FAUNTLEROY FERRY TERMINAL: Why replace it? Community Advisory Group reviews rationale

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Much of what was presented during the second meeting of the Community Advisory Group for the Fauntleroy ferry terminal replacement project was procedural – more about how information would/should be presented to them, than about the information itself.

One big exception: Group members got their first look at the Preliminary Purpose and Need Statement for the project – Washington State Ferries‘ rationale for why it believes this project is necessary. Here are the six slides laying that out:

During the online meeting Wednesday night, WSF’s Alec Williamson said all that comprises “the foundation for the project.” After his presentation, CAG members were asked for questions/comments, One of the former: Is relocation an option for the replacement terminal? Williamson said the process was meant to evaluate all possible options – so, potentially. He also clarified that the project is meant to take into account everything that feeds into the dock, including the Fauntleroy Way road shoulder that currently fills with vehicles for many blocks on the busiest of days, since the current dock doesn’t even have enough room for one boatload of cars. Another skeptical question: Does the CAG really have input, or are they just there as a rubberstamp? WSF reps insisted that the review process is “just getting started,” with the first level of “screening” between now and year’s end, the second level around the middle of next year. (Construction is tentatively expected in the 2025-2027 vicinity.)

Another group member wondered if the verbiage in the Preliminary Purpose/Need Statement was meant to lead CAG members to an obvious, preferred conclusion – particularly, whether the fifth slide mentioning the risks of mode-mixing was intended as rationale for elevated walk-on loading.

CAG members apparently got a lot of meeting material at the last minute, so they didn’t have a ton of comments to offer, but they will send their thoughts to WSF over the next few weeks. WSF is also trying to organize site tours for this and the other two (Technical and Executive) advisory groups on the project. The next CAG meeting, meantime, is not expected until fall. If you have anything to say about the project in the meantime, FauntleroyTermProj@wsdot.wa.gov is the official address.

14 Replies to "FAUNTLEROY FERRY TERMINAL: Why replace it? Community Advisory Group reviews rationale"

  • S July 30, 2021 (8:50 pm)

    Elevated walk-on loading would be an important safety upgrade. It would speed up loading and off-loading too since walkers and cars wouldn’t have to wait for each other. And at the Fauntleroy intersection, a pedestrian fatality is just a matter of time, given the confusing car situation and people running to catch the RapidRide. Bring the elevated walkway all the way there too.

  • Alex July 31, 2021 (9:33 am)

    Would like to see the Lincoln Park parking strip turned into a holding lane.   That would free up space for parking on the west side of Fauntleroy during the day and evening, limit opportunity for cutting in and UTurns and avoid potential accidents when the cars have go around a parked car.    I have to wonder what WSF is basing their passenger numbers on.   Kitsap County has got a little gold mine going on which could become the norm – its only 26 minutes from Southworth to downtown for the their passenger only ferries.    How is Fauntleroy Way going to handle all these forecasted cars?   

    • Anne July 31, 2021 (10:48 am)

      @alex, if you look at the total increase in cars, it works out to an average of 400 cars per day. Over the +-20 hours a day the ferry operates, that’s 20 cars an hour.  

  • Joel July 31, 2021 (9:44 am)

    If they are going to do a terminal rebuild an elevated walkway is EXTREMELY important. Im my years on the ferry commute I have seen dozens of people slip and fall on the shiny slippery car deck soaked in rain as the get on and off the vessel. It is a safety issue. Likewise it is an accessibility issue. When someone in a wheelchair arrives to the terminal after cars have begun loading they can’t even get to the elevators. They make them ride outside on the car deck. And then there are the numerous times the elevators on the vessels aren’t even functional (and not allowed for anyone not disabled, so suitcases must be hauled up the stairs, also a safety issue)So besides being a safety and ADA issue, it also speeds loading and unloading as passengers and cars can be done simultaneously. This would reduce the backup on Fauntleroy way.It is absurd that the concern over a half dozen people’s views are so often considered more important than safety or accessibility.

    • S July 31, 2021 (12:10 pm)

      And extending the walkway all the way across Fauntleroy would also mean that offloading wouldn’t have to stop for pedestrians crossing Fauntleroy, in addition to the obvious safety upgrade.

  • Craig Threlkeld July 31, 2021 (10:30 am)

    (heard 3-5 years from now) why didn’t anyone ask ME?!?!?!

  • West seattle resident July 31, 2021 (3:33 pm)

    If an elevated walkway is an important addition for safety then similar walkways should be required at Vashon and Southworth terminals as a part of the overall project planning.

  • Ellas July 31, 2021 (3:41 pm)

    Anne, I get it with extra 20 cars per hour but that isn’t how it works.  The busiest times there will be much more than 20 cars per hour.   People don’t use the terminal all 20 hours most during peak and rush hours, weekend days and early evenings are the most traveled.

  • Dunno July 31, 2021 (5:38 pm)

    Make it a walk on, motorcycle, bike ferry only.  Light rail to the dock would be great.  WS bridge could be useless by the time a new terminal is built.  The new WS bridge would take many, many, many years to build.   Expand downtown docks for cars and trucks.  Need a bridge from Vashon to Southworth.   Uh oh…here it comes!

  • Al King July 31, 2021 (6:43 pm)

    Dunno. A bridge from WS to Southworth via Vashon has been discussed in the past.  The chances of it ever happening are slim to none, and slim just left….

    • Gull July 31, 2021 (8:49 pm)

      Just thinking, how about a SkyLink gondola system linking Southworth, Vashon, and WS? 

      Or water taxis for passengers, instead of cars?

      Maybe for the small percentage of those who truly would have to drive, driving around would be better, for the environment, and traffic in WS?

      • Wseattleite July 31, 2021 (9:00 pm)

        Skyline gondola would be very doable. 

        • KA August 1, 2021 (12:58 am)

          A WHAT? Gondola from Fauntleroy to where?

          • Weseattleite August 1, 2021 (10:42 am)

            A gondola to the junction. Could then connect to a to SODO or downtown.

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