Ferry traffic in Kingston needs to use holding lane

The out basket: Cliff Durant wrote on Aug. 12 to say, “I was at the parts house in Kingston this evening. When I attempted to leave, the ferry traffic was backed up through town and as far as I could see out of town.

“The big problem was that no one would use the ferry holding lane,” Cliff said, “therefore stopping all traffic into town. I waited at least 20 minutes when I finally persuaded a driver to back up enough so I could get into the two-way left-turn lane and get where I wanted to go. There were times when cars were trying to go both ways in the two-way left-turn lane.

“Since the use of tally slips, people quit using the holding lane in town,” he said, “and when it backs up out of town they don’t use it there either. I called (9-1-1) and reported it and was told that is just the way it is when the ferry traffic backs up. I said someone needs to direct the traffic into the holding lane and was told there wasn’t anyone available.

“This happens quite often,” he said, “and doesn’t need to if the ferry (traffic) would just use the holding lane. Maybe signs advising the use of the holding lane would help.”

The out basket: The State Patrol manages traffic around the ferry terminals, so I asked its local spokeswoman, Trooper Krista Hedstrom about this.

“This does occur from time to time when the boat off-loads and the traffic lights stop traffic in both directions,” she said. “That will cause some gridlock. During the evening rush hour (during the summer only) there can be a 5-10 minute back-up, which is self-correcting when the boat loads.

“The problem is there is a mixture of commuters and leisure travelers that have absolutely no clue what to do regardless of our direction,” she said. “WSP does routinely direct traffic when it causes a back-up, however this issue typically corrects itself once the boat loads.  It usually takes more time directing everyone onto the shoulder than just allowing the traffic jam to self-correct itself.”

One thought on “Ferry traffic in Kingston needs to use holding lane

  1. I believe these weeknight backups in the eastbound direction have taken WSF completely by surprise and are a direct result of the reduction in the number of sailings on the Edmonds / Kingston run.

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