Opinion

Ferry dock is a dangerous spot

Ferry dock is a dangerous spot

I keep wondering when, rather than if, someone is going to be killed or seriously injured at the north-end ferry dock. Now that summer is over and school has started, I can no longer kid myself that it’s just vacationers and visitors who don’t know how dangerous the intersections between the ferry dock, Vashon Highway and 103rd Avenue S.W. truly are.

About a year ago, King County Roads told me that there is a reason there is no crosswalk at the bottom of 103rd. It’s because it’s too dangerous and people should exercise due caution when crossing there. Too many people cross to waiting cars without even glancing over to see if there is oncoming traffic. Many bikers and pedestrians don’t stay on the shoulder, and I’ve seen drivers who don’t slow down or obey the speed limit.

All too frequently when disembarking, I’ve driven off the ferry, gotten into the right lane and had to signal to the vehicles behind me that I am stopping to let a pedestrian cross in the crosswalk. What’s frightening is that vehicles in the left lane don’t bother to slow down much of the time.

Pedestrians do have the right to cross the street and are legally entitled to do so. Would it take so much time out of one’s day to let them do so, safely and legally?

And pedestrians, would it be too much to ask you to look both ways and try to stay to the right when walking up to the parking lot or walking across the street to grab your ride?

Vehicles waiting either to get into the Southworth line or pick up passengers (and yes, inadequate passenger pickup space is an issue) on 103rd create a veritable gauntlet for cars coming off the dock, cyclists pedaling uphill trying to avoid hitting passengers and cars, never mind pedestrians walking more than two abreast.

As a member of the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council’s Transportation Committee, I’d like to work with the council’s Safety Committee and police to see the speed limit on the dock enforced — better yet, lowered to 10 mph to match that of Fauntleroy Dock. I’d like to see the police ticket people who race up Vashon Highway and love to see the speed limit by the parking lot entrance lowered to 25 mph.

Many of us still feel that Vashon is a place where Islanders take care of one another. You wouldn’t know that by watching how people mindlessly jeopardize themselves and others.

Let’s practice being good neighbors. Can we be those guardian angels and protect each other?

— Kari Ulatoski chairs the

Vashon-Maury Island Community Council Transportation Committee.

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