Terminal development

To the Editor:

My idea for the development of the ferry terminal property in Bar Harbor includes some valid and already discussed uses for the ferry terminal, without building a cruise ship pier, and some ideas that offer solutions for our very real parking problem and better circulation and less congestion caused by cruise ship tour buses.

It also offers more areas for recreational of access. Most importantly, it offers the greatest opportunity for cruise ship passengers to contribute to our economy while enjoying our town and our park.

It also would help limit cruise ship visitation growth by only appealing to those cruise ships that want to tender. It would leave out the huge ships who do not want to tender at all.

Cruise ships will always want to come here because Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park always will be desirable destinations. We welcomed cruise ships over 40 years ago because they brought visitors here without cars. Ships extend our summer season and are gone at the end of the day. Some of these people return in their cars, and I imagine a few of them even live here now

I sincerely believe that all of this will cost a heck of a lot less than $37 million dollars I’ve seen estimated elsewhere.

The town should use the ferry terminal property to create a cruise ship tendering facility to handle tour bus operations only. Passengers would have the option of returning to the terminal to tender back to ship or being dropped off in Bar Harbor to shop or dine and being tendered back to ship from there.

The facility should have a protected summertime recreational marina and boat launching ramp. Wintertime facilities for fisherman would keep them from moving to Northeast Harbor.

There should be docking facilities for local ferries and a potential return of the international ferry to Canada. Other potential uses for docking would be a docking facility for ships servicing future off-shore wind farms.

The lot could also be used to create a transportation hub and parking area (Parking garage?) for the Island Explorer and other transport services.

It also could be a hub for kayak companies to take pressure of the Bar Island bar.

The town could reconfigure Harborview Park’s curb and parking area to better serve bus pick-up and drop-off when needed for cruise ships or other transportation needs that arise.

A multilevel dock at Harborview Park with dinghy floats would provide for local recreational uses such as kayak storage and distribution of information by the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

This would relieve congestion and bottlenecking during high stress times, such as cruise visits and Bar Harbor Whale Watch boat loading.

The Newport Drive Parking Area would be used for noncruise ship-related tour buses from out of town.

The Mount Desert Street, Agamont and Harborview Park area would be used for dropping off tour passengers in three different locations with buses exiting as soon as passengers are dropped off. Buses head back to the ferry terminal or back off MDI.

Jefferson G. Dobbs

Bar Harbor

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