Last week, the Seattle Police Department informed Washington State Ferries (WSF) that it would no longer provide officers for traffic detail at the Fauntleroy Dock during peak hours, according to WSF spokesperson Hadley Rodero.
Previously, off-duty officers directed traffic at the busy dock, facilitating loading and unloading during difficult commute times.
Rodero said that the reason for the change was because the police department determined its officers were needed elsewhere in Seattle, namely to provide traffic detail during public gatherings and sporting events to relieve congestion in the city.
In an alert sent last week, motorists were advised to use extra caution on Fauntleroy Way when traveling to and from the terminal in the absence of the law enforcement presence.
Meanwhile, WSF is finalizing an agreement with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to assist with directing traffic at the intersection, a frequent bottleneck for both motorists and pedestrians.
WSF spokesperson Dana Warr said it has taken time for the ferry system to finalize a contract with WSP and organize a schedule for officers to continue providing traffic detail at Fauntleroy, but that the two agencies have made progress.
“We hope in the next week, in the coming days, that we’ll have a more consistent presence and more support,” he said, adding that some WSP officers began assisting with traffic duties during the morning commute as of last week.
Funding for traffic detailing at the dock comes out of WSF’s terminal operations budget, according to Warr.
“We know it’s necessary,” he said. “We’ve provided Washington State Patrol with our schedule that we would like to have officers present down there, and they’re working through their process to identify those times and personnel who can support it.”
Updates on WSP availability at the dock will be provided as soon as there is more information, according to a statement.