King County would take over the Vashon Island foot ferry and try out passenger ferries on up to five other routes on Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with property owners financing the service through a tax levy slightly higher than indicated earlier, County Executive Ron Sims proposed Thursday.
In a letter to the County Council, which also serves as the board of the recently created King County Ferry District, Sims called for a 10-year property tax of 5.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
What will they do with these taxes?
Conduct two-year tests of five other ferry routes, beginning with one route in 2009 and adding another each of the next four years. The routes have not been selected, but possibilities include Lake Washington runs to central Seattle from Kenmore, Kirkland and Renton and Puget Sound trips to downtown from Shilshole and Des Moines.
Is this the first step of the “greenest package you have ever seen” transportation plan Ron Sims had in mind? What’s the carbon footprint on one of those suckers? Those diesel engines don’t run gypsy tears or lollipops, that’s for sure! (Or biodiesel for that matter).
Really, what the fuck are we doing even considering putting ferries into Lake Washington when King County’s South Park Bridge is deteriorating before our eyes?
To be clear, I think King County is right to invest in passenger only ferries to Vashon Island, because, well, it’s a fucking island. Kirkland, from what I remember, is not an island, and that Kirklanders manage to get around pretty well without boat service. Even the West Seattle Water Taxi, a sort of quasi-novelty item propagated by West Seattle-based county councilmen from the past and present, seems like something worth keeping.
I find it funny that Sims, who attacked the South Link light rail line for not being “worth the money”, is proposing a new transit system that will have an astronomical per-rider subsidy. Besides, people like to criticize light rail for being “two hundred year old technology,” but what about ferries? Isn’t that, like, four fucking thousand years old?
To recap: Vashon Island ferry, yes. Water Taxi, sure, why not. Ferry from Kirkland to UW? No way.