For those South End ferry users, there’s some remarkable news we’ve waited 20 years for.
Drop-in parking of up to 72 hours might be coming to the Mukilteo terminal vicinity.
If it all comes to pass, visitors from the mainland can park and walk on the boat as opposed to waiting in lines for an hour a half and clogging Mukilteo streets while pumping CO2 into the atmosphere
The hero in this story is surprisingly the port of Everett. They purchased that parking lot in front of Ivar’s restaurant a while back for a hefty sum of money. They’ve now applied to the city of Mukilteo for necessary permits which will be decided towards the end of February.
Why is this important? Well as we’ve all noticed, the ferry lines only get longer every year, as they have for decades. The Washington State Ferries long-range plan says ferry traffic will increase by 30% in the next 17 years. Said long-range plan states that WSF must increase the walk-on ferry passengers and thus reduce vehicular traffic on those boats, or else. To date all we’ve got is the “or else” from WSF with virtually zero measures to steer things in a different direction.
We can’t build bigger terminals with bigger boats; that’s why you don’t see a second slip at that new terminal. WSF has 13 aging ferry boats to be retired in the next 20 years and the necessary infrastructure to increase capacity is not in the cards.
So it’s a big deal to get a parking lot that can hold up to 86 cars for up to three days. That’s 86 less cars on the boats and a bunch of carless visitors will even get an opportunity to use our free bus system from Clinton.
As you might guess, there’s a reason all those daily parking lots have disappeared from Mukilteo over the years — they’re not so popular over there.
A letter urging support of this application to the Mukilteo permitting department would be a wise gesture. Address to Agaluska@mukiltowas.gov Further info can be found at https://mukilteowa.gov/departments/planning-development/development-regulations/land-use-action-notices/