Plan now for second ferry landing
Certainly there are environmental and economic considerations involved in such a project. However, as development already under construction and projects on the drawing board begin to build out and "come on line", Port Aransas is going to be faced with huge traffic issues. The ability of the existing landing, even with additional ramps and another ferryboat, will be severely taxed by the increased activity created by these developments. Additionally, access roads to the ferry landing on Mustang Island - Cotter and Alister streets and Cut-off Road - will be clogged, forcing traffic onto secondary streets.
One proposed solution to alleviating long ferry lines, priority boarding passes, failed to draw enough public support, so that idea has been set aside by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which operates the ferry system.
Port Aransas should learn from other cities' failures to recognize the reality of growth and the impact that has on infrastructure when plans to accommodate growth are not developed in advance. We can avoid the nightmare that Austin is working its way through because leaders at one time refused to accept the reality that Austin was going to grow. Failure to plan and prepare for that growth has left that city's present-day leaders and taxpayers, in effect, pushing a boulder uphill trying to solve their traffic problems.
Austin is just one example from which we can learn. There are others, Corpus Christi included. Failure to plan ahead for anticipated growth is expensive and disruptive, as these and other cities have learned the hard way.
Solutions to an inevitable traffic jam, which will adversely impact the quality of life for Port Aransas residents and the quality of experience for visitors, must be examined now - before available options expire and before we become one big traffic jam that will result if nothing is done.
City leaders, in concert with TxDOT, must look at the long road ahead, not just the immediate future. They must look now for an alternative to existing ingress and egress to Port Aransas that is environmentally compatible and economically feasible. That will require thinking "outside the box", and it will require compromise.
The longer we wait, the more difficult and more expensive that solution will be.