Letter: Bigger ferries would lead to longer waits, more traffic

Posted 3/6/19

The progress we need and deserve in the next decade must be service-oriented, not size-oriented. The fatal flaw in doubling the size of the boats would be halving the service

frequency. That means …

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Letter: Bigger ferries would lead to longer waits, more traffic

Posted

The progress we need and deserve in the next decade must be service-oriented, not size-oriented. The fatal flaw in doubling the size of the boats would be halving the service

frequency. That means many more 90-minute waits where 45 minutes is currently, in peak season months with the help of the very effective reservation system, the norm.

One of the main reasons for increased ridership these past nine years is the predictably short

waits for all walk-ons and all vehicles with reservations. Reverting to more inconvenient 90-minute wait times is sure to cost the run some ridership.

The worst feature of placing 144-car ferries here is that there would be no increase in street

capacity when a full boat pulls in. To understand how disruptive that would be, observe what happens to the village of Kingston each time a jumbo ferry unloads. The town serves primarily as a thoroughfare, siphons off a minimum of commerce from the traffic, and lacks the vibrancy of a real community. Locals have to time their shopping to avoid ferry traffic surges. It mustn't happen here!

The current Kwa-di Tabil Class boats are right-sized. They will adapt more readily to

hybrid-electric conversion due to economical size.

They are proven able to run on a 45-minute schedule, which can be extended both in daily

hours and in length of season. In 10 years, the Chetzemoka could be brought back here in summer for three-boat service at 45 minutes in summer, raising capacity by more than 50 percent from current ridership.

Real "progress" is carrying more passengers, not vastly more cars. The highway grid isn't capable of absorbing many more cars. We all know that, as we try to navigate local roads and downtown during high season.

Forest Shomer

Port Townsend

 

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