The Falmouth Enterprise in its November 29 issue reports that the Steamship Authority approved a new, one-story terminal design in Woods Hole to replace a two-story design that was fiercely opposed by 1,500 residents and ferry passengers. That’s good news. But the SSA has not, to date, modified its obsolete approval process, leaving community groups (such as the 1,500 petitioners) out of the loop in the initial design phase and able to provide comment only after the fact.

This process is wrong. It is reactive. It is what triggered the avalanche of email protests.

Instead, the SSA should involve citizens groups in the initial phases of site and building design. This is what has been successfully accomplished in port cities such as Seattle, where all parties talk to each other from the get-go. It could save architectural and engineering costs for the SSA by avoiding last-minute design changes, such as the $3 million increase in costs mentioned in the article. It would also foster cooperation between citizens groups, the SSA, selectmen, port captains and government officials from Falmouth, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

With the design proposal for the new terminal being considered at this time, why not begin a more-inclusive, cooperative initiative now?

Axel Bang

FR Lillie Road

Woods Hole

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