Whatcom County soon will get a better idea of the impact cross-border travel has in this area.
The Whatcom Council of Governments is partnering with Western Washington University's Border Policy Research Institute on a large-scale survey of travelers going through the five Whatcom County border crossings.
Western students working with the border institute will be administering the survey through late July. Students are asking randomly selected drivers to participate in an interview, which usually takes less than two minutes. Questions will be about travel trends.
"We're doing most of our interviews when cars are waiting in line anyway, so most people are happy to answer the questions," said Hugh Conroy of WCOG in a news release. "To set up this project in a safe and efficient way, the help we've gotten from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency has been tremendous and is essential."
Initial findings will be available in the fall. A second wave of surveying will be conducted in February to control for seasonal differences. A final report will be completed by spring 2014.