Use the HERO line, stop South Whidbey ferry line cutters

Editor,

Many readers have by now seen the article in the Monday Seattle Times from their “Traffic Lab” regarding ferry line cutters. Several things stand out. First, the Mukilteo-Clinton run is the most heavily traveled in the state. Second, the most reports of ferry line cutters to the HERO phone line are from the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry riders by a huge margin. 353 calls to the next highest, Edmonds-Kingston, at 189. Finally, almost nothing happens to people who cut in line. I am really not interested in the lame reasons people provide. I often have appointments myself and need to get to where I am going in time. If there is a legitimate medical emergency, I have seen a boat leave an entire dock of cars behind and take only one car (a whole other subject).

I believe the statistics on the number of ferry cutters are hugely under-reported. Most people don’t know about the HERO line, they don’t know the number, or they think it doesn’t make any difference.

On the last point I would like to yell out, that if people don’t call in, the Washington State Department of Transporation (WSDOT) won’t ever have even remotely accurate information.

As noted in the article, on the Edmonds-Kingston run, they have a checkpoint voucher program that limits ferry cutters. On our run, for example, if one were implemented, if you got into line at Dalton Realty and there was a checkpoint, you would be given a voucher. When you get to the ticket booth, if you don’t have the voucher, you don’t get on the dock. That may explain why there are so few reports of cutters on the Kingston side where I have seen it in action. Our run, on the other hand, despite heavier use, doesn’t merit such a system (I have written to WSDOT to ask them about this but never received a decent response).

So here is my proposal. Everyone should have the HERO number in their phone and call every time someone cuts in front of them. Here is the number:

(877) 764-4376, or (877) 764-HERO.

Also, please leave an extra note at the end of the call. Tell WSDOT when you call that, one day, there will be a big incident, as people get really mad when someone cuts the line. Do they really want an assault, or worse, a shooting, before they take action to protect the integrity of the line and the safety of their riders? I feel I pay enough ferry fares to think I shouldn’t have to deal with cutters. I know the ferry employees don’t because they fear for their own safety.

Maybe we will eventually get some relief if we all call every time someone cuts in front us. Please make the call.

CHERI FILION

Clinton

More in Letters to the Editor

See if Langley joins carbon initiative Dec. 18

Editor, Let’s hear it for the City of Langley for they’ve consented… Continue reading

Need to lobby legislators to keep net neutrality

Editor, Ready to send more money to your Internet service provider (ISP)?… Continue reading

Enjoyed Island Transit’s birthday celebration

Editor, I want to thank Island Transit for sharing its birthday celebration… Continue reading

Americans must show Trump that he’s wrong

Editor, It was Maya Angelou who once told us, “When someone shows… Continue reading

Happy to be back and serving the community

Editor, To our island community and beyond: Thank you! Thank you! Thank… Continue reading

South Whidbey does in fact have a public pool

Editor, I take exception to your claim that South Whidbey has no… Continue reading

Inclusive city decision far from transparent

Editor, Quite opposite to The South Whidbey Record’s front page headline on… Continue reading

Students can learn from recent South Whidbey Record article

Editor, I’m writing in response to the South Whidbey Record article Saturday… Continue reading

Great items to be found at local church bazaars

Editor, Thanks so much to the churches that donate their love and… Continue reading

Don’t eliminate parking spots for wider sidewalks

Editor, Regarding the parking in Langley, I was quite surprised to read… Continue reading

Hold contractors and home services companies accountable

Editor, This is an open letter to the many local contractors and… Continue reading

Gun reform is needed in America

Editor, Anticipating a reaction to The Record’s Nov. 8 editorial advocating a… Continue reading