Letters to the Editor

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  • Monday, March 3, 2008 1:03pm

Edmonds Crossing

More traffic in all the wrong places

At a recent candidate’s meeting, a question about the desirability of an Edmonds Crossing ferry terminal produced some interesting answers. One candidate cited a projected increase in ferry traffic by implying that Edmonds must accommodate it by building a bigger terminal. Actually, it would be better to keep the small, one-slip Main Street terminal which limits the number of ferries that bring cars to Edmonds.

Another candidate wanted the Main Street terminal closed so that the holding lanes could be converted to a park. Parks, linear and otherwise, are the best investment a town can make. But to carry out the candidate’s idea, Marina Park, Edmonds’ largest and most-used beach area, would be sacrificed. A huge ferry freeway over the north end of the park is too high a price to pay for improving the small holding lane site.

The claim of a third candidate that closing the Main Street terminal would eliminate neighborhood problems with ferry traffic in the Westgate area is questionable.

Depending upon the volume of ferry traffic, cars waiting to board the ferries are stored in: five holding lanes between Main and Dayton; two holding lanes between Dayton and City Park; and one lane between City Park and Westgate. If Edmonds Crossing is built, all cars now staged in those areas would be moved south and parked in the single lane between Pine Street and Westgate. There they would wait to make a left turn at Pine Street, across SR 104, to access the 800-car holding lanes on the UNOCAL hillside.

The streets and driveways between Pine Street and Westgate that presently may be blocked on heavy traffic days will then have daily ferry traffic waiting or creeping along SR 104 in front of their exits. That sounds more like a traffic aggravation than a traffic solution.

The construction of Edmonds Crossing will create ferry traffic problems in all the wrong places. Unless it is removed from the Roads and Transit ballot measure, vote no in November.

Natalie Shippen


Election ‘07

Majority already allows development

Duane Farmen wrote to voice his concerns about the preservation of Edmonds’ small town feel, and his support for Councilman Dave Orvis. Mr. Farmen ends his letter with “Let’s not let the balance of power change within the city council and allow for the potential that the character of Edmonds would be forever changed.”

Unfortunately, there is already a majority on the council that supports radical development in well-established neighborhoods. Take the Edmonds Way Corridor, for example. This lovely, tree-lined parkway has been slated for high-intensity, mixed-use and commercial development as tall as 45 feet! This is the result of the council’s vote to accept an application by the developer to create new zones that would allow the excessive building height. This vote went against the Planning Board’s recommendation, and against concerns raised by residents. It was also done despite the fact that the application had not been subjected to Comprehensive Plan Review in order to “save time” for the developer.

This issue goes far beyond building heights. It goes to the heart of civic fairness and the potential for favoritism or even corruption.

Some questions to ask candidates when they come knocking on your door:

1) Do you support allowing developers of commercial, multi-family, or mixed-use buildings to write their own site-specific zones?

2) If you support the bending or changing of the rules to accommodate developers, where do you draw the line on which developers to accommodate and which to deny exceptions to?

3) Do you support strict height limits downtown and in “view” neighborhoods, but think that other neighborhoods don’t need or deserve the same protections? Why?

Dave Orvis has demonstrated his concern in these matters (as have Deanna Dawson and Michael Plunkett). These council members deserve to be retained in their seats. Richard Marin, Mauri Moore, Peggy Pritchard Olson and Mayor Haakenson should all be replaced with candidates that don’t cater to the whims of developers. And, when it’s time, so should Ron Wambolt.

I urge voters in Edmonds to ask these questions. If fairness, responsibility and integrity are restored in the process of development applications, the building height issue will take care of itself.

Gary Gibson


Orvis will keep the Edmonds we know

Life gives us choices.

Another city election will soon be on us, signs all over, people talking, ringing doorbells and writing letters. What to do?

All those running for office are honorable people, willing to give their time and energy to our fair city of Edmonds. The only difference between them is their philosophy of where they see our city going. That is why we feel Dave Orvis needs to return to our council. Stating the obvious, he knows progress is necessary but large, tall buildings would change the ambiance of downtown. Presently, Dave is the hinge vote on that issue. Need we say more?

We sincerely hope that in the future all of us will not have to ask the question, “What happened to the Edmonds we knew and loved?”

John and Kathe Hall


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