FERRIES: Here’s what Fauntleroy terminal project’s Community Advisory Group talked about this week

(WSB file photo)

West Seattle’s next big transportation project, post-bridge, is still early in the planning process, but that’s a great time to start paying attention, as its Community Advisory Group was brought together again this week for another step forward. It’s the project to replace the Fauntleroy ferry terminal/dock, and it’s tentatively expected to start construction no sooner than 2025. But long before the ferry system gets to a design, they have to review alternatives, and before a list of those can be developed, the advisory group is being asked to help shape the criteria for screening them. So that’s where they are now (after reviewing the Preliminary Purpose and Need Statement for the project – here’s the latest version). At Wednesday night’s online meeting, which only lasted an hour, members were separated into breakout groups for each of the three communities on the route served by the dock – Fauntleroy, Vashon, and Southworth; other meeting attendees got to talk with ferry staffers about other concerns. Here are the toplines of what was shared when everyone regrouped:

-Improving efficiency
-Finding ways to reach community members who aren’t already knowledgeable about the project
-Acknowledging that many ferry riders from Kitsap County head to points south instead of to Seattle

-Similar concerns, especially operational efficiency

-Ensuring the new terminal/dock is multimodally oriented
-Figuring out how to reduce the high percentage of single-occupancy vehicle use
-Accurate assessment of the relatively recent schedule change, since that happened just before COVID
-Recognize that traffic to/from the terminal affects neighborhoods far beyond Fauntleroy (Duwamish Valley, for example)
-Still concerned the Purpose/Need statement may suggest this project is more than it’s meant to be

WSF plans larger community meetings in the first quarter of next year – to be held online. Before then, they’re asking members of this advisory group to help them determine “what your fellow community members will need to understand and engage with this process.” Before the group’s next meeting, they’ll get a draft of the “screening criteria” based on discussions at and before this meeting, You can comment at any time via the email address for feedback and questions, FauntleroyTermProj@wsdot.wa.gov. And keep watch on this webpage for future meeting dates, plus a recording of this meeting when it’s available.

11 Replies to "FERRIES: Here's what Fauntleroy terminal project's Community Advisory Group talked about this week"

  • Common Sense Thinker December 3, 2021 (3:53 pm)

    They should move this dock downtown where the other ferry terminal is. Pointless to drop all this traffic off in a tiny corner of West Seattle. 

    • Bob December 4, 2021 (2:46 pm)

      Absolutely. Have you had any response to this suggestion?

  • bolo December 3, 2021 (5:23 pm)

    “-Figuring out how to reduce the high percentage of single-occupancy vehicle use”
    That would be good.

    “-Recognize that traffic to/from the terminal affects neighborhoods far beyond Fauntleroy (Duwamish Valley, for example)”
    Thanks for acknowledging that.

  • Morgan December 3, 2021 (7:54 pm)

    I welcome the connection to Vashon from West Seattle and distinctiveness it brings our neighborhood. But don’t make it bigger. Any way to cut difference and send different hours to different docks, or is this all or nothing at all?

    • s December 3, 2021 (11:13 pm)

      I think the problem is that growth is happening everywhere, so transit capacity will need to increase everywhere as well. But it doesn’t necessarily mean increased disruption. For example, a bigger dock means fewer cars lined up along Lincoln Park. I for one like having the direct connection to the Olympic Peninsula right in our own backyards.

  • burglerbustindad December 3, 2021 (9:05 pm)

    Please consider one boat to Vashon/Fauntleroy at the top of the hour for example. One boat to Southworth/Fauntleroy at the half hour. The third smaller boat can handle the limited Southworth /Vashon traffic. Stagging, docking and loading issues will be minimized.

  • Connie December 4, 2021 (7:39 am)

    Regarding mitigating numbers of cars: more folks might use public transportation as opposed to driving if local transportation providers coordinated to allow transfers without riders having to pay an additional full fare, as in taking a ferry and a bus.

    • Jort December 6, 2021 (12:22 pm)

      Yes, they also might take public transportation if the cost of driving onboard was not subsidized by non-car drivers, as it currently is, now. Instead, the state should force car drivers to 100% subsidize those who bike and walk onboard ferries. Choose to drive? $75 a ride. Walk? Bike? Free. Behaviors would change. Rapidly.

  • BW December 4, 2021 (9:23 am)

    We need to replace this ferry run with a tunnel.  Same goes for the Bainbridge run.  Over the long run it would be much cheaper and more efficient.  It would also not disturb the orca.

    • bill December 4, 2021 (11:05 am)

      A tunnel is not going to happen. The Sound is over 600 feet deep between Fauntleroy and Vashon. The approach tunnels would have to be at least three miles long on each side. Based on the Alaskan Way tunnel it would cost $20 billion. Not going to happen.

  • Bob Dannenhold December 4, 2021 (2:37 pm)

    Is part of the discussion to remove this ferry landing and change the destination to downtown and also possibly a stop to the current foot ferry location? The traffic for this very small area of West Seattle seems to be totally out of place. I would think this is a very reasonable and practical alternative.

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