2007-07-05 / Front Page

Web cams to show ferry lines

City's Web page displays both sides of channel
BY PHIL REYNOLDS SOUTH JETTY REPORTER

STAFF PHOTO BY PHIL REYNOLDS Keeping an eye out Video camera shot of the Harbor Island side of the ferry landing shows how many vehicles are waiting in line to board a ferry on a recent afternoon. Drivers can check to see how long lines are before they leave for the landing at www.cityofportaransas.org. STAFF PHOTO BY PHIL REYNOLDS Keeping an eye out Video camera shot of the Harbor Island side of the ferry landing shows how many vehicles are waiting in line to board a ferry on a recent afternoon. Drivers can check to see how long lines are before they leave for the landing at www.cityofportaransas.org. Don't look now, but look. Now.

If you point your Web browser to www.cityofportaransas.org, you can get a direct view of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) ferry ramps to see exactly how long the lines are. An agreement between the City of Port Aransas and the Texas Department of Transportation (Tx- DOT) gives ferry users an idea of the best time to head for a ferry ramp.

City council members on Thursday, June 28, approved an interlocal agreement with TxDOT that provides for cameras at the ferry ramps. TxDOT supplied the cameras and equipment. Video of the ferry lines is taken from the TxDOT cameras that keep the ramps under 24-hour surveillance. Four cameras - three at the Port Aransas side and one at the Harbor Island side - show different angles of each landing. At Port Aransas, one camera looks south, one looks north and another looks east; on Harbor Island, a camera mounted at one of the ramps gives viewers a look at State Hwy. 361 toward Aransas Pass.

The live shots of the ferry lines let anyone with a computer know immediately how long the lines are, with a good idea of how long it would take to be waved aboard a ferry.

The South Jetty will add a link to the cams at a later date at the paper's Web site, www.portasouthjetty.com.

One of the movers behind the project to get the cameras on line, City Councilman Keith McMullin, said he'd also like to make a deal with Charter Cable to get the ferry line cameras on a local public access cable channel. That way, even people with no computer or Internet access could see how long the lines are, he said.

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