What percentage of ferry vehicle space gets used?
If you travel at commute times or sail away for the weekend,
you’d think almost all of it. It’s not uncommon to wait an hour or
more to drive aboard during those times.
The answer is 61 percent, which is still pretty impressive
considering the boats run practically all day long.
Individual routes ranged from 45 percent full for
Seattle-Bremerton to 66 percent for Mukilteo-Clinton. Bremerton is
largely a foot route. Seventy-four percent of riders are car
passengers or walk-ons.
Riders always complain that they need bigger boats, like on the
Bainbridge route, but they really don’t. It’d just be a waste of
fuel and labor costs.
Bremerton, however, is bumping up to a new 144-car Chimacum in
2017, whether it needs to or not. It can grow into it.
Bainbridge has similar characteristics to Bremerton because it’s
going the same place — to a major city. Sixty-nine percent of its
customers are passengers as opposed to drivers.
Only 43 percent of Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth riders are
passengers, 48 percent on the Edmonds-Kingston route and 56
percent for the system overall.
Almost never does a ferry reach passenger capacity, though it
might seem so in early morning when the booths become beds. The day
of the Seahawks’ parade after winning the Super Bowl was a notable
Though an average of 61 percent of the system’s car decks are
filled at any time, just 12 percent of passenger space is being
used. It ranges from 7 percent at Point Defiance-Tahlequah to 18
percent for Anacortes-Sidney, British Columbia. It’s hard to put
fannies in up to 2,500 seats.
Do you recognize any
of the bridges up above? We could have a contest, except then I
would have to know what they all are, which I don’t.
Anyway you can pick up this poster of historic Washington
bridges for free through October at the State Archives headquarters
in Olympia or at the Secretary of State’s main office at the
Capitol in Olympia. They’ll be having an open house down there from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.See if you can name them all. I’ll find the
How bad has traffic become when drivers take backroads to get
around the freeway?
I feel so lucky every morning when I see the traffic report and
know I don’t have to go on the other side of Puget Sound. My wife
does. I can plan my trips around Kitsap Peninsula down to the
minute. She has no idea when she’ll get to work, or back home.
I always felt those estimates of how much productivity we’re
losing because we’re stuck in traffic were bogus. I equate
productivity with work, and just because it takes you two hours to
commute doesn’t mean you can cut two hours off your shift. It’s
subtracted from time with the kids, at the gym, sleeping.
Here, we might have an hour of heavy traffic twice a day at a
few spots. There, my wife gets off the highway as soon as she
crosses the Narrows Bridge and winds her way all the way to King
County without getting back on. And it’s faster. It just defeats
the whole purpose, defies the definition of a freeway.
How can people commute like that? I guess they don’t have much
choice, if they want to get paid. You’d think at some point
companies will have so much trouble moving workers and products
that they start relocating to the peninsula. I wonder if ferry
fares and bridge tolls are holding them back.
Legislators a few months ago passed a $16 billion, 16-year
transportation package. Something had to be done. But I have a hard
time imagining traffic will be any better in 16 years. Hopefully we
can keep keep pace, and I won’t get transferred to the other
Can you picture what the roads here will be like in 16 years?
Probably still crowded in the usual places. Out of that $16
million, we’ll be getting money to improve Highway 305 between
Poulsbo and Winslow, though it’s not sure how. They’ll also be
re-striping the Highway 3-Highway 304 interchange near the
Bremerton treatment plant. That’ll get better flow coming south on
Highway 3 at the expense of backing Highway 304 farther into town.
Guess I better start looking for some backroads.