County Gears Up for Orcas Landing Park and Ride Project Phase 1 begins in March

— from San Juan County Communications —

San Juan County received a $760,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to construct a Park and Ride facility at the Orcas Island Ferry Terminal on Orcas Island.

The primary purpose of the project is to relocate the ferry parking that occurs along Orcas Road. See Map above.

  • Phase 1 – Construct the parking lot and relocate Orcas Hill Road
  • Phase 2 – Reconstruct the intersection at Orcas Hill Road and add turn lanes
  • Phase 3 – Terminate the Orcas Hill Road at the WSDOT holding lanes

Construction on Phase 1 is expect to begin in March 2017. A schedule for Phase 2 and Phase 3 is being developed.

Access to properties and business on Orcas Hill Road will be provided throughout construction.

For more information about this project contact San Juan County Public Works: Jesse Douglas-Seitz, Project Engineer, (360) 378-0516 Or visit our webpage at

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County Gears Up for Orcas Landing Park and Ride Project Phase 1 begins in March — 9 Comments

  1. Is the road side parking serving as some sort of obstruction or has anyone been physically injured by it being there? I personally don’t live in the area, so cannot comment on the topic. Currently not seeing how the money put into this project benefits the community, but I presume there is no money for or in things like education and health. Seems like another instance of growth for growths sake.

  2. Getting down the hill to the ferry will be interesting, unless some improved route will be available…other than trekking down Orcas Road, that is.

    And getting back up to your car again? It won’t be something that seniors and people with luggage will contemplate with pleasure.

    Hmmm… Maybe include an escalator in those plans, or a cable tramway.

  3. Seems like a lot of money to solve a problem that really isn’t a problem. I regularly park on the road there.

  4. Parking along the road is NOT safe. The road is not designed for that and the lack of a turn lane into the ferry is a huge problem, especially for people who are NOT turning into the ferry and just want to get to the Orcas Store or just go home! I question the amount of this project that can be completed for $760K. That seems WAY low for that much regrading, paving, etc. So who picks up the rest of the tab? Perhaps there can be user fees on the parking, especially long(er) term. Or perhaps a few permanent spaces can be leased annually for big bucks to people who want to walk on the ferry in Anacortes and leave an “island” car in the parking to use when visiting their vacation home? That might help pay for some of the work.

  5. How will seniors descend and ascend the hill to and from the ferry? And, like Mr. Wood suggests, the financing seems vague.

  6. The State DOT must be flush with money once again. Steve H asks the most pertinent question. How are travelers over 60 going to climb from the ferry deck up, up, up to a distant parking lot? Very, very impractical, and a singular waste of taxpayers money serving no useful purpose.
    Too, how much is that fancy ramp at the very top of the ferry road costing us?

  7. Looks like an expensive project.

    I join the chorus of people asking how this gets done for $760k?

  8. Seniors will get up the hill the same way they get up the hill to parked cars now. They’ll walk, or if need be, they’ll ask their fellow islanders for a ride. Just because neighbors have to help each other out doesn’t make it a bad idea- indeed it’s a good one. And seriously, where can parking go at landing other than uphill? I know being negative about everything new or different is a long standing cherished Orcas Island tradition, but come on folks, this is a big improvement and something we should all be grateful for. Once it’s done and we’re using it, we’ll all take it for granted, and if it were to go away all of the negative commenter would be kicking and screaming. Kudos to everyone involved in making this happen!