Will commuters protest or simply lose weight? | Letters | Jan. 6
January 5, 2012 · 4:34 PM
It was only a matter of opportunity but you knew it was coming. Having licked the Taliban by its armed escort craft and sniffing dogs for Elliott Bay ferries, the U.S. Coast Guard is implementing another New Years’ resolution. It is aimed at our fat commuters during rush hours, and not just the ones who always take the empty seat on each side of them.
The New York Times reported on Jan. 2 that our commuters’ expanding waist and bulk sizes have caused the passenger capacity of jumbo ferry Wenatchee and others to be lowered from 2,000 to 1,700 passengers.
This augers a similar resolution years ago when it decided its regulated boats were overloaded by more commuters than life jackets put aboard. Angry boarders got turned back or threatened by fines as they tried to rush terminal guards using their hand counters to rejoin usual bridge partners.
It helped to have many legal advocates in line – the state’s Lt. Governor, a resident U.S. senator or a congressman. But times have changed. The aggressive ways of airport customs helped change it.
This latest ferry development ranks right up with our more dubious, well-meant 2012 wishes. Close beside the city’s current $450 fine per island driver who drop off passengers in the traditional kiss-and-ride zone at the ferry terminal, competing with periodic handicap users. Or the sWashington State Patrol’s short-lived decision a while back to cite all commuter jay-walkers trying to catch or exit a ferry along with 2,000 others.
Short of us pushing away from the table more during The Long Dark to get within USCG optimum average male weight of 194 pounds and female average of 164 pounds (without clothing), commuters, there are these humane alternatives:
1. Get rid of a few brawny crew members in favor of self-help boat berthings;
2. Charge the gym hunks, more fullsome and just plain bulkies among passengers $2 extra per trip for fuel;
3. Except nearer Christmas or after a Nordstrom half-yearly sale, pass impromptu scale checks before boarding;
4. If more than just robust, you have to walk the top decks at least 12 rounds during commutes, followed by a slimmed-down WSF docent.
R.O. Conoley, Sunrise Drive