Oct. 16, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Long Island City’s incoming ferry dock can accommodate the neighborhood’s growing population by potentially floating to a new spot, the City Economic Development Corporation says.
The EDC is currently examining two spots to put a Long Island City ferry dock as part of a new ferry line that will run from Queens to Manhattan starting in 2017: at the end of Center Boulevard on the northwest corner of Gantry Plaza State Park, or north of Anable Basin off of 44th Drive.
The Center Boulevard option is more appealing to the EDC as a way to ensure high ridership from the get-go, due to the existing neighboring population.
However, members of local civic groups and Community Board 2 have suggested that, with significant development planned north of the basin, a dock off of 44th Drive might make more sense in the long run.
In an August conversation with the LIC Post, CB 2 Chairman Pat O’Brien said, “there’s a lot more coming down the pipe in development both within a block or two of 44th Drive, and going north of 44th Drive – we’re going to see a lot more density there in the years to come.”
James Wong, EDC Vice President in the Ports and Transportation Group, said that the EDC has taken this prospect into consideration. A ferry dock at Center Boulevard in 2017 would not preclude moving the dock to 44th Drive later, depending on future development, he said.
“Relative to many other kinds of transportation investments, these can move fairly easily,” EDC executive vice president Seth Myers explained. “You can float it and move it pretty easily.”
O’Brien had noted this possibility in August, with some skepticism.
“Why make the investment in one place if in five or 10 years it makes more sense to have it in another place?” he asked.
By the EDC’s description, the new ferry line – along with four others that will ultimately be installed by 2018 – is a tool to support waterfront development in New York City.
“Certainly a lot of development has happened along the waterfronts across the city, and adding a citywide ferry system allows us to ensure that we are building the type of transit infrastructure, the type of transit services, that are important to make those communities complete neighborhoods,” EDC President and CEO Maria Torres-Springer said.
Meanwhile, from a transportation standpoint, ferries are not a standalone option; they help make “additional transport connections” throughout the city, Torres-Springer said.
Justine Johnson, an EDC assistant vice president, said that “it’s too early to say” when the agency will make a decision on the dock’s location, noting that it is contingent upon discussions with New York State Parks.
Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected]
Believe the reporting all states the ferry landing itself is being moved, from Hunter’s Point current location to a more northern dockage. Posts reveal that the northern-most location is nowhere. The real estate interests keeping a mosquito home just north of the Dept. of Ed supply building, due west of the Citibank building, probably in hopes of sinking it, would love this move, as would the real estate speculators trying to off the remaining small businesses and artists in the immediate area. An elevator for Vernon Blvd. Subway, 7 line, please. And more frequent bus service!
Pat O’Brien desires greater connectivity to an area not connected to much. Long Island rail, nearby subway at Vernon-Jackson, the bus, limited as it is, all indicate leaving the ferry right where it is. For greater connectivity for the area of concern, lets have another bus, running more frequently on Vernon…to Brooklyn, and how about an elevator for the stroller and senior classes, at Vernon-Jackson subway stop?
Two bus routes already go to Brooklyn.
I love the ferry dock right where it is. If it were on 44th, it would be inconvenient and I’d rarely if ever use it. What’s wrong with its current location?
Just to be clear Brooke, the current ferry dock is staying where it is at LIC Landing. This new dock is in addition to that one.
Let’s just be honest, the ferry dock is too close to the Center Blvd buildings and will add too much noise and traffic to the area.
“Why make the investment in one place if in five or 10 years it makes more sense to have it in another place?” he asked
Because 5-10 years is a LONG time. Just put it at Center Blvd for now, and can always move it later if warranted.
I feel the same way. Otherwise they’ll build it and it won’t benefit the maximum number of ppl from the get go and could be shut down.
Exactly. If you put it out of the way, people won’t use it, the service will get cancelled and the entire investment is lost.
If warranted, move it in a couple of years after more of the waterfront develops. By then the people on center blvd will be complaining that “their” ferry is being taken away from them.