By now many of you have learned of the proposed project to use much of the Anacortes ferry terminal land for some grand project in partnership with the city of Anacortes. Suggested possibilities include commercial outlets, a hotel, restaurants, and/or a casino.
The proposal raises many questions.
Why devote 35 acres to other uses when more parking is a current and obvious need? There are times when all available parking space is inadequate to serve walk-on customers taking boats to the islands. I can recall a time when the ferry system wanted to encourage walk-ons.
How would folks using the new attractions get there? 12th Street/Oakes Avenue is already heavily congested each time a boat arrives. Do the residents who use this route on a regular basis want more traffic in their neighborhoods?
Has there been a study to determine the feasibility of adding certain attractions? There is a motel and two unoccupied restaurants already adjacent to the terminal land.
Would such a project be used by ferry customers? One argument given by the ferry system in favor of reservations was that there would be fewer vehicles waiting at the terminal and for a shorter amount of time. WHEN BOATS ARE ON TIME (!), passengers will have little time to use the suggested added amenities.
Does the ferry system think the project would be something ferry customers would use? Westbound passengers are eager to reach their destination – which is definitely NOT the terminal area itself. And eastbound passengers are eager to continue their journey.
What about “commercial” is not clear about Commercial Avenue? Are enterprises in the heart of town wanting competition?
Is this really the best place for added commercial enterprises? If Anacortes desires to add commercial zones, there must be better locations.
Does Anacortes really want a casino?
I am sure there are even more considerations, but from my vantage point this effort to increase the income of both the ferry system and Anacortes is a lousy idea which should be strangled in its infancy.
Editor’s note: WSF is offering an online survey to share your ideas about potential opportunities for the ferry terminal property. Visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WSDOTAnacortesSurvey. You can learn more about the project at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Funding/Partners/AnacortesFerryTerminal.htm.