Ferry Long Range Planning begins on Lummi Island

August 19th, 2014 marked the day a group of citizens began the task of fulfilling one of LIFAC’s county mandated duties, under enabling ordinance 2012-005, calls for section: ” E. Research, review, and make recommendations regarding ferry replacement, long-term planning, parking, transportation to and from ferry docks, alternative docking locations, alternative funding sources, and other major capital and operational issues regarding ferry service to Lummi Island.”, with the formation of a new subcommittee for Long Range Planning.  I wanted to introduce you to it’s newest members selected that evening.

Rich Frye, PhD Economics – Recently retired WWU Professor and goto guy on surveys, assessments, and learning cycles. Richard is a veteran of the former Citizen Cmmte on sub-area planning from 2002, resulting in the current zoning and land use plans in the Comprehensive Plan, which includes a required transportation element, level of service, and concurrency of transportation projects to meet the WA Growth Management Act.   Richard currently runs the Artisan Wine Gallery on Lummi, so comes with a small business perspective and ear to the ground as spirits are tasted.

Beth Walukus, – Recently retired Deputy Director of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, with a Masters degree in Transportation Planning from UC-Berkeley.  She managed the planning department for the largest county in the bay area, resulting in various studies, documents, and a $10+ bil. long range capital budget for roads, buses, alternatives, and even two ferries.  Travel demand models, LOS (level of service), and congestion management tools she brings puts a professional face to our recommendations to LIFAC and the Council.  Beth and her husband have been part timers since 2005, and now live full time on Lummi.

Rhayma Blake – Currently President of PLIC (Protect Lummi Island Community), and owner of Mario’s Finest spices, brings a long history of involvement with Lummi Island ferry issues.  Rhayma attended all of the Ferry Task Force meetings of 3 years ago, has been involved with too many community issues to mention, and her participation in Saturday Farmers Market on Lummi, current Secretary of the Congregational Church, along with PLIC, gives her a unique sense of community.

Mike Skehan – Resident of Lummi Island since 2007 brings a history of transportation advocacy from King County, where he retired from the Transportation Dept as part-time trolley driver and home remodeler.  As past Secretary of the All Aboard Washington, and Co-Founder of Transportation Choice Coalition, Co-Chair of King County Sounding Board, past Secretary, then VP of the Lummi Island Heritage Trust and Chair of Strategic Planning Cmmte, Mike brings a citizens viewpoint to the table on transportation issues.

The above four members will join the Long Range Planning Cmmte (LRPC), along with current members of LIFAC, Chuck Antholt and Byron Moye, who’s credentials are equally impressive and part of the public record on LIFAC.  

The Committee hopes to involve the community in determining our past, present and future with regard to providing for sustainable ferry service to and from our Lummi  Island.  We will work closely with the Ferry Technical Subcommittee recently created by LIFAC to explore vessel issues and make recommendations to LIFAC.

Mike Skehan, Chair, LRPC

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