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State may require WSF to keep passenger-only access at Colman Dock

State lawmakers are working to ensure that Vashon's foot ferry can continue to dock at Pier 50 in downtown Seattle.

Washington State Ferries recently announced plans to renovate Colman Dock in downtown Seattle, removing Pier 50 in the process. The pier is where the King County Water Taxi — with sailings from Vashon and West Seattle — docks along with the Kingston Soundrunner.

The House Transportation Committee, however, wants WSF to change its plans. Representatives have included a proviso in the House transportation budget that would require any renovation to the Colman Dock to maintain passenger-only ferry access to the terminal.

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), who was instrumental in getting the clause included, said that the proviso would enforce a current state law, RCW 47.60.662, which requires the state ferry system to collaborate with passenger-only ferries for service at its terminals.

Although the state no longer operates foot ferries, Fitzgibbon said, lawmakers still want to see them succeed.

“It's important to my constituents, and it's important to have good transportation connections,” he said.

The proviso isn't in the Senate budget, but Fitzgibbon said he hoped it would make it into the Legislature's final version.

“We'll have to work with the Senate and make sure it stays in the final budget,” he said.

Construction at the Colman Dock is set to begin in 2015.

The public can comment on the project through March 15. To comment, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/ColmanDock, email FaulknE@wsdot.wa.gov or mail comments to Washington State Ferries, Attention: Marsha Tolon, 2901 3rd Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121.

 

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