Fauntleroy ferry-dock expansion? FCA says it’s time to speak up

bythedock.jpgFrom Tuesday night’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting: Next week’s Washington State Ferries public hearing at The Hall at Fauntleroy is bigger than you may think. If you’re anywhere near Fauntleroy, you’re going to get reminders between now and next Wednesday night about exactly what’s at stake if WSF pursues a proposal to expand the dock and add an overhead walkway – more traffic through West Seattle. Read on for more on this discussion and two other big events FCA wants to make sure are on your radar:

The Fauntleroy stop is the last one on system officials’ tour of ferry communities before the comment deadline on the system’s Draft Long-Range Plan — that deadline is the very next day (January 22). What’s driving the proposals for more capacity at the Fauntleroy dock and an overhead passenger walkway is this, as written on a flyer FCA will be distributing throughout the area (see the entire flyer here):

Of importance to West Seattle is their [WSF] decision to continue operating the Southworth route through Fauntleroy indefinitely instead of moving the route to Colman Dock in downtown Seattle as previously proposed. Currently there are about 600,000 Southworth vehicles yearly that funnel through West Seattle to and from the Fauntleroy dock. Published growth figures indicate that this figure will increase by 64% by the year 20209.

To be able to help manage that growth at Fauntleroy, WSF proposes to expand the dock to allow enough vehicle space for one complete boatload. In addition, an overhead passenger loading ramp is proposed to be erected the length of the dock.

Keep in mind, those cars generally travel along Fauntleroy to get to the West Seattle Bridge – that same stretch of Fauntleroy that the city is proposing for “rechannelization” (decision now due before the end of the month). So everyone who drives that stretch has a stake in this. The meeting starts at 6 pm Wednesday (January 21) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (in the old schoolhouse), and FCA’s Gary Dawson says it’ll start with a presentation that includes David Moseley, the Department of Transportation executive who’s in charge of the ferry system.

In addition to the Fauntleroy dock-expansion proposal, a new online reservation-based ticketing system will be discussed; there’s some concern in the FCA about how well this will be publicized — will enough ferry users know about it to make a dent in the long summer-season lines? Dawson and FCA president Bruce Butterfield went to the ferry system’s public meeting on Vashon and report that it wasn’t a popular proposal there.

Also discussed last night, the upcoming pancake breakfast to raise money for this year’s Fauntleroy Fall Festival – and in fact, here’s an announcement we received while writing this story:

When members of the planning committee for the Fauntleroy Fall Festival discussed potential fundraisers, we reached back to the good old days of community cookouts for an early morning of flipping flapjacks!

On Saturday, January 24th we’re opening the doors of Fauntleroy Church for an ALL YOU CAN EAT Pancake Breakfast. 8:30 – 10:30am. $5 per person or $17 for a family of four (or more), make your donation at the door.

Menu includes Pancakes, sliced ham, fruit, orange juice, coffee, tea and milk.

The trio of big upcoming Fauntleroy events is rounded off by the FCA’s community meeting on February 18th, with topics to include the ferry-dock situation, a neighborhood-preparedness presentation by Debbie Goetz from the city’s SNAP program to pave the way for block-by-block events later in the year, the latest on the Fauntleroy rechannelization (which should be decided by then), and info-tables to be set up by various local groups.

You can find Fauntleroy info galore, about upcoming events and more, at the FCA website, fauntleroy.net.

3 Replies to "Fauntleroy ferry-dock expansion? FCA says it's time to speak up"

  • William January 16, 2009 (7:56 am)

    As a long time resident of West Seattle, I like having our ferry dock at Fauntleroy. I realize the traffic is a bit of a hassle – the ferry riders can be very inconsiderate with their U-turns when they whip around to get in line. But overall, I’m glad we have the ferry. I’d like to see the State expand the dock so the ferry traffic can be better managed and more of the cars can be taken off the street.

  • s January 16, 2009 (8:52 am)

    I agree with William. I’d like the ferry dock to stay. I think the ferry is an asset to our community and welcome the infrastructure improvements. I think this is good news, not bad.

  • James Roche January 16, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    In these tight times, there’s no value in expanding that dock. Schools are closing, city property is crumbling, and the mere existence of these pointless proposals represent money being diverted away from our legacy needs and desires.
    My vote? Leave the ferry dock alone. Seattle shouldn’t spend money facilitating Vashon Island travelers. There’s a full-service dock downtown for people who need more than our little Fauntleroy dock can handle.

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