Ferry project updates l Guest View

By Kevin Stoltz, Mukilteo FAC Chair | Jan 09, 2019

The Mukilteo Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) is a three-member committee created by the Washington State Legislature (RCW 47.60.310) appointed by Snohomish County to serve the local Mukilteo community. The Mukilteo FAC shares information from Washington State Ferries with the local community and works with WSF to answer questions and resolve ferry related problems affecting our community.

As you might imagine, it’s not really clear which agencies are actually responsible for the FAC or how we’re supposed to carry out our duties defined in the RCWs. No one actually has a budget to support the FAC and we’re volunteers. I tell you this because we’re at a point in Mukilteo where the new ferry terminal will be open in the spring of 2020 and the WSF Long Range Plan just released does have some features that can help our community. But not everything you may have believed was going to happen concurrent with this project will, and other issues have surfaced as a result of the adopted design decisions that will need to be addressed.

So, let’s get to the latest:

Beginning this week, the contractor is beginning construction of the actual terminal building and other upland components of the project. IMCO Construction won the bid for this part of the project and just recently had worked on the previous phase including storm drainage work. If you’ve walked the pedestrian trail in the area, you know they’ve made a great effort to keep the trail open during construction. The next phase will be more difficult, but hopefully they’ll be able to be as responsive to the community as they have previously.

An issue that has frustrated many residents in the area is the fear that the design of the new terminal area and the associated land use at the waterfront will increase traffic through the neighborhoods and essentially turn the waterfront into a parking lot.

Unfortunately, that’s currently the direction we’re heading. You may have heard that the Port of South Whidbey is looking to build a parking lot on the 3-plus acres of land owned by the Tulalip Tribes between the new ferry terminal and Edgewater Beach Park. That project was recently approved to move into the traffic study stage by the Port of Everett (who has to sign off to allow another Port to do business in their jurisdiction).

This project, combined with the design decisions for the new terminal that results in Mukilteo Lane being used as a shortcut for the traffic created by the parking lot, the Sounder Station, and pickup/drop off, will be a problem for the local residents.

As mentioned previously, the WSF 2040 Long Range Plan was released Jan. 3, (https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/planning/long-range-plan/the-plan). Thanks to everyone who participated in this process and provided comments.

In addition to ensuring the system has adequate resources (ferry boats) to meet future demand, for the first time, WSF will be taking a more active role in supporting the parking, pedestrian and bike access, and local infrastructure needs of land side ferry communities.

Recognizing that some of the elements of the new ferry terminal design will be adversely impacting local Mukilteo residents, the Mukilteo City Council will be discussing (and listening to) many concerns that have been brought to their attention. There will be a committee meeting (usually not an opportunity for public input) on Monday Jan. 14, and then a regular Council meeting (public input is accepted) on Monday Feb. 4.

Between those two meetings will be our regular Mukilteo FAC meeting on Jan. 17, where we’ll be able to review the staff presentation discussed by the Council at their committee meeting, and prepare what public input we’d like to bring forward.

The specifics of the meetings are below.

If you’d like to be on the Mukilteo FAC email list to receive additional details of the upcoming meetings (and the periodic Mukilteo Waterfront drone videos) please let us know at MukilteoFAC@gmail.com.

 

@Upcoming dates@

Council committee meeting: Jan. 14 at Mukilteo City Hall, 6-9 p.m.

Transportation Impact from New Ferry Terminal Discussion and Parking Study (AB19-15).

 

Mukilteo FAC (Ferry Advisory Committee) regular meeting: Jan. 17 at Rosehill Community Center, 7-8 p.m.

 

Mukilteo City Council meeting: Feb. 4 at Mukilteo City Hall. 7 p.m.

Transportation Impact from New Ferry Terminal Discussion and Parking Study (AB19-15).

 

 

 

 

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