Letters to the Editor

WSF reading room needs a ‘quiet sign’ | Letters | Nov. 18

I am writing about something I have had on my mind for the past six years in connection with my regular commute on the Bainbridge run into Seattle.

I have been a ferry rider for almost 40 years. I sit upstairs on the boat in the solarium rooms that also are referred to as the “quiet room” or the “library.” Regulars sit there for the quiet that is not otherwise available on the boat.

Most of the time the room remains quiet; occasionally someone disturbs the peace because they don’t know about the custom that has developed in the use of this space.

When the situation is pointed out, these folks will either respect the request to remain quiet or leave.

Occasionally, like last Friday evening, an argument broke out because one of the “regulars” who himself had been respectful of the quiet, objected to requests from others for (still) others to remain quiet or leave.

The source of the “regular’s” complaint was the fact that the “library” had not been posted as a quiet room. Of course, he was correct.

I have finally written to the WSDOT to request that these rooms be posted as reading rooms so that visitors are not embarrassed by requests for silence and those who ride the boat and enjoy the quiet (and there are many, the place is often “SRO” on the morning runs) will have their quiet area.

Having a sign posted may also avoid future confrontations between riders, avoidable with a simple notice that those who want to read or just sit and think (something that is not always possible downstairs) will have their area, too.

If you like the quiet, and even if you don’t but believe that such an area to sit and read, think or do absolutely nothing is an amenity to preserve, you may also want to contact WSDOT (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/info_desk/index.cfm?fuseaction=customer_service) with your thoughts.

Gene Seligmann, Bainbridge Island

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