New Washington State Ferries plan drops Fauntleroy expansion

As we reported a few hours ago, Washington State Ferries has gone public with the revised version of its Draft Long-Range Plan (see it here). It includes significant changes to the proposals for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run – most notably, the proposal to expand the Fauntleroy dock is out. Here’s the excerpt:

WSF concurs that the draft Scenario A did not adequately address the growth and operational issues associated with the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. The revised proposal adds a fourth, small vessel to the route, operating as a shuttle between Vashon and Southworth. This allows the other three vessels on the route to operate in direct service between Fauntleroy and Vashon and between Fauntleroy and Southworth, better utilizing the capacity on those vessels and increasing overall efficiency on the route. It also increases capacity for Southworth, which is one of the areas slated
for high growth.

Based on comments heard at the Fauntleroy public hearing and comments received by the City of Seattle, the concept of expanding the Fauntleroy dock (as proposed in the draft Scenario A) is not viewed as feasible. As a result, the project has been removed from the Revised Draft Plan, and WSF will investigate all possible roadway and right-of-way options, if expanded vehicle holding is needed.

The other major proposal for the Fauntleroy dock, adding an overhead loading system for walk-on passengers, is still in the plan. Meantime, under Scenario A, here are more specifics on what size ferries would serve the broken-up “Triangle” route:

• Two 124-car vessels, operating in direct service between Fauntleroy and Vashon
• The two 87-car Evergreen Class vessels would be retired in 2015 and 2017 and replaced on the route with 124-car vessels

• One 124-car vessel, operating in direct service between Fauntleroy and Southworth

• A small vessel, operating between Vashon and Southworth to allow for direct service on Fauntleroy-Vashon and Fauntleroy-Southworth and increase the overall capacity on both of these routes.

The proposal says that “small vessel” would be the Hiyu, which carries 34 cars, until it’s potentially replaced “in 2027 with a used 40-50 car vessel at a cost of $12 million” (2008 dollars). Next steps: As detailed in our earlier report, both Transportation Committees in the Legislature have work sessions scheduled in the coming week to review the revised WSF plan. The ferry system says it’s also continuing to collect and forward comments at Meantime, the plan’s status also will be on the agenda at the regular monthly FCA meeting at 7 pm February 10th and an FCA-sponsored community gathering at 7 pm February 18th.

9 Replies to "New Washington State Ferries plan drops Fauntleroy expansion"

  • JEFF February 1, 2009 (7:54 am)

    Buid it… they new there was a dock when they moved right by the dock what did they think???
    move if you do not like it

  • s February 1, 2009 (9:43 am)

    This means we’ll continue to see the long line of idling cars along Lincoln Park, instead of consolidated on the dock. I think a group of vocal waterfront residents used the comment system to preserve their views, at the expense of people living along Lincoln Park, using the Park, and using the ferries. At least we still have the overhead walkway, which will improve the safety of people walking onto the ferry.

  • MAS February 1, 2009 (10:55 am)

    Yup, once again a vocal minority overides the public good.

  • zerodacus February 1, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    I’m with you Jeff, the dock has been there for about eighty years, these are the same people who move near the airport and complain about the planes, or move out into a housing development in the country, then sue the dairy farmer next door because it smells.

  • pigeonmom February 1, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    Do the business owners of West Seattle ever go to these meetings???
    So many ferry commuters shop in WS and Burien.
    I wonder if they know the Fauntleroy Community would essentially like the dock gone altogether?

  • s February 1, 2009 (4:01 pm)

    I live in Fauntleroy and support the dock, so it’s not all of Fauntleroy that wants the dock gone. I’m guessing the vocal minority was the people that live right near the dock. I can’t blame them for looking out for their own self-interests, but I just hope WSF knows that the majority of West Seattle wants the dock to stay. WSF just happened to hear from the vocal minority because they showed up in full force at the WSF meeting. Like a bumper sticker I saw, “the world is run by people who show up.” They showed up and made their voices heard at the meeting, so they had a big influence on the WSF decision.

  • chas redmond February 1, 2009 (4:16 pm)

    We could also look forward. There’s a high probability that the new overhead pedestrian system will tie directly into the RapidRide buses which will begin to stop at the ferry terminal sometime in the Fall of 2011 – now only two-and-a-half, or so, years away. Perhaps the convenience of good and all day bus service will get more people to leave their cars on the other side of their ferry ride. If there were decent bus service on Vashon or in Southworth I’m sure the reverse would also be true – some Seattleites would venture across the pond via bus and ferry. A lot do now on bike. I’ve taken the ferry and walked Vashon and then taken the bus back – it’s almost an “all day” affair, but on a nice day, it’s great fun.

  • Mickymse February 2, 2009 (9:49 am)

    The problem many WS folks have with expansion of the dock is the potential for increased vehicular traffic from Southworth that is simply passing through our neighborhood with little benefit to us but plenty of downsides from increased traffic and pollution.

    Maintaining a connection with Vashon can be continued quite easily without expanding the dock or by continuing to lobby for direct Southworth-Downtown ferries.

  • Ron February 2, 2009 (10:18 pm)

    I live 3 blocks NE (direction of prevailing winds)and have been here 48 years and have yet to see black soot or smell exhaust from the Ferry Traffic so I think these people are making this up. Now if you tell me next Fall when Fauntleroy Way is reduced to one lane all the way to Alaska St. the air is polluted by Fairmount Park, I will believe that. Remember folks, most of you asked for it, so enjoy! The claims of affecting the salmon run up Fauntleroy Creek is another myth. There is no salmon run, just a few fish swim up there and I think they are lost from another run. The 2 million dollar experiment might have made a few people feel good, but it was a waste of money for the benefits achieved and I’m a salmon fisherman. The money could have been better spent elswhere on restoring runs.

    As I see it, the problem isn’t just WSF channeling auto traffic thru WS, it’s the City Govt.’s plan to strangle traffic by reducing the number of traffic lanes exiting West Seattle that is causing the biggest problem. I hope you don’t have asthma!

Sorry, comment time is over.