Letters to the Editor

Larger ferry needed on route | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

David Moseley, assistant transportation secretary for Washington State Ferries, said about the new Coupeville (Keystone)-

Port Townsend ferry Chetzemoka: “The proof is in the sailing.”

Indeed. The ferry, supposedly specifically designed for this most tempestuous of routes, has been sailing for about one week after much fanfare and spin, yet has already had sailings cancelled on two days due to high winds (50-60 mph).

Clearly, in order to cope with Admiralty Inlet weather and tides, the route needs larger ferries (144-car) and a larger, deeper terminal to accommodate them (farther down the beach, where the terminal was previously).

In addition, the Chetzemoka has no more capacity (64 cars) than the ancient Steel Electrics did, which was already insufficient five years ago to handle weekend traffic from April to October with two ferries running.

I’m glad we have a new ferry, since it’s better than the bouncy 50-car rental ferry affectionately known by locals as “Bob,” but this solution does not correct the central issues of coping with Admiralty Inlet’s extreme conditions and insufficient capacity, nor allow for any future traffic growth.

Even having two such ferries, not yet assured, is half a loaf and well over $100 million misspent.

Bill Viertel

Coupeville

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