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Letter to the Editor: Washington State Ferries, city should address new ferry terminal issues

 

Last updated 1/20/2021 at 2:01pm



I was really frustrated, but after reading Charlie Pancerzewski’s Jan. 13 letter to the editor ( https://bit.ly/3p3mNLF ), now I’m really angry as well! I was not aware the new ferry terminal cost $187,000,000! As a senior walk-on, I can’t see our “category” was not much thought about.

I have three grandchildren, who live on Whidbey, and I try to go see them on occasion. (Less now with COVID worries) It used to be so convenient with the old ferry dock being so close to parking. Now, it can be close to 1/2 mile to walk from the lighthouse parking lot to the new terminal. And, if carrying anything like birthday gifts and cupcakes, it’s difficult, especially when it’s windy and rainy. 

Upon arrival, there are two steep flights of stairs to climb. And after buying a ticket, two steep flights of stairs to walk down on the other side. (You see, that’s because the elevators are NOT working!) Why, for $187,000,000 were the elevators not in operation, even on Dec. 29, the opening day? And still not working on Jan. 17 when I last rode the ferry. Also, the passenger bridge won’t be ready for maybe another two months. Why? Seems to me the opening day should have been moved to a later date. 

My son walks on the ferry from Whidbey daily to go to work at Boeing. He parks behind Diamond Knot and says his yearly fee for that is $2,400. What does the city of Mukilteo do with that money? It certainly isn’t used to fix potholes, street signs, or sidewalks! The walk to the ferry there is rugged, full of problems. (Try it sometime.) There’s still a sign by the Silver Cloud that says, “If the ferry is loading, please stop here.” Why wasn’t that removed? The old ferry loading area has been changed. Who is charge of details?

I was told there were eight parking spots on the east side of the terminal. So as I returned from my recent trip, I walked along the waterfront looking at that parking. There are eight 15-MINUTE spots. What can be done in 15 minutes? You can’t even get up to the second floor where tickets are sold, and get back down to your car! I counted 52 spots with “reserved for WSF workers” painted on the asphalt. I counted 19 occupied out of the 52. Then I looked for handicapped slots. Only TWO! Seriously?! TWO? Is that ADA compliant? 

 Lastly, I wonder about traffic getting down the speedway to Lighthouse Park as the weather warms. As it is now, there’s a temporary stop sign where one lane of ferry traffic exits. They do not stop! Why isn’t there a break in that stream of 144 cars? There used to be at the old ferry dock. This gave visitors to the beach, Diamond Knot, Ivar’s, Silver Cloud, Losvar condominiums, the boat launch, etc. a time to proceed. I envision many accidents in the future along with lost tempers and unnecessary confusion. 

Indeed, the new terminal has beautiful art and woodwork. But this seems to have been the priority over the logistics and practicalities that are missing. 

Susan Davison

Mukilteo

 

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