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Washington State Route 339

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State Route 339 marker

State Route 339
Seattle–Vashon Island PO ferry
A red line indicates the path the ferry takes through Puget Sound (indicated in blue)
Route information
Auxiliary route of SR 3
Defined by RCW 47.17.571
Maintained by WSF
Length: 9.8 mi[1] (15.8 km)
Existed: 1994 – present
Major junctions
West end: SR 160 – Vashon Heights ferry terminal
East end: SR 519 – Seattle Pier 50 ferry terminal
Highway system
SR 310 US 395

State Route 339 (SR 339) is a 8.5-nautical-mile-long (9.8 mi; 15.7 km)[1] state highway in the U.S. state of Washington. It is designated on a former state-run ferry route that connected Vashon Island's Vashon Heights ferry terminal to downtown Seattle's Pier 50, via a passenger-only ferry, the MV Skagit. The ferry was financed by the King County Ferry District (KCFD) and tolls collected at Pier 50. Despite being part of the KCFD, the ferry was operated by Washington State Ferries (WSF).[2] SR 339 was one of only four ferry routes providing access to and from Vashon Island, and had the lowest annual average ridership of the four routes. The state of Washington took over the operation of the ferry route in 1951, and designated it SR 339 in 1994. The ferry was discontinued in 2006 and was replaced by a King County Water Taxi route.

Route description[edit]

Water is meeting the shore in the foreground of the picture while a pylon based bridge is in the far left corner, which is the ferry dock
The southern terminus of SR 339 at the Vashon Heights ferry terminal

The entire route of SR 339 was in Puget Sound and was served by the MV Skagit. The passenger-only ferry started out from the Vashon Heights ferry terminal on Vashon Island and headed in a northerly direction, passing Blake Island State Park on the west. It briefly sailed into Kitsap County before the route turned east and passed the Alki Point Light and Alki Point before entering Elliott Bay, and docking at WSF's Pier 50, just south of Colman Dock, where the rest of the WSF operated ferries dock in Seattle.[3][4]

Traveling at a top speed of 25 knots (29 mph),[5] the MV Skagit made the crossing in about 35 minutes. There were three crossings each direction Monday–Friday, and no service on Saturday or Sunday.[2]

Vashon Island is only connected to the rest of the region via three different WSF ferries departing from the Vashon dock, the other route departing from the Tahlequah dock on the south end of the island. SR 339 was the only passenger-only ferry that served the island; the other three ferries are auto ferries.[6]

History[edit]

Ferries have provided transportation to and from Vashon Island since the days of the Seattle Mosquito Fleet, but the state government took over the operation of the Vashon Island ferry on June 1, 1951.[7] The MV Skagit was built in 1989,[5] and the ferry began service on the Seattle–Vashon Island route on April 23, 1990.[8] The route was designated as a state highway, along with the rest of the state ferry system, in 1994.[9] In 2003 the average daily ridership was 827 passengers per day, based on a five-day week, compared to 1,015 passengers on average when the route operated on a six-day schedule in 1999.[1] This number has decreased in 2004, with an average of 529 passengers per day traveling on the ferry.[10] The passenger-only service between Vashion Island and Seattle ended in 2006.[11] WSF operated and maintained the MV Skagit, but by July 2009 the KCFD was to assume all responsibilities of the operation. The route no longer received state funding, and King County was to be responsible for all costs of the route to be funded by property taxes.[12] The MV Skagit was sold in 2011 to a ferry operator in Tanzania, where it connected Zanzibar to the mainland until it sank on July 18, 2012.[13]

The Seattle–Vashon Island run was transferred to the King County Ferry District in 2007, now operated as a King County Water Taxi route.[14]

Tolls[edit]

Tolls were collected on trips departing Pier 50; return trips to Seattle were not charged. The adult toll was $8.70, with bicycles assessed an additional $1.00 toll. Wave2Go is a prepaid toll system which allowed commuters to purchase either 10 ride cards or monthly passes.[15]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route was located in Puget Sound, King County.

Location[3] mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Vashon Heights 0.0 0.0 To SR 160 (SE Sedgewick Rd) – Vashon, Southworth Access to Southworth via Vashon–Southworth ferry
Seattle 9.8 15.8 SR 519 to SR 99 (Alaskan Way Viaduct) – Seattle Pier 50
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Washington State Department of Transportation. "Seattle–Vashon Passenger-Only Including Seattle–Southworth Travel" (PDF). WSF 2003 South Sound Travel Survey Analysis and Results Report. Washington State Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2006. Retrieved September 6, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Washington State Ferries. "Seattle–Vashon PO". Summer 2008 Schedule. Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Google (September 6, 2008). "SR 339 Overview" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 6, 2008. 
  4. ^ Rand McNally (2009). "Washington" (Map). The Road Atlas. c. 1:196,850. Chicago: Rand McNally. p. 110. Seattle / Tacoma & Vicinity inset. §§ G5–E8. ISBN 978-0-528-94201-3. 
  5. ^ a b Washington State Ferries. "M/V Skagit". Vessel Information. Washington State Ferries. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  6. ^ Washington State Ferries (Fall 2008). "WSF Sailing Schedule". Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 28, 2008. 
  7. ^ Tu, Janet I. (June 1, 2001). "Vashon Islanders Symbolize Love-Hate Relationship with Ferries as They Turn 50". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  8. ^ Gough, William (April 22, 1990). "Afoot and Afloat: Passenger-Only Ferries Launch Sound Service with Pomp and Fanfare". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ Washington State Legislature (1994). "47.17.571". Revised Code of Washington. Olympia: Washington State Legislature. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  10. ^ Puget Sound Regional Council (June 2005). "Regional View Newsletter". Puget Sound Regional Council. Archived from the original on March 31, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2008. 
  11. ^ Washington State Department of Transportation (February 18, 2011). "Washington ferries destined for Tanzania". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ Washington State Department of Transportation (June 26, 2008). "King County Ferry District Assumes Cost of Vashon Island Passenger-Only Service July 1" (Press release). Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 6, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Toll from Former Vashon Ferry Sinking in Tanzania Could Hit 150". The Seattle Times. July 18, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  14. ^ Gilmore, Susan (November 14, 2007). "King County Dives into Foot Ferries". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  15. ^ Washington State Ferries (May 1, 2007). "Passenger and Vehicle Fares" (PDF). Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 11, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

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