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Traffic changes at Fauntleroy ferry terminal start Sunday, July 17

Ferry riders should plan for traffic control changes at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal in West Seattle starting July 17.

Due to budget cuts, Washington State Patrol (WSP) cadets will no longer be available to sort traffic headed to the Fauntleroy toll booths. Drivers will now be directed into the proper lanes for departure by Washington State Ferries (WSF) tollbooth attendants as they buy their tickets. WSF and WSP officials anticipate some confusion as drivers adjust to the changes.

Cadets also will not be available to manage street traffic to help expedite vehicles leaving the terminal. Backups may occur during periods of heavy congestion as drivers try to merge into regular city traffic. 

“We’ve had to make a tough choice between federally-mandated security efforts and traffic control,” said Capt. Mark Thomas, commander of WSP’s Homeland Security Division. “Our first priority has to be safety and security. Drivers will now have to be guided by common courtesy and the rules of the road.”

Drivers also may notice ferries departing the West Seattle terminal without a full load. The Fauntleroy terminal provides service to both Vashon Island and Southworth. Sometimes drivers queued along the street for one destination can block access for those trying to reach the other.

In the past, if a departing boat had available space, cadets could go back along Fauntleroy Way, find the blocked drivers, and move them up to the tollbooths.

“We will miss that service,” said Steve Rodgers, director of operations for WSF. “WSP provided a great customer service and made the most efficient use of a valuable state resource.”

This service was among a number of cuts required by a budget reduction at the State Patrol for the next biennium. WSF is monitoring the situation closely to determine impacts and possible adjustments.

For updates on traffic conditions at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal visit