Rich Frye, a Lummi Islander with an economics background, has submitted to LIFAC the Case for a 24-car Ferry 052118, a short (2 page) data-based analysis concluding that a 24 car ferry would be the best option to replace the Whatcom Chief. Whatcom County’s consultants (KPFF) apparently will recommend to LIFAC a choice between two ferry sizes: a 20-car ferry (just a bit larger than the Whatcom Chief, unable to handle any increase in vehicle traffic) and a 34 car ferry that should handle projected vehicle traffic through 2060. KPFF has considered but will argue against a 28 car vessel, which they think would only be ‘marginally’ better than a 20 car ferry. Frye’s analysis indicates that a 24-car ferry would provide an intermediate-sized option that is preferable in cost and function to a 20-car, 28-car or 34-car sized vessel.
The idea that Whatcom County’s Lummi Island Ferry should have its mainland dock at Fairhaven or Bellingham, not Gooseberry Point, is raised every few years, most often by newcomers to the island or to ferry issues. Docking at Gooseberry Point is the option that County and most islanders have identified as the most feasible and cost effective choice. There are sound reasons for that choice, based on a factual analysis of multiple factors described in this report, which was researched and authored primarily by Charles (Chuck) Antholt, a Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee (LIFAC) member. The report was approved and published in 2016 by LIFAC.
(Note: While LIFAC’s county website includes this document, it is a bit hard to find there so is also on the Whatcom Ferry Documents Archive, an islander initiated and maintained database that was started because the County often discards documents after seven years. The Archive prevents loss of important historical information about the Lummi Island ferry and related issues.)
Links to these current draft (i.e., may be changed) documents are now available to read and comment on, by anyone who wishes to learn more about the *current* (not final!) preliminary information available from the County’s consultants (KPFF). KPFF was hired to analyze ferry level of service, consider options and estimate potential costs, pros and cons, for consideration by the community. Ultimately, the County Council will decide which if any option to pursue further. Please note that older unofficial, even more preliminary draft version/versions were circulated on a social media site without LIFAC approval. Directing comments to the drafts below will avoid needless confusion.
From: Nancy Ging <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: May 1, 2018 6:33 PM
To: LIFAC Announcements <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [LIFAC Announcements] Ferry Consulting Documents Available
To contact LIFAC, send message to: email@example.com</firstname.lastname@example.org></email@example.com>
Three options for improving Lummi Island ferry terminal facilities at Gooseberry Point are being considered as part of the County’s ferry system improvement project. Each option has substantial long-term financial, operational and other pros and cons. This paper by Protect Lummi Island Community (PLIC) summarizes some key aspects of these ferry terminal options.
The process for moving forward is for LIFAC, assisted by Public Works, citizens impacted by these options and the County’s consultants who are assisting with this project, to continue gathering and discussing pros and cons via meetings, an upcoming survey and comments submitted by individuals and groups. After analysis of all information, LIFAC will submit a recommendation (note: LIFAC decides nothing; it is just an advisory committee) along with all Consultant reports to the County Council. The County Council is the ‘decider’ on a preferred docking option, as well as replacement ferry.
A choice must be made about the size of the replacement Lummi Island ferry. PLIC-White-Paper-3-Demand-and-Capacity-Options- summarizes the planning consultants’ estimated demand for vehicle transport in the decades ahead, especially during ‘peak normal use’, generally commuting periods. It also describes how three larger ferries might accommodate that vehicle traffic. All three ferries could be operated with 3 crew members (larger vessels would require adding a 4th crew member, thereby increasing labor costs by 30%). There are trade-offs among these options on capital and operational costs, as well as on vehicle wait times when vehicle traffic is heavy.
Every month, the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee (LIFAC, a county-appointed members from both on and off island) meets to discuss issues related to the Lummi Island Ferry. These meetings are open to all and include a period at the beginning for 3-minute comments by attendees. Meetings are usually held at the Fire Hall on Lummi Island and once a quarter in Bellingham at the Whatcom Public Works building.
The Lummi Island Ferry System is part of Whatcom County’s road and transportation system, administered by Public Works. Operations are paid for partly by ferry user fees, county road taxes, some state funds, occasional grants.
More on the upcoming recommendations on Whatcom County’s planning to replace the Gooseberry Pt Dock and Whatcom Chief. Important stuff. If you want to have input, the next 3 months are crucial. Stu Rich, President of Protect Lummi Island Community, just sent out this summary.
Date: Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 12:23 PM
Subject: PLIC – Stuart Rich- President letter on 3/14/18 Ferry Meeting
PLIC- Stuart Rich-President
The ferry consultant, KPFF Consulting, and Whatcom County Public Works have laid out their options for a ferry replacement boat (20, 28 or 34 car capacity vessel) and the future Gooseberry ferry terminal location (1.the present location, 2. move north to convenience store location, or 3. purchase up to 8 private homes). Now it’s up to us to decide what is in the best interest of Lummi Island and chose a ferry replacement system that will serve our future needs through the year 2060.
Let’s start with a priority decision- location of the Gooseberry terminal. Staying at the present location is not viable. Lummi Nation has served us due notice that there will be no renewal of the present-day lease. The second option of the convenience store location would mean the continuation of expensive upland and tideland leases with the Lummi Nation which would continue to impact operational costs and fares. The third option of purchasing private homes coupled with a tradeoff – changing the county- right-of- way to accommodate the proposed Lummi Nation marina in exchange for the Nation’s support for a federal right-of-way over the tidal water dock area – would forever eliminate the need for lease payments to the Lummi Nation. This option is cost effective and provides a permanent solution
Choosing a long-term replacement boat is a complex process which is directly tied to the level of service (LOS), operational costs and fares, as well as the future growth of Lummi Island. How big of a boat do we need? After examining several studies, KPFF has pegged Lummi Island’s annual growth rate for pedestrian/passenger ridership at 1.54% and vehicle ridership at 0.76 percent through the year 2040. After factoring in current peak ferry usage, the consultants have projected a low- middle- and high range for the required boat capacity through the year 2060.
Tonight, 6:30, Fire Hall. (Agenda below) Rich Hudson, Senior Ferry Master, will report on ferry operations and maintenance plans. Main focus of meeting is progress update on ferry system improvement project, including more ridership data and islander input from November 2017 PLIC meeting.
LUMMI ISLAND FERRY ADVISORY COMMITTEE AGENDA
December 5, 2017, starting at 6:30 p.m.
At the Lummi Island Fire Hall, 3809 Legoe Bay Road, Lummi Island, WA
CALL TO ORDER at 6:30 PM
During open session attendees can speak on any topic. Each speaker will state his or her name for the record and will have three (3) minutes to address the Committee. The Committee requests that individuals intending to speak during public comments please submit the comments in writing for a compilation of public records.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
11/7/17 regular meeting
1. Update from Richard Hudson, Senior Master of the Whatcom Chief
1.2. Update on dock repairs and plans
2. Update on Ferry System Improvement Project (Middleton)
3. Discussion of 11/16/17 public meeting participation and questionnaire
4. Update on consulting work (KPFF Project Manager Cassandra
4.1. Current project status
4.2. Review of task summaries to date
4.3. Input from community questionnaires
5. Traffic data status (Skehan and Bailey)
6. Draft of letter to State Representatives about proposed ferry district
1. Skagit ferry design concepts public meeting on Guemes Island (Bailey)
2. Discussion of possible Ferry System Improvement Project phases (Ging)
On Tuesday January 3, 2017, the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee (LIFAC) will review the latest draft of their proposal to update the ferry ‘level of service’ (LOS) definition at their meeting at the Lummi Island Fire Hall (6:30-7:50 PM). 2017-01-03-lifac-agenda-and-draft-los-proposal. The public is invited to provide input on the draft proposal during the comment period at the start of the meeting (3 minute limit per person), in writing including email, and at the Protect Lummi Island Community (PLIC) annual meeting on January 17, 2017 at the Beach School auditorium.
After public input, LIFAC will finalize and vote on the LOS proposal. That proposal will then be presented to the County Council for consideration at the earliest possible date. This is the crucial next step in moving forward with plans to update the Lummi Island ferry system, including a new ferry, dock modifications (probably replacement) and ferry terminal improvements (e.g., parking). The step after that will be to request funding from the Council for the detailed work, including financial estimates, needed to form a feasible action plan.Read More »
UPDATE May 17,2016: Nancy Ging, LIFAC member, clarified the origins of this draft document on NextDoor Lummi Island (private site). The draft report is not part of LIFAC-County current long-range planning for any future changes to the ferry system. (re-posted with her permission).
“There is NO Fairhaven proposal currently under discussion, or even hinted. This report, initiated at the request of a County Councilmember, is intended only to summarize some of the major obstacles encountered by the County, LIFAC, and other citizen groups in the past when the recurring idea of a Fairhaven route was fully explored and rejected. It is not intended to be comprehensive or complete. The report is in draft form and is being submitted for public input, which will be attached to the report before storing it in the archives at the Library.”
Original post May 14, 2016. The Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee (LIFAC) has produced a detailed draft report on the feasibility of docking at Fairhaven (DRAFT–Ferry Service Lummi Island to Fairhaven, April 30, 2016). Chuck Antholt, who researched and authored the report, presented it at the May 3, 2016 meeting. The report makes two key assumptions: 1) use of the Whatcom Chief; and 2) no restrictions on docking at Fairhaven (unlikely, given recent input from the Port of Bellingham). LIFAC requests citizen input on the report (written preferred) at or before their June 7 meeting (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment at the meeting).