Make your voice heard regarding ferry terminal l Council Corner

By Councilmember Sarah Kneller | Oct 24, 2018

As many of our residents know, I have been putting a great deal of effort into community involvement and information distribution regarding the new WSF terminal.

What many residents don’t know is that Mukilteo was left off the docket for the WSF Long Range Plan meetings for this year.

We have a monumental project in our backyards and we were denied a Long Range Planning meeting. We should have been on the top of the list this year, undoubtedly.  Tomorrow, Oct. 25 is the final day for feedback on the Long Range Plan.

I have written a letter and it is being signed in support by Council President Steve Schmalz and Councilmember Richard Emery in addition to myself. I encourage all residents to participate at: https://wsflongrangeplan.com/comment/.

Use ours as a jumping off point, or if you email me directly at skneller@mukilteowa.gov I can send you a .doc you can edit to your liking.

We have worked diligently towards making changes for the betterment of our community, and together we are making progress. Thank you to everyone who has shown up to meetings, walkthroughs, focus groups and the continued hard work of our Ferry Advisory Committee. Let’s keep working to make this project work for Mukilteo.

 

The letter is as follows:

 

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing to urge you to consider looking at a partnership study between Mukilteo, Island County, WSF and other key stakeholders to determine the best system for the Mukilteo-Clinton route. With enough background planning and careful outreach WSF can create a collaborative multimodal hub that everyone can be proud of and enjoy living by. Several Mukilteo residents have expressed concerns over a lack of public outreach communications during the terminal development project and there have been amendments made to the plans, which will have significant impacts on the local community. Some of these concerns for current and future issues are addressed here:

 

Parking in Mukilteo

Non-vehicle trips to Whidbey are limited by lack of parking/short-term parking in Mukilteo. We support any efforts by WSF to help realize longer term parking (such as the Tank Farm project, or behind Diamond Knot) that will allow travelers to make use of transit or other pick-up service on Whidbey and thus free up auto deck space on the boats.

 

Park and Ride Investment

Knowing how many spaces are left in a park and ride and having a well-organized park and ride with good information about when the next transit link can be made will encourage more walk-on trips. A Park and Ride is needed in or near Mukilteo, and with the constraints of the state park parking at Lighthouse Park it is an ongoing challenge to accommodate long term and overnight parking.

 

Transit Coordination

WSF needs to partner with Transit, emphasizing door-to-door over shore-to-shore.

 

Last mile connectivity

Non-driving trips can be encouraged by offering safe and welcoming pedestrian and bicycle facilities at (near) both terminals. Partnering with local jurisdictions may make this possible.

Trip kiosks/apps

Non-driving “trips” might be encouraged by letting people know what is possible. Kiosks, apps, or flyers might help people make the choice to park-ferry-transit versus drive on.

Traveler information

Active signage displaying ferry wait times may alleviate driver anxiety and reduce unsafe driving. It is better if drivers understand their expected trip time. Checking a cell phone while driving is not a safe option, so alternatives should be considered.

Level of Service

We need a level of service metric that everyone understands. Number of boats wait or number of full reservations is a good indicator that the public can connect with.

Single app

Easy to use app for ferry information, reservations, payment, etc. that Grandma can use. The app could suggest non-driving options as well. Note that the WA Transportation Plan, WTP 2040 and Beyond, is recommending a statewide payment pass for public transportation.

Better queuing system to reduce emissions

Drivers are asked to turn off vehicles when waiting for a ferry, but the current system has limited information to tell drivers when they will be moving versus being stopped for 15 minutes. Cueing cues would be helpful in reducing emissions.

Removal of Revenue Protection Fencing

The proposed fencing surrounding the Mukilteo ferry holding lanes should be revised to include additional gates to access the promenade or removed completely. The ability for riders waiting to be able to shop local businesses and restaurants while they are waiting is an appeal to both the local economy and ridership.

Emergency Evacuation Egress

We need to be sure that local law enforcement, and first responders are included in the design of the ingress and egress patterns to ensure all safety concerns are addressed.

Traffic Mitigation

Mukilteo Lane will be faced with significant traffic impacts, and was found to be “outside of the project area.” This is concerning for the reason that the issues that will be challenging to remedy on Mukilteo Lane are direct impacts of the Ferry Terminal relocation. We must carefully study and mitigate the negative impacts to residents.  Additionally, Mukilteo Speedway traffic needs a safe turnaround area to eliminate the 3-point turn that causes near miss accidents several times a day as people try to flip into the ferry holding lanes.

As a member of the Mukilteo City Council I very much appreciate the careful consideration going into this project.

As with all projects, there are always areas of compromise and ways to improve. Continued public outreach, collaboration, and a willingness to compromise from both sides is paramount in the success of this project.

I look forward to continued conversations, which will guide us to a wonderful project for both WSF and the community of Mukilteo.

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