Offers plan for downtown

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 13, 2013 

Back in January, Darby Cowles excellently presented the downtown revitalization issue. I walked out onto Bay Street, discovered the new Pickford theater location, saw the coffee shop across the street and thought"wow, wouldn't it be wonderful if visiting boaters could walk up onto Bay Street from slips on Whatcom Creek?"

The next morning I heard how Arnie Hanna refused to push no parking meters and angled parking. Then, I made a call and learned that there's too much fetch from southerlies for docks on Whatcom Creek.

Last Monday, while returning from the waterfront on my bike, I turned onto the old roadway between the creek and the old Grainery building. Voila! Remove that roadway, put a concrete wall against the Grainery's foundation, do some dredging and 15 to 18 32- to 42-foot docks suddenly should become viable with ample protection from southerlies.

Then, that night, I attended initial public testimony before the City Council on the port planning commission report. Toxins, parks, holding pond and standards for living-wage jobs but not once any mention of downtown.

My inclination, now, is small steps, first things first! Get rid of those meters. Put visitor berths for 30 or so boats tight to the Granary building. Put a high-stack boatel on Cornwall Beach, moving toxins inland in the process. Then watch the tax base on the bay side of South Hill explode while downtown with minimal angle-parked big rigs -- due to the boatel -- reinvigorates itself and our poverty rate drops to least in the state!

Terry Montonye

Bellingham

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