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Re: “Park Versus Ferry

Good summary of the status of the Berkeley Ferry. It is always worth reminding us how expensive and ineffective the ferry will be.

Still, ferries are worth having as quality-of-life amenities, if not for solving transportation problems. As such they should not be subsidized at higher levels than other public transit modes that cover the same route.

The environmental case for avoiding the Gilman or Buchanan sites has been seriously overstated. Of course ferries can disturb birds, but the hard data does not support any significant effect on the bird populations due to intermittent transit of ferry boats. There are other good reasons for favoring the Berkeley Marina sites over the Eastshore State Park sites, mainly politics, land ownership and the existing mix of waterfront uses.

Of the two Berkeley Marina sites, there is one important fact that you seem to have backwards: It is the fishing pier site, not the site near the Doubletree hotel, that would have the most significant negative impact on recreational marina users. Windsurfers, kayakers and small boat sailors will not be affected at the Doubletree, but access to the Bay may be seriously restricted if these users have to compete with ferry commuters for parking near the fishing pier.

The Doubletree site also has the advantage of being potentially far less expensive than any of the other alternatives for a number of technical reasons, especially the shared use of the dredged marina channel and breakwaters.

It makes no sense to spend millions building a second harbor and dredging a second channel that will parallel the existing marina infrastructure.

Paul Kamen, Naval Architect, Berkeley Waterfront Commission

Posted by Paul Kamen on 11/26/2008 at 12:21 PM

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