State will not push cyclists to back of the ferry

Washington State Ferries (WSF) has no plans to pursue a recommendation that cyclists embark and disembark last, according to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington:

For the moment, bicyclists need not worry about any changes to the present system of loading and unloading bikes on state ferries. Washington State Ferries chief David Moseley has stated that the ferry system will not be seeking to adopt a marine industry panel recommendation to load and unload bicyclists after all motorized vehicles. He indicated that a WSF response to the panel’s report (due to the governor and legislature November 15) will simply say that ferry managers will further examine the issue. “We definitely do not want to make any changes at this time,” said Moseley. “I don’t know if these are changes that we would want to make if the structures in place can’t be improved. We want to have discussions with our bicyclist customers to see if collaboratively we can make it better for everyone.”

Good job everyone who applied pressure and voiced your concerns. The reasons given for changing the order statewide were either poorly researched or completely unresearched. I’m glad WSF saw the need for research before pushing such an idea.

If motor vehicles pose a safety hazard to cyclists, then WSF should certainly look into ways to make ferries safe for all users. However, I bet more traffic calming efforts would be more appropriate and effective than merely providing a disincentive to ride a bike on a ferry at all.

The Bicycle Alliance report says they will research the issue, which I think is good for everyone. However, I hope their research looks at solutions other than simply making bikes go last.

WSF is looking for further bicycle involvement for when they pick up this and other issues in the future. Again, from the BA:

The loading issue won’t be back on WSF’s agenda until after the 2011 legislative session, which is scheduled to end sometime in May. In light of the loading issue and on-going problems with space for bikes on the Seattle-Bainbridge ferries, Moseley responded favorably to the idea of setting up a regular forum with bicyclists to discuss all bike-related issues. Details of a future advisory committee on bike issues will be discussed in coming months. Squeaky Wheels will be represented on this new committee – and will be working to protect and promote the interests of bicyclists.

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3 Responses to State will not push cyclists to back of the ferry

  1. Kerry Summers says:

    At least at the Fountleroy Ferry Terminal, walkers and bikes disembark on the roadway with bikes and and walkers going first. To make a statewide policy forcing bikes to go last would make little sense if it makes no sense to implement it on particular routes.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m an occasional ferry-biker (Southworth Fountleroy) to and I’ve never noticed any safety issues or problems. I’m not sure what problem having bikes go last would solve.

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