFAC has done/will do about that. (email LIFAC members for more detailed information.)
  • The signs along with a so-called ‘honor’ system are supposed to ensure that loading will automatically happen smoothly, quickly and fairly — even for people who’ve never used the county ferry before.

For more information, please contact LIFAC, who presumably have more direct-from-Public-Works information about the new queuing plan.

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