A brief summary of the pros and cons of each of the proposed locations for the Berkeley ferry service
1) Foot of Buchanan Street, behind racetrack.
This location makes the most sense for a large-scale service - best land-side access, especially because it pulls cars off 880 before the merge with 580, and there is a huge amount of existing excess parking (assuming the casino ballot measure fails). Significant dredging required, possible environmental obstacles relating to dredging and bird rafting. Longer distance to SF (6.6 miles v. 5.6) incurrs time, fuel and emissions penalty.
2) Foot of Gilman Street.
Same environmental constraints, both real and conjectural, as at Buchanan. Land-side access not as good, but could share some of the parking with "Gilman Park" playing field complex. Large-scale service would require using some racetrack property north of Gilman, also depends on casino initiative failing and racetrack land becoming available. Possible short link to Amtrak (if Berkeley platform moves to Gilman).
3) Berkeley Municipal Fishing Pier, near pier entrance.
Shortest distance to SF (5.6 miles v. 6.6 from Buchanan or Gilman, which is equivalent to a 28% fuel and emission reduction for identical schedules because of reduced speed requirement). There is existing bus service, Existing commercial activity, significantly deeper water requiring little or no dredging, and would probably be a less expensive facility if part of the existing pier is incorporated into the design. Existing nearby parking will accommodate approx. 500 additional cars on weekdays, but parking becomes problematic for a large-scale service.
4) Old ferry pier, inside Berkeley Marina.
Adds time to route because of low-speed maneuvering requirements to get in and out of the far corner of the Marina - implications on required speed, fuel and emissions probably similar to Gilman or Buchanan locations. Minimizes cost for facilities construction. Other advantages and limitations similar to Municipal Pier site, but there is less nearby parking availability.
5) Hs. Lordships parking lot, west side
Same advantages and limitations as Municipal Pier site, but might be more compatible with parking structure development for eventual large-scale service.
6) Hs. Lordships parking lot, east side
Same advantages and limitations as west side of Hs. Lordships area, but more protected location might have operational and facilities cost advantages. Requires dredging a short channel to the terminal, possible environmental obstacles.
7) Brickyard area, near Seabreeze Market.
Route is longer but terminal design might have access to Eastshore State Park land. Possible short link to Berkeley Amtrak station. Possible value as tourist destination. Only viable if State Parks sees this as an enhancement to Eastshore State Park, which is unlikely. Significant dredging required, possible environmental obstacles.
Paul Kamen, naval architect.