PHOTO-ESSAY. Imagine a 1,000 foot circumference, 300 foot wide floating ADA dock with a community pool in Princeton Harbor. It is visitor serving, but what if we partnered with ride sharing companies like Lyft, Uber and Chariot buses to reduce the traffic?
Kelly tells me the story of how he had tried to build a different kind of ADA dock that would have been part public and part Half Moon Bay Yacht Club Foundation. He couldn’t find any funding for it because it was not 100% public. In other words, people saw it as a Half Moon Bay Yacht Club project, not a public project.
He asks me if I might have any ideas on how we could fund the Ring? The version he showed me did not have a pool. I asked if he could add a pool and he said sure. Given that the HMBHS pool is rarely open to the public, I said put a pool in there and I can sell it to funders. We need a community pool badly. And I bet somebody local will fund it. And so he added the pool and that is the version that you are looking at today.
The pool will be a heated, filtered, saline pool. Kellie estimated the total cost for the dock would be around $2 million, including the pool. The reason why it would be so inexpensive is because there are only two jurisdictions: the Harbor District and the California Coastal Commission to deal with. Because it is floating on water, there’s no digging into land, except the attachment of the dock ramp to Vassar Street (San Mateo County). There are plenty of people on the coast who have had an interest in building a community pool, and have the money to do it.
I have spoken to Crystal Leach, of Cabrillo Unified School District (Head of Business), and there are plans to build an aquatic center up at the HMBHS, but that will be after they’ve remodeled the high school into two-story buildings. Then, they will have the space to build a pool behind the existing pool. Remodeling the existing bathrooms reduces costs, as the plumbing infrastructure is already there.
In the meantime, think about the 50% Latino population for Cabrillo unified school district. In my HMBHS Teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) class, through Deanna Tower’s Leadership class, up at the HMBHS, Cary Smith, the Deputy Harbormaster, asked the kids, when he was doing a presentation on water safety ~ how many could swim? One third of the class did not raise their hands and they were all Latino. I told the kids I would teach them during free swim during the summer, but the HMBHS was not open for lessons or free swim this last summer, again. (I’m working with CUSD to remedy this by next summer). Building this community pool will allow all of the kids on the Coastside to learn how to swim. The pool won’t be competing with the high school agenda and will be open sunrise to sunset, for everyone.
Kelly mentioned that Bellingham saw his circular dock as a very efficient manufacturing design. Usually, Bellingham has to customize their dock to a shoreline with some sort of custom water-to-land integration. Kelly’s floating dock is made out of the same piece, repeated over and over. Like a slightly curved Lego, each piece of the circular dock is the same! From a production point of view, this is a very compelling opportunity for Bellingham. Bellingham has a substation in Dixon, conveniently….
That got me to thinking that Kelly’s intellectual property, in the design of this dock, was really a very valuable piece of intellectual property that would be of great value to Bellingham. Because of its linear manufacturing potential, they would have a turn key dock system that could be sold to any municipality that is on the water, anywhere the world, whether it’s the ocean, a wide river, or a lake. And did I mention that Bellingham is worldwide? This could literally lead to a whole new division for their company. This is an amazing answer to an incredibly expensive permit mitigation problem that occurs in many locations when building near the water.
And, with sea level rise, this dock can be adjusted to meet the land as time and sea march forward!
So, my idea is that Bellingham pays for this dock, as a prototype. They would have a model to show people. The Ring is new way of getting people on the water, whether paddling or sailing. Kelly will figure out the engineering, and I would figure out how the funding/concession/business and marketing. We get a beautiful dock for our community and a community pool, they get a new dock system that they can sell.
And then there is the visitor serving problem. We are at place in time and technology similar to 15 years ago when smart phones became ubiquitous. Now, we can’t live without them. They have changed our lives in many ways. And so I predict with ride sharing.
In fact, John Zimmer, I just sold my car! Stay tuned to CoastsideBuzz for my story “Going Carless on the Coastside!”. Now, MY goal is to nudge people of of their cars. I love being driven. It gives me time to work, instead of driving. It is so relaxing. I Ubered to the Fogfest and was dropped off right there, and didn’t have to pay parking. It cost $10 and I gave them a $5 tip. Snap!
And so with visitor serving entities, like the Ring, the emphasis on ride sharing needs to be made. Vassar St. should have several handicap spots, and a loading and unloading zone, but the rest of the space should be ride sharing spaces like Lyft and Uber, Chariot buses, taxis, dockless ebikes and scooters. If the San Mateo County could provide more harbor perimeter parking, rather than taking up parking near the water, we could reduce tourist and local traffic. In fact, you can the change at the Oceano parking lot which is regularly 75-85% empty. The times are already changing.
What do you think? Feel free to contact me and let me know!