Wednesday marked the end of an era for retired Edmonds police officer Bill Baker, who has been directing ferry traffic at the Main and Dayton street crossings for the past 46 years. Starting next week, Washington State Patrol troopers will begin providing traffic control for the Dayton Street crossing, while ferry employees will direct vehicles at Main Street. (See our story on this change here.)
Baker started directing traffic in 1969, when the ferry lanes wound through town rather than down Highway 104. In the early days, when the ferries were smaller and there was less traffic, backups usually only happened on the weekends and holidays, Baker noted. In recent years, off-duty police have been directing traffic seven days a week in the summer and six days a week in the winter, although those days will be reduced with the changeover to state troopers and ferry staff.
Baker said he will spend his free time working on a couple of his hot rods, and visiting with his grandchildren who live in Mill Creek. He and his wife Judy also plan to use their travel trailer more, which is now parked in Eastern Washington.