Ferry dock at Lincoln Park? Lowman Beach? Current location? Or? Fauntleroy terminal replacement ‘draft alternatives’ unveiled

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Fauntleroy ferry dock/terminal must and will be replaced. But might it be moved, too?

At this early stage in the planning process, that’s a possibility, the replacement project’s Community Advisory Group was told tonight. During the group’s first meeting in three months, Washington State Ferries rolled out nine “draft alternatives” – including concepts, however improbable-seeming, for possibly moving the dock to Lincoln Park or Lowman Beach.

More on the nine “draft alternatives” in a moment. First, here’s what the meeting was all about. The replacement isn’t expected to go into construction before 2025, so the process is currently in the stage of developing alternatives and finalizing the criteria for screening them.

Screening is a two-level process, and when they get to stage 1, that’s the “fatal flaw” part of the process; stage 2 is “detailed analysis.”

First up, as explained by WSF’s Hadley Rodero, is to decide what locations they’ll evaluate for alternatives – not necessarily just the current site. Here’s what the meeting was for:

Consultant Mark Bandy noted they’ve heard suggestions over the years to consider a terminal relocation – Elliott Bay, Lincoln Park, even Des Moines. Here’s the analysis they did on potential locations – calculating how long the run would be, in distance and time, and how many sailings they could have:

While they have yet to decide whether to develop alternatives outside the general Fauntleroy vicinity, Rodero said they know the area meets the operational baselines, so they drafted nine Fauntleroy alternatives. Today, they have 80 vehicles’ holding space on the dock – only two-thirds the capacity of the 124-vehicle Issaquah-class ferries used on the road – and far more holding on the street beyond.

Draft Alternative A would be a dock in the same place, the same size as the current one.

Draft Alternative B would be in the same place but would increase the number of vehicle spaces on the dock to 124, 50 percent more than now, and incorporate some on-street holding.

Draft Alternative C would widen the dock – again, in the same place – to hold 186 vehicles, with no holding space on the street.

Then, riffing off past community suggestions, two alternate but nearby locations – Draft Alternative D would be a “south Lincoln Park” terminal, with a 186-vehicle dock:

Draft Alternative E, a Lowman Beach dock, also 186 vehicles:

Back to the current dock’s vicinity, Draft Alternative F would maintain the current dock size but would digress by creating two holding lanes on Fauntleroy Way, which would then be a one-way street:

Draft Alternative G, also in Fauntleroy, would use Wildwood Place southeast of the current terminal to hold Southworth traffic:

Draft Alternative H would be a Fauntleroy dock with a “remote holding area” at 45th and Fauntleroy:

And Draft Alternative I would be a Fauntleroy dock using what’s currently Lincoln Park parking as a remote holding area

Again, the WSF reps stressed the options are not officially on the table – they’re more in the throw-against-wall-and-see-what-sticks mode at this stage. But they’re a starting point for discussion.

DISCUSSION: This was not a meeting for anything even close to a decision on any of those – they were just concepts floated for the group’s consideration. So lots of time was left open for questions:

Would improvements in the speed of the ticketing process affect the need for dock size? “It could,” replied Bandy. Where do the “operation levels” come from? The WSF long-range plan – they’re still assuming 3 vessels serving 3 terminals. WSF’s David Sowers confirmed in response to another question that they’d like to look at overhead loading of passengers because it tends to speed up loading, for vehicles and passengers to load simultaneously, so they’ll be reviewing that as a possibility. One CAG member wondered why some possibilities are even up for discussion when they seem absolutely impossible, such as Lincoln Park. Rodero said it’s too early to rule anything out – “some of those have more complications than others .. at this stage we’re trying to show the full range of possibilities.” Are they talking about two slips or one? Bandy said they’re not to the stage of determining “different configurational aspects.” Where will hybrid ferries recharge their batteries? The project would not preclude electrification, WSF reps said, with Sowers adding that a charging system would require some set-aside space on the dock. What about the waiting vehicles during heavy traffic time? The numbers in these draft alternatives are just for “apples to apples” – they’re designing to 186 vehicles’ holding, Rodero said, because that’s a vessel and a half for this run, and that’s what the WSF manual calls for.

If the dock stays in its current location, how will service be handled during the construction period – would the dock have to completely close? Sowers said the early thought is that they’d build the new dock one half at a time, and keep one half in operation – that would mean more holding on Fauntleroy Way. For context, other WSF projects were mentioned – Mukilteo, for example, Rodero noted, moved to a new location, so the old dock stayed in operation until the new one was ready to go, while Colman Dock downtown has remained in operation during years of construction. In response to another question, yes, transit interface will be a consideration, said Bandy, and that’s why the terminal needs to be on a street that’s at least “a minor arterial.” Why would holding lanes be split between destinations? The reply to that was, it’s a good topic for the major discussions that are planned at the next meeting in two weeks.

Is Good To Go really an option for the new terminal/dock? That would bring in a host of other considerations, but yet again, nothing’s been ruled out, WSF reps said – while Sowers noted that GTG has not yet been implemented at a ferry terminal. Have they studied having the dock just handle the Vashon route, while Southworth boats went downtown? Short answer: No.

Asked for first “gut check” takes, a few CAG members said it seemed like keeping the dock in Fauntleroy made sense. One member observed that it’s central for those who need to go south and those who need to go north (previous studies have shown that downtown Seattle is not the predominant destination for people coming from Vashon and Southworth). But are the travel-time calculations taking into consideration the road time for those landing at Fauntleroy, not just the sailing time? Good question, said the WSF reps.

After all those questions, the meeting looked briefly at the screening process – which’ll be the next phase.

Then came questions about the questions. As one WSF rep observed, that’s a little “in the weeds,” so we’re not summarizing most of that discussion – the meeting recording should be available Thursday afternoon if you’re interested (we’ll add the link here). One question of note, whether the cost is an aspect of screening; Sowers said they haven’t really honed the cost yet, and it’s clear that some of the alternatives could cost a lot more than the others. (The project website says $93 million is budgeted.)

Again, the question relating to the notion of a dock at Lincoln Park or Lowman Beach: Would park land really even be accessible in any way for this project? Sowers mentioned the (corrected) “Section 4(f)” process required when federal funding is involved – yes, it might be legally possible, “but is it worth the time and effort and cost to do that?” If an alternative rises to the top, they’ll have to consider it.

NEXT MEETING: CAG members are being asked to “digest” what they saw and heard tonight, and then provide feedback at the next meeting March 16th. That too will be open to online public viewing – register here for the link. The project’s Technical Advisory Group is meeting in late March, too. And wider community meetings are ahead too. If you have a comment or question in the meantime, the official feedback address for the project is FauntleroyTermProj@wsdot.wa.gov. (All comments received are provided to the CAG members, too.)

P.S. If you had trouble reading any of the meeting slides we featured in-line above, here’s the full deck in PDF.

100 Replies to "Ferry dock at Lincoln Park? Lowman Beach? Current location? Or? Fauntleroy terminal replacement 'draft alternatives' unveiled"

  • Morgan March 2, 2022 (10:11 pm)

    Wow…I dislike most choices already.“C” please.

    • WS resident March 3, 2022 (12:45 am)

      Lowman Beach terminal is stupefying.

      • s March 3, 2022 (11:30 am)

        Yes on C with overhead loading for pedestrians! 

  • Jort March 2, 2022 (10:51 pm)

    I can not believe the agency even indulged the idea that we would sacrifice the finest park in West Seattle, Lincoln Park, to hold more cars so that wealthy landowners don’t have to have their partial Sound views infringed by a few additional feet of dock. What an insult and a pathetic display.

    • Canton March 3, 2022 (12:04 am)

      Well since you’re a big fan of eminent domain for light rail, shouldn’t that same concept hold creed for our ferry system? I don’t like it for either neighborhood. But with a lot people wanting increased density, this is what you get, and these scenarios are imminent. 

      • Jort March 3, 2022 (10:47 am)

        Sorry, Canton, but that is wrong. I have long proposed the complete and total closure and repurposing of public automobile street space to accommodate light rail. In fact, as an interest group, car drivers are making the fewest sacrifices to their space in the current plans. We will tear down hundreds of homes, instead, because Sound Transit and Seattle refuse to even consider that, for example, Fauntleroy Boulevard should close completely to vehicles. Once again, cars present themselves as the foundational element of our entire society. And, to your point about the inevitable results of “density,” these ludicrous ferry proposals have nothing to do with housing and human density, but instead the density of automobiles, which are among the least space-efficient parts of our society. How big do you think the ferry dock would be if it held 186 human beings, instead of their cars?  I know how badly people seek a “gotcha” on this, but the problem, as always, comes down to the geometric impossibility of solely relying on private automobiles for all transportation purposes. Geometry hates cars. 

        • zark00 March 3, 2022 (1:09 pm)

          Tilting windmills is a great use of your time.  Once again, all rant – no action.  Of course Seattle refuses to consider closing one of the major thoroughfares in West Seattle to cars – because it’s an objectively stupid suggestion with zero thought and even less understanding of the underlying issues.Car drivers are not an interest group, they are the vast majority of the human population in the US by a massive margin.  Trying to define them as an interest group belies how disingenuous and misguided your anti-car war actually is.  You’re literally fighting a nonexistent enemy. You attack people who would otherwise be your allies by belittling and insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with you.  It’s a move straight out of the Trump playbook btw – so congrats on the company you choose to keep.Unlike you, many of us who you insult on a daily basis actually do participate. We donate, we show up to public meetings, we talk to our city reps. You’ve made more enemies than you have changed minds – you create new pro-car, anti-transit, advocates every day.

          • Malignorant March 3, 2022 (2:51 pm)

            zark00, Those are some wildly disenguous Trumpian claims.  To whit, car ownership is on the decline, “Census data released last month shows the city’s car-ownership rate has dropped dramatically in the past several years. In the new estimates, about 81% of Seattle households owned at least one vehicle in 2018 — that’s the lowest rate since the 1980s. Nov 2, 2019. Seattle TimesFactually you are incorrect  about Fauntleroy Way being a “major thoroughfares in West Seattle to cars,” as from Faimount to Lincoln Park, it  is classified as a “Minor Arterial” per the city –https://seattlecitygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=a808f790a24e474d86ecde00dae81cSo much for your claims of community meetings and talks with reps, how could you be so ignorant?   And yes I too, have spent a good deal of time attending meetings, going downtown to City Council hearings and speaking up to the likes of you while being shouted down.  The way Seattle was laid out is clearly not tenable for unlimited support for car ownership, storage or use as in the past. And for zark00 to insult and demean those who hope for a better future for Seattle is selfish and just plain mean.  The denial of the car lobby is just another stupendous whopper, ignorant of history and proven wrong by any drive up Burger King.

          • Jort March 3, 2022 (2:55 pm)

            ??????????????????????    Several cities, globally, have closed streets entirely for transit, intentionally to reduce car driving, and they have thrived. Car drivers are most certainly an interest group. They literally have an advocacy organization known as AAA to lobby on their behalf. Which person am I attacking by pointing out that the geometry of car dependency is unsustainable and dangerous? The Trump playbook? I insult car drivers?     Again, people say that I am shrill but the way that car drivers take personally the fair, valid and largely irrefutable criticisms of car-centered transportation planning appears based quite strongly in emotional overreaction and illogical reasoning. Anybody who reads my posts will note that I very rarely criticize individual drivers, merely the broken system that perpetuates our car-centered death spiral. If car drivers take that personally, I think they should engage in some introspection about why.

          • K. Davis March 3, 2022 (2:57 pm)

            So true Zark.  

          • barton March 7, 2022 (11:57 am)

            Zark00 – Don’t worry – 99.9% of readers agree with you.  They just don’t comment.

        • zark00 March 3, 2022 (5:02 pm)

          Jort NOT insulting every single car owner in West Seattle by calling us all fake liberals. You’re just mean dude, straight up mean. “How many “liberals” with “In this house we believe” signs will literally cross a picket line because they don’t like driving an extra 20 minutes for their trips to Costco? If they’re car drivers, I’m willing to be 100 percent of them. Driving/Car Brain is the only thing that universally bonds people across all political, racial, economic and regional backgrounds in this country. I am serious.” – Jort

          • Jort March 3, 2022 (6:14 pm)

            Again, my criticisms are of our car-centric system and how our society perpetuates it. I again encourage introspection. Car Brain is systemic and it does, indeed, cross nearly all sociological categories. Nearly the entire American society has its brains wired for car-based thought. It is unique in the world in this exclusivity. If an individual is bothered by it, I would encourage them to work to improve our society by reducing our dependency on personal vehicles. Societies around the world have proven that there is a way out, if we are courageous enough to join them in taking it. 

          • I'm Serious Too March 3, 2022 (6:53 pm)

            I think you illustrated Jort’s point with this remark. 

    • James March 3, 2022 (10:15 am)

      Jort – as usual – you are right on the money.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees March 2, 2022 (11:32 pm)

    HANDS OFF our Lincoln Park!!!

  • cricket March 2, 2022 (11:46 pm)

    Hard No on Lincoln Park

  • D-Mom March 3, 2022 (12:10 am)

    I think most of West Seattle would come out fighting to protect Lincoln Park and Lowman Beach. I live south of the ferry dock and use Fauntleroy to get to and from the Junction and other areas around West Seattle. I really hope any plan is taking that into consideration. 

  • David March 3, 2022 (3:16 am)

    Why not just shut down ferry service to West Seattle and move it all to downtown?

    • anonyme March 3, 2022 (10:08 am)

      Best idea yet.  Downtown expansion would be far easier and more practical than any option in West Seattle.

    • Sarge March 7, 2022 (3:26 pm)

      agree 100%

  • Breathedeep March 3, 2022 (4:11 am)

    No to expansion for benefit of 80 % single occupancy vehicles, highest % in the entire system. Automatic tolling not vast parking lots. Hard no to destroying Cove Park. Hard no to making Fauntleroy one way, taking over Wildwood Place. 

  • Mark47n March 3, 2022 (4:13 am)

    How about where Gary Merlino’s house is on Brace Point, just south of the current location?

    • WSB March 3, 2022 (1:12 pm)

      Not on an arterial, minor or otherwise.

      • mark47n March 3, 2022 (3:14 pm)

         What’s that got to do with it? Make use of the extra shoreline he created, when he built that monstrosity, dumping dirt, in violation of environmental regulations. And for the concrete exclude Stoneway from the bidding.

        • WSB March 3, 2022 (3:34 pm)

          It’s part of the criteria.

  • Raye March 3, 2022 (5:12 am)

    Lincoln Park? Lowman Beach? What genius came up with those ideas? I hope we’ll have major input before any decision is made. This lyric comes to mind:”They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

  • Ivan Weiss March 3, 2022 (5:27 am)

    I’ll chip in from Vashon here. It is unthinkable, and intolerable, that any part of Lincoln Park or Lowman Beach Park be used for these purposes, or that Fauntleroy-area neighborhoods be disrupted by additional space for holding cars on the streets, or by making Fauntleroy Way SW one-way. I’ll be happy to join residents in giving a big thumbs-down to any of these cockamamie ideas. The dock needs to remain right where it is, widened to hold as many vehicles as possible OFF THE STREETS, and overhead loading is absolutely unnecessary.

  • Breathedeepseekpeace March 3, 2022 (5:29 am)

    No to expansion for benefit of single occupancy vehicles, at 80% highest in the entire system. Automatic tolling or preticketed not overwater or overland parking lots. No to making Fauntleroy one way, no ferry lane on Wildwood. No to destruction of Cove Park, Lincoln Park, Lowman. Repair and replace not expand and destroy. Option A. 

  • Ferry fan March 3, 2022 (7:25 am)

    A, B, or C only. It would be really sad to lose or obstruct part of Lincoln park or Lowman beach. Also, having Fauntleroy way be a one way would be a nightmare for traffic. The side streets around there have a lot of dead ends and could not accommodate traffic trying to go the opposite direction. I would support moving the dock if it wasn’t one of the proposals on here AND it meant we could accommodate a larger West Seattle ferry that would go to additional locations than it does now. Otherwise it should stay where it is and just get a little bigger to hold more cars.

  • Joe Z March 3, 2022 (7:27 am)

    It’s obvious from these alternatives that the ferry dock isn’t going anywhere. Nice try though. 

    • wscommuter March 3, 2022 (9:50 am)

      Yes.  Precisely.  But the beauty of seeing these other ideas – none of which will ever happen – is the ranting we get to read here on the Blog.  When I read this story, I knew the comments section would be entertaining.  

  • raywest March 3, 2022 (7:33 am)

    Some of these site proposals (Lincoln Park, Lowman Beach) seem deliberately designed to elicit an outraged response from the general citizenry so they will vote/support for an alternative the city actually prefers. I worked at the UW and remember a similar situation where staff were polled on which campus areas they object to being redeveloped for new buildings. They then included beloved and high-profile campus areas (such as the Medicine Garden, the Rainier vista, etc.) among the survey choices that would never actually be touched, but it guided responders into choosing less controversial sites the UW had already targeted for new buildings. I don’t think the city would ever build a new dock at the south-end of Lincoln Park or at Lowman Beach, knowing the public backlash would be intense and the traffic situation would be intolerable. I suspect Option “C” is what they’re planning for.

    • My two cents March 3, 2022 (9:42 am)

      It’s pretty funny to imagine the traffic around Lowman Beach if a ferry terminal was there. We could be just like Vashon with their dock and roads & hills onto the island. 

    • Chuck Jacobs March 3, 2022 (10:53 am)

      This is the cynical reaction, mine as well. You described it better than I would’ve.  Another, more charitable take is that it’s so early in the process that they’re simply exploring every possible option, regardless how outlandish. The $Trillion cross sound floating bridge seems to be off the table for now, though.

  • PatWS March 3, 2022 (7:43 am)

    NO WAY a new dock should be constructed at Lincoln Park or Lowman Beach. Remember the zipline proposal and how the community responded to that??

  • Derek March 3, 2022 (7:50 am)

    Environment destroying cars should not be prioritized on any level. Keep dock where it is. Do not destroy a park for CARS of all things. My gosh…

  • Kyle March 3, 2022 (7:55 am)

    It’s got to be B or C. Taking any public park land would be a travesty.

    • Breathedeepseekpeace2 March 3, 2022 (10:37 am)

       Option C takes all of Cove Park, 70+ feet of sandy beach. 

  • Bill March 3, 2022 (8:06 am)

    Alternative C is the most attractive, until you ask what happens to the 187th car in the queue. Are they told to keep driving?  Come back another time?   Or are they allowed to queue on the street?    If allowed to queue on the street, we have all the same backups and traffic problems again.  The current dock holds 80 cars.  There are often more than 100-150 cars queued on Fauntleroy way during the afternoon commute. The bigger dock does not eliminate the Fauntleroy way queue. 

    • s March 3, 2022 (11:27 am)

      So if we can’t entirely eliminate the street queue, then what do you propose? Do you want a ferry dock that holds 500 cars? Alternative C goes a long way in reducing the street queue, so that gets my vote.

  • Lincoln Park Mom March 3, 2022 (8:08 am)

    Take it downtown or Harbor Island.  Get is out of West Seattle.  We can’t handle the traffic load.  Hence, our bridge failed.  

  • Eddie March 3, 2022 (8:09 am)

    Burien or Des Moines make much more sense.

  • Peter March 3, 2022 (8:14 am)

    The current location is the only reasonable location. The other proposals are to address whatsboutism from obstructionists who will whine that no other options were considered. 

  • Bill March 3, 2022 (8:23 am)

    The average car is 14.7 feet long, with some shorter and some longer.   A Mini is about 10 feet, while a Suburban is closer to 20 feet. 100 average cars, bumper to bumper should be about 1470 feet long.  Of course the cars don’t touch bumpers in a queue, and there are driveways and bus stops to avoid, so a 100 car long line  at Fauntleroy could easily extend more than halfway up Lincoln park. The distance from the 76 gas station to the ferry dock is just under a mile.  A mile is 5280 feet.  We have all seen traffic backed up to the 76 station, sometime even beyond that.  A 186 car dock will take care of the traffic that goes about halfway up Lincoln park, but what happens to the cars that go from the mid-way park point to the 76 and beyond?

    • James March 3, 2022 (10:19 am)

      The answer is getting rid of cars and turning society to e-bikes. The average person who drives are car is able bodied enough to ride a bike. The ones who can’t are very small in number and they can drive but able-bodied should be embracing e-bikes and buses for the future. Not cars. Cars pollute. Even battery ones. A battery for an e-bike pollutes a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the ones that it takes to power a Tesla and the energy needed from power plants.

  • shotinthefoot March 3, 2022 (8:59 am)

    And moving it to the Harbor Island area wasn’t an alternative? They’d rather destroy a park than move it out of a residential area it never should have been in in the first place. Stupefying. Get this dock out of West Seattle, period. 

    • anonyme March 3, 2022 (10:11 am)

      Totally agree.  It makes all kinds of sense (environmental, financial, logistical) to just move it all downtown where the infrastructure either already exists or can be expanded with less disruption than any of the proposed options.  Just get it outta here.

      • raywest March 5, 2022 (7:12 am)

        In theory it sounds like a good idea to move everything to the Coleman Dock, but the added traffic to an already overly congested area would be intolerable. I have a seasonal job at Pier 91 and  commute along Alaskan Way. At it’s worst, the traffic is so bad during peak times that it can take me 60-90 minutes just to go from the pier to where one can get onto Highway 99. It is literally stop-and-go, with the existing ferry traffic a huge factor in bringing everything to a near standstill.

  • Sara Benovic March 3, 2022 (9:13 am)

    So bizarre that the city would even consider Lowman Beach. The street by the park is extremely narrow and constricted by the sewer overflow containment. 

  • burglerbustindad March 3, 2022 (9:22 am)

    Major renovation of the Fauntleroy Dock is given, it should be expanded in the process. Stagging on Fauntleroy Way will be reduced by the expansion and a change in routing with one ferry to and from Vashon on the hour and one ferry to and from Southworth on the half hour for example, Traffic on the Vashon Southworth leg is low and can be serviced by a smaller ferry.

  • breathedeepseekpeace2 March 3, 2022 (9:42 am)

    Title of project is repair and replace. Not expand and destroy. Hard no to loss of any parkland; Lincoln, Lowman, Cove park. 80% Single occupancy vehicles here, more than any other route in the system. 94% on time performance here, amongst the best. Require ticketing online or automate ticketing to process cars off the street in 6-10 secs instead of 2-5minutes. Dual destination sailings and peak demand pricing. Not overwater parking lots.

    • Ivan Weiss March 3, 2022 (10:06 am)

      If the choices boil down to vehicles in line continuing to clog Fauntleroy Way SW, or what you erroneously call “overwater parking lots,” I’d guess, from 40+ years of attending ferry meetings both on Vashon and in the Fauntleroy neighborhood, that people would support, overwhelmingly, widening the dock to get as many vehicles off the street as possible.

      Oh, and the dock isn’t going anywhere, for those of you who continue to cling to that vain hope.

      • Breathedeepseekpeace March 3, 2022 (4:37 pm)

        I also have 40+ years with ferry meetings. The signed holding lane on Fauntleroy would be present even for Option C. 2-3 boat waits happen not due to dock inefficiency, but due to inadequate crew, unavailable boats, event volumes, medical emergencies, etc. A preticketed car can be processed thru the booths in 6-10 seconds, fast enough to process 40 cars thru 2 toll booths in 2-3 minutes. The boats load fully with the new dual destination peak travel schedule since 2018, with 91-94% on time performance, one of the best in the system. That is even with a mix of cars that are not all preticketed. Three 124 capacity ferries are all that will be serving this dock in the LRP. More Operational efficiencies can be achieved by schedule and ticketing changes instead of dock widening. Proven. Working. Full boats leaving on time is the already achieved goal. Overwater parking lots (or vehicle Holding lanes over water if you prefer) destroy near shore salmon habitat, and option C eliminates the Cove Park sandy beach access.  Parking the cars on a wider dock does not increase throughput. 

        • Ivan Weiss March 3, 2022 (6:06 pm)

          I made no claim about throughput. I could always be wrong, of course, but from my experience, most of the neighbors would prefer that those cars be off the street, in no small measure for safety’s sake, and that is the position that will prevail.

        • Ivan Weiss March 3, 2022 (6:09 pm)

          I made no claim about throughput. I have been wrong before, and might be now, but from my experience, most Fauntleroy residents who are affected by ferry traffic would prefer that the dock be widened to get the cars off the street as much as possible, for safety’s sake. I am guessing that is the position that will prevail.

  • Alex March 3, 2022 (9:45 am)

    How about putting the ferry right next door to the Water Taxi in Seacrest Park?   These is less residential build up in this area, it allows for access to downtown and is much closer to the freeways.   By 2040, WSF estimates 1.9 million vehicles will be using the Fauntleroy terminal.   What a shame to run that level of traffic through a residential neighborhood.        

    • s March 3, 2022 (2:32 pm)

      Calling the area around the ferry terminal “residential” is misleading. That area has had a major ferry terminal (part of the highways system) for decades. The area is home to Lincoln Park which has athletic fields, a heated pool, summertime child care, picnic shelters, and two giant parking lots. Just south is a small commercial area with restaurants, a bakery, a salon, a market, and other businesses. Fauntleroy is an arterial that leads straight to the West Seattle bridge.

      • Breathedeep March 3, 2022 (4:00 pm)

        It’s zoned single family residential. The arterial has been dropped to 2 lanes, 25mph. 

        • s March 3, 2022 (6:33 pm)

          My point was that calling it a residential neighborhood to prevent ferry expansion is misleading. Fauntleroy is classified as an arterial, regardless the number of lanes or speed limit. Transmit Master Plan classifies it as “Frequent Transit Network.” Freight Master Plan classifies it as “Major Freight.” Street type is “Urban Center Connector. A major ferry terminal has been there for decades. Lincoln Park is there with all its features, traffic, and parking lots. There is a commercial area a few blocks away from the ferry terminal. 

          • StopCuttingDownTrees March 4, 2022 (1:36 am)

            It’s a single-family zoned area. The mere presence of a large park doesn’t change that designation, and neither does the arterial of Fauntleroy. Here in Arbor Heights we are zoned single-family yet we have commercial buildings closer to us than the Endoline commercial zone is to Lincoln Park.

          • s March 5, 2022 (11:42 am)

            @Stopcutting — I was replying to Alex, who was complaining about running ferry traffic down the street. If you listen to the meeting, WSF makes the distinction between arterial streets and residential streets. Fauntleroy is an arterial street, as BreatheDeep stated. If it wasn’t an arterial, it wouldn’t be considered for a ferry location. Again, this was covered in the meeting. Listen to the meeting and familiarize yourself with the terminology. Also, even if zoning mattered, you’re incorrect–the street one block east of the ferry terminal is largely multi-family housing, and is zoned lowrise. Just south of there, the area is zoned commercial.

      • MALIGNORANT March 3, 2022 (6:11 pm)

        Hey S,Fauntleroy  for 69 years and never noticed the “two giant parking lots.”  Please share their locations?

        • s March 3, 2022 (6:35 pm)

          Lincoln Park Parking Lot #1 at Fauntleroy and Rose. Lincoln Park Parking Lot #2 at Fauntleroy and Cloverdale. Not sure how you haven’t noticed them?

          • MALIGNORANT March 3, 2022 (9:58 pm)

            “two giant parking lots”   Like two of these?  I won’t dare ask you to describe your body appendage(s).

  • Curtis March 3, 2022 (10:16 am)

    What about the old ferry landing down by Jack Block park?   Close to Harbor Ave.

  • Brian March 3, 2022 (10:45 am)

    I really like the option that turns Fauntleroy into a one way street. That’s my pick. 

  • flimflam March 3, 2022 (11:07 am)

    Jeez. All of these options sound bad.

  • bill March 3, 2022 (11:08 am)

    Such little reading comprehension shown here. “Consultant Mark Bandy noted they’ve heard suggestions over the years to consider a terminal relocation – Elliott Bay, Lincoln Park, even Des Moines.” This is a high-level check of all options. (Well, not completely. The gondola groupies haven’t shown up yet, and the tunneling fans are missing.) The analysis shows Fauntleroy allows the most service. Hopefully the ire directed at the park locations give the ferry system political cover to discard those ideas without further wackadoodle distractions.

    • Jort March 3, 2022 (12:30 pm)

      Don’t forget the multi-quadrillion dollar “idea” to build a highway bridge between West Seattle, Vashon and Southworth. It is staggering to think how much money people are willing to expend to service the needs of private automobile motorists. If we spent as much on, say parks, education and housing as we spend, collectively, on automobiles, gas, insurance, infrastructure and damage (caused so often by cars) costs, we could do so many incredible things. Just like other countries that realize car-dominated societies are death spirals of geometric impossibility.

      • Ivan Weiss March 3, 2022 (1:49 pm)

        Go away with your idiotic straw man Jort. There is no “idea” to build a bridge, at any time ever, since the Port of Tacoma and the US Coast Guard closed the door on that years ago.

        • Jort March 3, 2022 (2:47 pm)

          The “idea” has been conveyed up in dozens of comments both on this very fine blog and in government community outreach. It is, indeed, most often summarily dismissed. But still a persistent idea that people have. I am not asserting that what would be the most expensive bridge project in American history is an “official” proposal from any agencies. I am merely stating that the idea is frequently floated by community members, still to this day. I can provide several references if you are interested.

        • Jort March 3, 2022 (4:16 pm)

          I am not implying that this “idea” is in any way an official government proposal. But, when this ferry route and its issues comes up in public discussion, it is a frequently proposed solution by the internet and public meeting commentariat. There are recent comments on this very blog that advocate this idea. They are often quickly rebutted. But people still think it. 

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul March 3, 2022 (11:20 am)

    A ferry terminal at Lowman Beach will never happen

  • RW March 3, 2022 (3:22 pm)

    Is there some reason an additional ferry can’t run from Vashon to Coleman dock? I’m referring to a full-sized vessel for cars, not the passenger-only boat. This would alleviate the amount of commuter traffic through West Seattle for those whose destination is downtown Seattle.

  • CarDriver March 3, 2022 (3:31 pm)

    Jort. With cars gone who’ll pick up the tab? No car tab/sales tax/gas tax revenue.  Will transit riders pay the full actual cost????  And your dream of closing streets means no emergency vehicle access-you’re ok with that i’m sure. It means no delivery/mail truck access. I’m sure you’re fine with that too. You have a new way for grocery stores/retail businesses to get their goods????. 

    • Jort March 3, 2022 (4:14 pm)

      Why is it that these supposedly insurmountable problems that every car driver brings up in defense of their unsustainable system are somehow easily, readily and provably solved by thousands and thousands of cities, big and small, dense and suburban, rich and poor all across the entire world?  Do you really think that cities with lower car usage simply don’t have mail deliveries? Do you really think that cities that prioritize transit just let buildings burn down because emergency vehicles can’t go anywhere? Do you really think that cities with robust train and bus systems have no groceries or retail? Do you really think that car drivers pay for their entire infrastructure only through usage fees like car tabs and gas taxes? There are so many readily, easily disprovable things in this statement. Do American car drivers ever look around them when they travel outside of the United States? Do they even travel? This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that car dependency is so integrated into the very fabric of generations of American society that people can’t even literally imagine a world without them being the priority. But that world exists and thrives all around this planet, and truly America is an extreme outlier in its thinking. 

    • Jort March 3, 2022 (8:05 pm)

      Cities around the world manage to have less street space dedicated to private cars yet still manage to still have firetrucks that prevent buildings from burning down. Mail continues to be delivered, grocery stores are still open. There are thousands of examples all over the world of productive, modern societies that manage to do just fine without relying on automobiles as their primary transportation method. Seattle can do this, too. It is not an unrealistic or outrageous idea; indeed, America is dramatically unique in its over-reliance on automobiles. 

  • Mj March 3, 2022 (6:45 pm)

    Replace the dock in existing location with some widening to hold more vehicles, 124,  yes option B and maintain existing on street holding.  Efficiency improvements to tolling are also needed.  

    As a side, I would also like to see vehicles charged by the foot a small compact significantly less than a F250 pickup!

  • HarborIslandworker March 3, 2022 (6:46 pm)

    I don’t know if this idea has been brought up yet. But what about a multi level vehicle staging area where the dock already sits. Like an elongated parking garage. Same size as the dock Just multiple levels 

    • bolo March 3, 2022 (10:33 pm)

      Interesting. But how steep would the ramps have to be?

  • MALIGNORANT March 3, 2022 (6:46 pm)

    CARDRIVER,Your argument has roots.   Remarkably like the cigarette industry’s strategy,  make the public depend on the taxes from the use of a toxic, killing product.  

  • lowmanbeachdrive March 3, 2022 (10:14 pm)


  • BigB March 3, 2022 (10:17 pm)

    A tunnel would be my preference.  

  • Stuck in Fauntleroy traffic March 4, 2022 (9:48 am)

    Now is the perfect time to move the ferry dock out of west seattle and make accomodations for it downtown at Coleman dock. We already have too much traffic in Fauntleroy. The most we should consider is to make Fauntleroy a passenger only dock for people riding the bus.

  • Wildflower March 4, 2022 (12:48 pm)

    Please preserve that section of beach just North of the ferry terminal.  It belongs to wildlife, as a daily feeding, bathing, and social ground for many crows and gulls, and for folks to walk or sit and enjoy being among them.

    • Breathedeepseekpeace March 5, 2022 (6:50 am)

      Cove Park is the name of that section. Unofficially called “The Children’s Beach”. Mouth of Fauntleroy Creek, the salmon stream, sandy beach, shallow. Fauntleroy  Community Association established and maintained for 20 years, on a Seattle City street end, now cared for by King County after the pump station expansion. 

      • Math Teacher March 5, 2022 (5:13 pm)

        The mouth of Fauntleroy Creek is south of ferry, not in Cove Park. 

        • Breathedeepseekpeace March 6, 2022 (7:20 am)

          Yes! Fauntleroy Creek reaches Puget Sound about 10 feet south of the dock, then flows under the dock, across Cove Park. Last year community members cleared logs on both sides of the dock to protect and provide access for a bumper crop of salmon. The flow of creek direction shifts with tides/sands to streaming as far as 100 feet north of the dock. Cove Park is the only public access area. Glad you know about it! 

          • s March 6, 2022 (7:47 pm)

            At the meeting, WSF said that alternative C would not take up the entire 70′ beach. Further, they said that the dock specified in alternative C could be made longer/narrower to further reduce the impact.

  • Morgan March 4, 2022 (5:19 pm)


  • Yes to SkyLink March 4, 2022 (7:21 pm)

    How about…

    No Fauntleroy ferry expansion, but rather a remodel to accommodate pedestrian ferrying only, perhaps adding a water taxi route here too.  Maybe with the possibility to build a multi level car garage at the Lincoln Park parking lots, where some could purchase monthly parking passes to keep their cars (or elsewhere in WS?).

    And, along with the other proposed SkyLink lines, build lines that run to the dock, connecting to the Junction and White Center.

    Also, perhaps reroute car ferrying to downtown from Southworth, with reduced sailings, so as to encourage those who could commute without their car, to make the change and opt for the other modes.

    • miws March 5, 2022 (10:38 am)

      A parking structure “welcoming” people to Lincoln Park?!?  😲 🤔 🙄 😠 —Mike

  • keep the dock where it is March 5, 2022 (10:35 am)

    do ticketing on line – – – -eliminate the two ticket booths – – -more room for car’s – – -one boat to Vashon & back every hour – – – – Southworth cars to downtown- – -or one smaller ferry just to Southworth and back

    • S March 5, 2022 (11:51 am)

      Southworth to Downtown is a non-starter because it would more than double the ferry travel distance and reduce the number of possible ferry departures. People needing to go from Southworth to Downtown likely already take that passenger ferry.

  • Skysceptic March 5, 2022 (11:04 am)

    Cable cars in our environment of high winds and changing unpredictable weather events?   Crickets from the Skylinkers?    In 2021, 14 Dead in Italy from cable car crash.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/24/world/europe/Italy-cable-car-accident.html

    • Yes to SkyLink March 5, 2022 (2:07 pm)

      From the SkyLink website FAQ’s:

      ‘Gondola systems have operated safely for decades in parts of the world with more extreme weather conditions than we get in Seattle. Depending on the type, gondola systems can operate in winds of up to 70 mph. Overall, gondola systems are considered the safest of all public transportation systems.’

      Any fatal transportation incident is tragic.  There have been many more train/rail related accidents responsible for greater loss of life, yet we still build railways? Not to mention all the daily car accidents on roadways, yet we still accept car technology?

      • Morgan March 6, 2022 (10:58 am)

        I wasn’t serious about gondola just thought it would trigger more comment stream….I really do like without irony our engaged passionate community on all these issues. Great neighborhood.

  • Eldorado March 6, 2022 (11:47 am)

    Same location. Bigger Dock. Separate, elevated access for pedestrians. Don’t touch Lincoln Park ever!  Surplus Holding Area on West Seattle Bridge 😎

  • EW March 17, 2022 (12:23 pm)

    Where is the bridge proposal?

Sorry, comment time is over.