Port pitches parking plea to Sen. Murray

Port of South Whidbey commissioners asked representatives of U.S. Sen. Patty Murray this week to consider assisting in the effort to improve parking at the Mukilteo ferry.

During the council of governments meeting Wednesday, port Commissioner Curt Gordon updated a group of officials from local, state and federal governments on the situation with the ferry terminal.

“I just need this to be on your radar,” Gordon said to Ann Seabott and Shawn Bills, Murray’s representatives.

The state is constructing a new terminal on the old Mukilteo tank farm. The project, called The Mukilteo Multi-modal Project, includes a new passenger and maintenance building, a transit center near the Sounder commuter rail station, four new toll booths but no new parking.

A parking garage was originally part of the plan but was cut due to a lack of funding.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me that this Washington State Ferries multi-modal facility is being built with no plan for parking,” he said.

A parking feasibility study was funded by the Port of South Whidbey, Island County, Sound Transit and the City of Mukilteo two years ago, but Gordon said they are still waiting on results. He said he has been pressuring the City of Mukilteo, who is performing the study, and expects results “very soon.”

Seabott, who is the Northwest regional director for Murray, said their office would be interested in looking at the results of the study when it’s completed.

State District 10 Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, was also present at the council meeting. She stressed the importance of the issue outside of Mukilteo and the island.

“This isn’t a Whidbey Island problem, we’re serving the world,” Smith said to Seabott. “If we had your assistance, I think it could go a long way to moving the ball forward.”

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