FERRIES: Fauntleroy Terminal project’s Community Advisory Group sets sail

June 24, 2021 2:59 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Somewhere between the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge and the construction of Sound Transit light rail lies another big local transportation project: Replacement of the Fauntleroy ferry dock/terminal.

As part of the planning process, Washington State Ferries is convening three advisory groups. One of them, the Community Advisory Group, met last night for the first time, online.

The CAG is launching with 24 members, chosen from among 64 applicants (we published the recruiting announcement back in April). Last night’s meeting was mostly a get-acquainted session, which is why WSF says it did not publicly announce the meeting in advance (we found out from a tip late in the day and have since watched a recording of the two-hour meeting, which WSF says will be available online “by early next week”).

In their self-introductions, many members described affiliations and experiences that give them many-faceted perspectives on the projects – for example, living in West Seattle with children going to school on Vashon Island, or living on Vashon but owning a business in West Seattle. The western end of the Triangle Route was represented too, with Southworth and Manchester residents. Here’s the full roster as provided by WSF:

Ana White | Southworth resident
Angus Macnab | King County resident/Vashon commuter student parent
Anne Higuera |West Seattle business owner/Vashon resident
Daniel Lewis | Southworth area community member
David McDaniel | Fauntleroy and Vashon community member
Devin Branson | Vashon resident and West Seattle commuter
DB Gates | West Seattle resident
Emily Scott | Vashon Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) Member, Vashon Island Foodbank Executive Director
Fletcher Sandbeck | Kitsap resident
Frank Immel | Fauntleroy Community Association, Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) member, neighbor
Gary English | Vashon community member
Greg McKinnon | Manchester resident, daily ferry commuter
Helen Westphal | King County resident
Jon Wright | West Seattle Transportation Coalition
Josh Gwynn | Southworth area community member
Judy Pickens | Fauntleroy Watershed Council
Larry Harala | Port Orchard/Manchester area resident, Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) member
Mardi Clements | Fauntleroy Community Association, West Seattle resident near ferry
Michelle McCormick | West Seattle and Vashon resident
Noelani Hatton | West Seattle resident
Richard Thorp | Southworth area community member
Scott Harvey | Vashon resident, irregular ferry traveler
Susan Fritch | Vashon resident/former West Seattle resident
Victoria Nelson | West Seattle Transportation Coalition Board Member, Fauntleroy resident

In addition to introductions, last night’s meeting included a brief recap of the rationale for replacing the terminal/dock – earthquake vulnerability, susceptibility to being swamped by rising sea levels, limited vehicle-holding capacity (room for 80 cars, though the regular vessels on the route hold 124, and WSF has said its system standards call for holding areas with room for about 1 1/2 vessels worth).

A major task early in the planning process, one for which the CAG members’ input will be sought, is a Planning and Environmental Linkages study, which WSF says will be done in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, since federal funding is expected to be part of the project. The group’s advisory role in the study, WSF says, will help define the “purpose and need” for the project and ways to filter alternatives. The alternatives they’ll consider, they were told later in the meeting, will be numerous – “many different configurations.” None have been shown, yet. Here’s the full slide deck from the meeting, with more on the key discussion points:

In open discussion, CAG members also asked for clarification on the roles of the other two advisory groups – Executive (mostly elected officials, as listed in this document provided by WSF at our request) and Technical (staffers from agencies listed in that same document).

WHAT’S NEXT: WSF will talk about the Fauntleroy terminal project (with construction not expected before 2025) during tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm online (see our calendar listing for information on participating/viewing/listening). The next CAG meeting is set for 6 pm July 28th.

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