Ferries’ future: Big turnout for hearing in Fauntleroy

Fauntleroy resident Brian Bershad was one of 31 people who gave Washington State Ferries an earful last night during the final stop on WSF’s tour to gather public comment before taking its Draft Long-Range Plan to state legislators.

As we have been reporting over the past few months, the Fauntleroy Community Association has led the charge of concern over WSF’s decision to dump the concept of running Southworth ferries to downtown, which was previously under consideration since so much of the drive-off traffic arriving at Fauntleroy is headed that way anyway. Total turnout for tonight was about 125, and half of the 31 speakers asked WSF to reopen the idea of having a Southworth/(Downtown) Seattle run. Without it, the ferry system is now looking at expanding the dock and adding overhead passenger walkways. Fauntleroy Creek volunteer overseer Judy Pickens said dock expansion could harm the creek’s fragile salmon runs; pollution was one of the concerns voiced by others, along with potential Cove Park encroachment, view loss, noise, increased traffic, and transit-coordination challenges. Also expressing concern : A city representative, SDOT’s Ann Sutphin:

WSF reps had one notable announcement before night’s end: They’ve extended the time for public comments on the draft long-range plan by a few extra days; instead of ending tomorrow, it’ll end Monday. Read the full plan here; it contains two basic options – Plan A is similar to the current level of service; Plan B would include cuts, such as reducing Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth to two boats. Both would be sailing in a sea of red; WSF says A has a $3.5 billion shortfall over the next couple decades, while B is just under half that. To e-mail your comments: wsfplanning@wsdot.wa.gov

8 Replies to "Ferries' future: Big turnout for hearing in Fauntleroy"

  • Bob Venezia January 22, 2009 (7:56 am)

    One of the highlights of the evening was Ann Sutphin reading the mayor’s letter, which opposed the expansion. (WSB should post a copy of that.) And the speakers touched on a large variety of concerns, but were united in sentiment: send Southworth ferries to downtown. I’m not sure how it was determined there were 125 people at the meeting, though. There were about 200 chairs set up in the central part of the room when I arrived, and that looked full. Plus there were people all around the perimeter, and more standing outside the door. By my estimate, there were at least 250 attending.

    I’m proud of my community for turning out in such force. And thanks to the Fauntleroy Community Association and the WSB for getting the word out.

  • Patrick January 22, 2009 (8:06 am)

    The 125 number was arrived at when I stood up and counted heads. After the meeting I checked in with Sandy from the ferry system who had spent the night working the front door and handling the sign-up sheets after the meeting broke up. She put the number at about the same.

  • Madoff January 22, 2009 (8:30 am)

    Just buld a high rise bridge from Fauntleroy to Vashon then to Southworth.

  • Ron Richardson January 22, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    To the West Seattle blog: thanks again for your coverage of important issues to folks in West Seattle.
    To the Washington State Ferries: Time for you to re-consider ferry service from Southworth to Colman dock. You have heard from the community many reasons why this is important. It is time for the Ferry System to seek new ideas how it can be done. Think outside the box. Consult folks who know a lot about transportation. Academics, students, other government jurisdictions that have wrestled with transportation problems. Compile a list of ways this link can be accomplished. You gave us plan A plan B. Give us a plan C, or D or E or …. be creative. How about a contest? 10 ways to bring ferry service from Southworth to downtown Seattle? Usable ideas get a ferry pass. Again, outside the box!
    Thanks to Gary Dawson and others in the Fauntleroy community who gave us all a chance to contribute.
    Ron Richardson

  • Mickymse January 22, 2009 (5:39 pm)

    Good to hear so many folks turned out…
    Unfortunately, that left very few of us to be at the Metro meeting about proposed Route 50 and other changes after Link Light Rail opens. :-(
    Make sure to call, write, or e-mail Metro if you have comments on that stuff!

  • WSB January 22, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    We’ll hit that one more time before the deadline … the overlap of meetings drives us nuts most weeks … I am certain that government agencies do not bother coordinating to see when other important meetings are happening in the same area where they’re planning one, and they SHOULD.

  • Ron January 22, 2009 (9:33 pm)

    To Madoff, Are you the same Madoff who is under house arrest in NY? If so, you must be getting bored being cooped up in your penthouse. Nice of you to consider our problems. I’ll go for the bridges if you pay for them with your offshore money you must have stashed. If not, then I don’t think we can afford them. That idea was proposed back in the 50’s and much of the right away was purchased. It was later scrubbed in the 70’s (I think) as a bad idea. To join the NIMBY’S, I wouldn’t want it in my neighborhood, how about yours?

  • Ron January 22, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    I need to corect my statement about much of the right away for a Cross Sound bridge being purchased back in the 50’s/60’s. The route was laid out, but the property wasn’t purchased. The designated route kind of affected some property sales until the possibility of eminent domain was removed. Sorry about that.

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