Dry Dock Parking For Disabled

The PLIC Board (Protect Lummi Island Community) prepared the report below and gave permission to post on the Ferry Forum.  There are 60 active individual handicapped permits & placards in zip 98262. It appears that the number of designated handicapped parking slots may increase to 19 this year (unconfirmed).  At the end, you’ll find the link  to the map of 2014 allowed and prohibited parking for dry dock at Gooseberry Pt. Thanks so very much to Rhayma Blake & PLIC for this clear, detailed and useful report — and all the work it took to produce and write up.

Parking for the Disabled during Dry Dock

During the public comment period of the October 1, 2013 LIFAC meeting, Candy Jones requested that the number of disabled parking spaces made available during dry dock be increased.  She shared her experience of finding none available and having to return to Bellingham, a heart condition making a long walk from her car to the ferry impossible.

LIFAC referred the issue to PLIC to explore and quantify the problem.  PLIC solicited letters or emails detailing concerns with the availability of parking spaces for the disabled during the 2013 dry dock in the October 2013 issue of The Tome and received one letter from islander Joy Krell.

ADA Guidelines require at least 5 spaces be designated for disabled parking at Gooseberry Point during dry dock.  Jim Loosen (360-359-4012) of the Washington Department of Licensing reports that there are 60 active individual parking permits/plates registered to owners in Zip Code 98262.  An individual is issued a single placard.

At the November LIFAC meeting, the matter was discussed briefly and it was suggested we document the number of parking spaces available during the 2013 dry dock with Public Works before requesting more.  A minimum of ten spaces was the number discussed at that meeting.

Public Works engineer Carl Hendricks is responsible for parking designations and has managed dry dock parking for several years.  In a conversation with him on December 11, 2013, he said that the number of parking spots for the disabled has increased from 15 in 2007 to the current number of 19.

All parking near the ferry dock is designated to either essential business services or the disabled.  The number of spots for the disabled has increased as Carl has reassigned slots from those businesses deemed not essential to the island during dry dock.  Businesses currently classified as essential are The Islander, the post office, UPS/Fed Ex, the school for hot lunch deliveries, and the library.

As an aside, Carl said he has personally monitored the use of the slots and noted that they all display ADA hangtags, but has seen instances of placards with identical numbers or instances of a placard being handed off to another approaching car.  Instances of placards with identical numbers should be documented and reported to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s department.  Carl said that now knowing the total number of placards on the island is 60, he will endeavor to continue to increase the number of spots designated as disabled as opportunities arise.

Candy Jones was updated on the situation and understands that Public Works is probably doing what they can.  It is suggested that PLIC run an educational article in The Tome before dry dock in 2014.   As requested, a map of parking spaces that are available is included.  “A” stalls against the road are for essential businesses.

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