Jan 5, 2022

Bellingham WA: Shoreline management


Dec 17, 2021 

Cornwall Avenue at sea level has been a messy road for a long time. People park vehicles in the stretch from the beach to West Laurel Street and live in them. I am in favor of authorized motor camps for homeless people (don't know if any exist), but I doubt this street is such a place. 

Some years back I spoke with a couple there who was apparently residing in their RV; they told me they've observed mean people commonly feed #gulls and then run over them on purpose. One time the couple had called the wildlife division of the city shelter about a gull who had been struck by a motorist and were pleased that the rescuers promptly drove from Everson to tend to it. Another unfortunate common occurence on this road is nuisance hot rodders without mufflers speeding and joy riding all hours of the day but primarily in the middle of the night or very early morning. Speed bumps would be a nice addition.

This is an important road for various business interests so you'd think the City of Bellingham and other dynamic entities would take better care of it.  I emailed City Council early summer asking them why not clean it up. I was elated to learn there would be a cleanup June 10, 2021. There was indeed some action June 10th, but the street remained occupied and polluted. December 6th, upon my repeat inquiry to the appropriate official, I was told there was another cleanup December 3rd (and future cleanup activity was implied). Great, I thought! I read a community comment on social media that there had been a stabbing there recently, implying that it probably caused a little police cleanup. One could go through the online police log to try to locate the stabbing incident.

On December 26th during the Arctic cold and snow, a Youtuber streamed a live video of road conditions in Bellingham that included a drive by of this part of Cornwall Avenue. I counted approximately 20 junk rigs. I believe the earlier police actions included having the people cease living in junk vehicles, therefore not an issue of people freezing to death, thank goodness. But if snow plowers wanted to manage that stretch they certainly couldn't do it easily or efficiently. The timeline for cleanups of this perpetually degraded, unsafe area is offensively slow vis-a-vis businesses and other community members.

The mayor of #Bellingham has said he wants the city to be a model of environmentalism, an example for other cities. This is less than synchronized with the city's management priorities and practises. Several government and lobbying groups tout #tourism and build things to support their touristy aims, so why do they condone litter and other contaminants, dangerous conditions, and eyesores?