Water Taxi shuttle routes, West Seattle Transportation Coalition, more @ Alki Community Council:

October 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm | In King County Water Taxi, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

At its October meeting, the Alki Community Council became the second neighborhood council in two nights to go on the record as officially supporting the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. And one mode of transportation was high on the list of the night’s other hot topics:

WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: Michelle Allison from King County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s office visited by request of ACC leadership. She says the 2014 work plan for the Ferry District Board (which McDermott chairs) includes an analysis of the shuttle routes serving the Water Taxi to see if they can be improved and/or restructured in hopes of boosting WT ridership. “That’s something we’re really going to engage the community on … we need to know if we’re losing people because it’s not operating the way it should. What can we do to change it to have you guys use the Water Taxi?” They’ve done some analysis so far and note that people are using it on weekdays to get home FROM Seacrest, but not necessarily for getting TO Seacrest. 63rd/Alki and Admiral/California are hot spots for where people are getting off the shuttle, she notes.

They might ask for opinions on possible alternate routes that could better serve people trying to use the Water Taxi – look for questions like that, “what neighborhood do you live in and would you use the Water Taxi if the shuttle came there?” She also pointed out that the Water Taxi system is not part of Metro. And they also will look at the current “no charge” operation of the shuttle. “The board is really going to wrestle with that,” Allison said (the board is the County Council under another name).

Later, the group discussed formally letting their representatives know that they want Metro and the Water Taxi shuttle to work together.

Speaking of transportation:

WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: As was the case at the Morgan Community Association the previous night, the group sent a rep to ACC tonight. Interim WSTC board member Tod Rodman explained that potential Metro cuts and the future Viaduct-to-Tunnel transition are the two biggest issues WSTC is dealing with right now. They want to get everybody on the peninsula signed on, he stressed. “Come to our meetings if you can … show a unified face to the various people who run the transportation systems, and look at the West Seattle peninsula as an entity. … We’re not partisan; we just want to get some answers from the city and county.” WSTC is asking groups for support, ACC vice president Randie Stone said it sounded good to her because “West Seattle is unique and we need some special attention.”

11-UNIT ROWHOUSE PROJECT APPROVAL: One of the neighbors was at the meeting and a discussion ensued about its proposal (reported here earlier that night). Parking remains a concern; the neighbor talked about the process in which they engaged, and noting that the city only looked at “does it meet the code?” so, she said, “The problem might be in the code.” Could a group like Alki Community Council get behind pushing to change it, so that a site like this might be maxed out with fewer townhomes rather than a project like this?

LUNA GIRLS ON ALKI: Artist Lezlie Jane came to talk about the new site planned for her sculpture, with a public meeting coming up next Monday, as noted here. She brought photos of the new proposed site, and some ACC members agreed it’s even a better spot than the originally proposed spot at Alki Bathhouse. Jane says they will be set in a cobblestone base, and that the site strikes her as “elegant.” ACC voted to send a letter to the city declaring enthusiastic support for the proposed site.

The Alki Community Council meets on third Thursdays, 7 pm, at Alki UCC.

15 Comments

  1. As far as the water taxi they should open up some parking spots on lower California below Ferry instead of ticketing for parking on a sidewalk. When I worked in DT the best part of the day was the ride on the taxi. Today’s commute further northbound was just horrible and shows us how close to a traffic meltdown we find ourselves in. I wish a bus would be able to work into my commute. I still ride the water taxi when I go DT.

    Comment by Eaglelover — 6:58 pm October 23, 2013 #

  2. Water Taxi is easy… Parking spots!

    Comment by CandrewB1 — 7:36 pm October 23, 2013 #

  3. I would definitely take water taxi if there was a shuttle to/from Morgan Junction, but that may be too far (or maybe I haven’t looked closely enough and there is one?? Time to go double check). Would definitely be preferable to sitting in traffic like this morning’s!

    Comment by Shannon — 7:52 pm October 23, 2013 #

  4. How about a West Seattle BUS that actually goes to the water taxi? Why on Earth doesn’t the 128 extend there at least? The shuttle is nice but limited and doesn’t go from Morgan junction all the time, South of there or hit California between Admiral and Alaska.

    Comment by Fregirl — 8:49 pm October 23, 2013 #

  5. Water taxi — I would take it if there was a taxi route that left just a smudge earlier. I work on pill hill and have to be clocked in by 7am. It’s a big walk up that hill in 20 minutes!!

    Comment by Jenn — 9:34 pm October 23, 2013 #

  6. I would love to see more thorough communication on how the WT even works on game nights. I tried to find it on the web and even asked on the forum once and never really figured out if those extra sailings after evening sporting events would run until the dock is cleared or if you don’t fit on the 10 o’clock boat you’re SOL looking for a bus back to WS and then figuring out how to get back to your car at Seacrest. Another dilemma since there is no shuttle on 35th, I would have to park or spend an hour taking the bus to transfer to the shuttle (does that even work after 10pm?). At that rate I can drive downtown and park on 1st/6th for free and walk to the stadium.

    So glad I don’t work downtown.

    Comment by Trickycoolj — 11:28 pm October 23, 2013 #

  7. i second extending the 128 to the water taxi. it is right there. that could be the last stop where the bus ends.

    Comment by rb — 11:43 pm October 23, 2013 #

  8. Why don’t we take the shuttle to the water taxi? I’ve never been able to figure out what time to get to the stop. And how does the shuttle know you are there for the water taxi instead of the bus?
    -
    Why don’t I take the water taxi more? Because my office is north of Pier 70, a 35+ minute walk. I suggested to Dow C’s office that they add a North Downtown stop, creating a triangular route, but they responded that there is too much boat traffic to cross to get there.

    Comment by Kim SJ — 9:09 am October 24, 2013 #

  9. What I keep hoping will be discussed is re-routing the Vashon ferry on weekdays so it lands at or near the ferry terminal downtown. This would alleviate the WSeattle morning traffic. The Vashon cars are all going downtown to work.

    Comment by P — 9:12 am October 24, 2013 #

  10. I take the Water Taxi on my way to Bellevue several times per week. I usually end up driving to Seacrest instead of taking the shuttle (which stops less than a block from my home) for one reason: the shuttle drops off at Seacrest like 15 minutes before the water taxi leaves. That’s a long time to wait in the cold and rain.

    Comment by james — 11:18 am October 24, 2013 #

  11. Oh, and one other reason I don’t take the shuttle more… I’ve come back on a late sailing once or twice to discover that the shuttle had stopped running. This was a couple of years ago so I’m not sure if that’s still the case but getting off the boat at 10 at night to discover that I a) either had to walk the 2/3 miles back home or b) call a cab and wait 20 minutes for it to show up is quite the disincentive.

    Comment by james — 11:23 am October 24, 2013 #

  12. The shuttle should include runs directly North/South along the full route of California Avenue. Currently, the the shuttle skips CA avenue between Admiral Way and Alaska Street. A direct route from the Morgan Street all the way to the Water Taxi could pick up a greater number of WS residents and deliver them quicker to the boat. This is how it was set up originally when the WT just started out.

    Comment by Tom — 1:29 pm October 24, 2013 #

  13. I don’t know if this is the case at other stops or not, but the 35th and Avalon northbound stop doesn’t even have a mention that the water taxi shuttle stops there, even though it does.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 1:30 pm October 24, 2013 #

  14. The water taxi should have never been located at current location for many reasons, but a few big ones are parking and accessibility, future growth along with safety for park user’s using the water front…. They should of used the area by Jack Block park across from 7-11 that has sat empty for many years. There is a huge amount of parking available that is off street also having proper room for a bus service (off street). It would also be easy to put a nice breakwater or dock for better protection than current location now and could use area where the trains were loaded onto the barges that is no longer used. I really wonder why they put it at current location other than it works great for the tourist and that seems number 1 here in Seattle (not moving traffic, 99 tunnel same thing) or maybe politics with some of the waterfront owners in that area. Our city counsel and mayor really need to focus on long term traffic solutions that can grow and be user friendly. This foot ferry will always have limited use at current location.

    Comment by wetone — 4:33 pm October 24, 2013 #

  15. Since they gutted the #37 bus route, taking the water taxi is pretty much a nonstarter for me. The 37 runs a block from my home, and I used to ride it for years when I commuted downtown. But now you can’t catch it after like 7 in the morning, and if you miss one of the very few at night, you’re stuck in no-man’s land and can’t get home. If they brought back that bus, or had a bus/shuttle that ran that route (no way am I taking two or three buses and walking seven blocks to get to a shuttle stop) for more than a couple times a day, I’d love to take it. I still love to go downtown, even though I work from home now, but the paucity of bus service for the 37 means I am never going to again. It infuriates me that something that’s relatively nearby is in reality so far away for me to use, and to show my friends a great time when they visit me and we go into town.

    Comment by fringe — 9:47 pm October 24, 2013 #

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