July 4th HOLIDAY POST MORTEM
We been checking around, talking to dozens of slip and dry storage boaters as well as other harbor visitors. We thought you might be interested in learning of some interesting tidbits about the results of July 4th weekend Dana Point Harbor holiday management plan:
1. While the coordination of launches and haul outs was sometimes a bit like military logistics, there was never a time during the entire July 4th weekend when there wasn't at least a space or two available within the Embarcadero for incoming boaters. In fact, the launch ramp never closed (first time ever!) and not one boater wanting to launch their vessel was turned away.
2. For the first time since anyone can remember, the Embarcadero Marina staff received zero complaints about launch ramp parking and operations.
3. DPBA Board member Steve Carpenter monitored other boater aspects of the harbor crowd management plan throughout the weekend. While the picnic areas were completely filled starting very early all weekend, there was dedicated boater parking available in each lot most of the day on Saturday and until much later in the day on Sunday than in the past. Traffic on and off the island was smooth each time Steve checked.
Jim and Cynthia Treydte, s/v Sugar Lips, West Basin Island, provided typical feedback: "Crowded? Sure, it was that; but it was great weekend! Sunshine, plenty of parking when we got to the harbor at about 10 and traffic was under control both coming and going, even when we made a quick run to the store. Those folks at the gates really helped. We didn't have a single problem this year!"
4. As of last Friday afternoon, OC DPH had not received any complaints, the first time ever. Neither had the 5th District Supervisor's office.
5. It's now late Monday evening, more than a week after the 4th and zero complaints have been received by DPBA. Our blog, email, voice mail and have all been quiet this year. That's is a dramatic change from 2009.
6. The Island Way Bridge never closed. In the past it usually has closed for good by noon or so.
7. Most of the parking lots did fill up by noon on the 4th as expected, but because of careful screening to assure authorized parking only, as well as assistance by well trained staff, no adverse effects on boaters were reported. For example:
a) Gate attendants allowed boaters into the full lots to drop off gear and ensured they parked off site by holding their ID until they returned.
b) Golf cart shuttles were on standby for moving boaters' gear.
c) The Harbor shuttle buses reported transporting almost 200 employees and almost 1000 visitors over the weekend. There were quite a few guests of boaters who took advantage of this free service which helped a lot.
Our most sincere thanks to OC DPH for their efforts to develop and execute a balanced, comprehensive and workable crowd control plan. We sincerely appreciate their allowing us to participate in the planning process and their ready acceptance of our suggestions on behalf of our fellow boaters.
We believe that the greater we, namely OC DPH and the marina operators, the harbor merchants, the City of Dana Point and we boaters have finally come up with a template for the 4th of July that will work for years to come.
Thanks so much to all those who helped make this possible!
Your Board of Directors,
The Dana Point Boaters Association
PS, you may recall that we previously announced that DPBA has been working with OC DPH, the City of Dana Point, Supervisor Pat Bates and OC CEO Tom Mauk, plus others regarding issues with our existing slip rate structure. We are pleased to report that a cross functional task force has been formed, including boaters who already have slips of various sizes as well as others still on the wait list. This group of a dozen stakeholders will be meeting every two weeks, starting July 21st. Our charter is to study our slip rate structure needs, including what other harbors are doing, and to make formal recommendations for changes wherever appropriate. We will of course keep our members up to date.
Mission Statement:The Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating resources. We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor. We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective. We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials. We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders. We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.