It would seem to me that before the government decides on whether they should relocate the Balfour ferry terminal to the proposed location at Queens Bay some efficiencies could be put in place immediately to remedy the problems identified in the Lavalin report. Some of the problems identified are the effects of prop wash on the underside of the ferry hull and lineups at the loading terminals.
To alleviate the hull damage, regular dredging could be undertaken in the channel.
Regarding the lineups, unless the actuaries show that there is going to be a massive increase in the residential population of the Kootenay Lake area to justify a relocation, the lineups that occur during the winter months are rare and only when the Salmo-Creston highway is closed due to avalanches. The other lineups are during the summer months when two music festival are scheduled.
Efficiencies could be implemented to alleviate these summer lineups with a motorcycle-only lane at each ferry terminal which would allow motorcycles to be requisitioned on an as needed basis to fill the gaps created during the loading process.
These gaps occur between vehicles and in unused parking spots on the sides of the Osprey 2000 ferry and the MV Balfour.
This change in policy would allow the capable ferry attendants to implement these improvements and counter some of the negative publicity about motorcyclists who are some of the most polite people on the roads because they rarely hold up traffic.
Patrick Mackle, Kaslo