The virtually unadvertised removal of the 6:40 a.m. run on last summer’s schedule and its subsequent reinstatement taught me two things. First, changes in the ferry system can have a direct, negative impact on me and my neighbors that goes beyond minor inconvenience. Second, contrary to my original perception, it is possible to get WSF to rethink decisions, but it requires a united front and getting to the right individuals to make that happen.
That said, I know there is a great deal of local concern regarding proposed reservation system. Something needs to be done to handle projected growth in traffic, particularly during the summer, but the system described in the report currently posted on the WSF website leaves a lot to be desired, particularly for permanent residents.
Kathy Booth and I attended a Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) in Friday Harbor last Friday and learned there that the implementation schedule is now at least one year behind (start no sooner than July 2012 instead of posted July 2011 date and perhaps even much later than that). We learned that the plan calls for formation of a local advisory committee and that there may be options other than reservations. We also learned that John Whetten, the Lopez FAC representative would appreciate input and support from Lopez residents. It seems that now is the time to try to make a difference.
This site will provide links to WSF and other officials, notices of pertinent WSF or FAC meetings, and perhaps a place for comments.
I will be in touch with John Whetten in the next couple of weeks to discuss next steps for working with FAC.
So, if you’re interested, we propose forming an informal advisory group to start working with John now. We think this can be low-key and not require a lot of time on anyone’s part- especially if we can form a core group of people willing to take turns attending occasional FAC meetings or public information meetings we believe will be held on Lopez, much of the rest can be done online. The main thing is to be informed and engage other Lopez residents who would like to work productively to helping craft a system that is workable for as many people as possible.
We would also like to add other Lopezians to this group. If you know someone who you think would want to be in the group, you may refer them to this website. Anyone can subscribe to receive updates via email–just fill out the subscription form in the sidebar of any page.