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Steamship Board Chair Pushes for More Study of Contentious Woods Hole Terminal Building

Terminal construction is ongoing, but residents have pushed for a smaller ticket office building than what has been proposed. And they've caught the ear of at least one board of governors member.

Steamship Authority officials say they are 90 percent finished with the design for a new ticket office at the Woods Hole terminal, but many residents still don't like what's being proposed.

The Steamship is in the midst of redeveloping the Woods Hole terminal, including building new boat slips.

The ferry line held the second of 4 community outreach meetings this week to solicit feedback. The most recent meetings have focused on a terminal building that would include the ticket sales office.

Residents at the meeting pushed back against the size of the office building. Jonathan Goldman of Woods Hole said a smaller building would help preserve a view of the ocean. He said that many residents think that the building is not in the character of Woods Hole.

"The overwhelming sense of many villagers is that this is a late version of McMansionization of development," Goldman said.

He said the building was being "forced down the throats" of locals.

His thoughts were echoed by many residents attending the remote hearing.

Steamship officials responded by saying that they designed the smallest building possible that will still fit their needs.

To which other residents pushed back that the current ticket office, which is temporary, is small and still preserves the view of the ocean.

The Steamship has shrunk the size of the building design following earlier listening sessions.

Falmouth board of Governors representative Kathryn Wilson, the chair of the board, attended the meeting. She said that the Steamship Authority should at least study the potential for a smaller building, and what the cost savings could be.

"If there's a savings that could be translated - whether looking for relief for freight operations out of Woods Hole, and keeping ticket prices down for the islands - I think it's worth being explored," Wilson said.

The Steamship is expected to hold two more meetings this fall to update the community on designs.

The current design includes a small park near the intersection off Luscombe Avenue and Railroad Avenue, as well as a dog park on Railroad avenue.

Other residents at the meeting worried about traffic patterns with the latest design, and the intersection of the Shining Sea Bikeway with oncoming traffic.