hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Parking at Maple Beach

A month or so ago, I mentioned various peoples' concerns about the fact that there is effectively no public parking at Maple Beach, even though it is a Public Beach which you might think would require it to have some public parking during the second century of the automobile.  Which absence makes it problematic, especially in the summer for tourists, but also for people who don't live within easy walking distance of Maple Beach.  For example, Me.  The natural area for parking would be along Roosevelt, which is to say, along the border.  I brought that issue to the Community Advisory Committee (which advises the County on Point Roberts' concerns), and Chairperson Reber then kindly mentioned the issue to the County Public Works Department in a message including a variety of other concerns.

I was pretty taken with the Public Works guy's reply to this particular query, which reply was distributed to the people who came to the last CAC meeting (the one that adjourned abruptly).  Thus, I am reprinting it in its entirety below:

"Parking along Roosevelt: The ten-foot wide grass strip along the US side of the border is the International Boundary Commission Exclusionary Zone.  Whatcom County has a long record of being instructed by the multiple agencies involved that nothing is to be constructed within this zone.  I can not tell you why they [the Canadians] have been allowed to build right up to the border on the Canadian side. In addition, our Sheriff's Office has recently been contacted by Homeland Security for assistance in preventing parking that is currently occurring at the extreme east end of Roosevelt Way.  The challenges in attempting to create parking within this zone are monumental if even possible."

Although there is every reason for Point Roberts residents to think, feel, and believe that it makes sense to allow beachgoers to park cars there-- reasons that in a debate or a logic contest would probably be easy winners--we are, alas, not in a debate or logic contest.  We are in a power contest and the Dept. of Homeland Security has repeatedly shown itself to have vastly more power than do mere citizens.  I'm not in favor of that, but in the absence of having a law degree so that I could devote myself full-time to this issue (and coubtless losing, even then), I am willing to give up.  Shakespeare, that guy, said something about 'discretion being the greater part of valor.'  That's not 'discretion' as in 'being discrete'; that's 'discretion' as in knowing when/where to pick your battles.

No parking at Maple Beach, I'm afraid.  Very sorry about that.

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