Sept. 16, 2015 By Christian Murray
The Long Island City ferry dock is likely to be located on northwest corner of Center Boulevard, according to representatives from the Economic Development Corp who spoke at a joint Hunters Point Parks Conservancy/Hunters Point Civic Association meeting at the Irish Center last night.
The EDC is currently working on expanding the East River ferry service and aims to introduce a new line by 2017 that will run from Hallets Cove in Astoria to Roosevelt Island, to Long Island City, to East 34th Street and Wall Street in Manhattan.
The Long Island City ferry dock will be in addition to the existing dock at Hunters Point South.
James Wong, director of ferries for the EDC, said the agency is currently evaluating the Center Boulevard site and another on 44th Drive (north of Anable Basin by Water’s Edge), but that the Center Boulevard is likely to be selected.
“Right now, for a 2017 launch, we think Center Blvd is the best option; it’s really the only option at this juncture,” he said.
Wong said the EDC wants the Long Island City service to attract a high ridership from the get-got and therefore believes that it makes sense for the dock to be located right next to the residential buildings. Wong said that the 44th Drive location is more isolated and much harder for existing residents to walk to.
However, some attendees disagreed arguing that the 44th Drive location is better suited since it is more accessible to the growing number of Court Square residents and for residents who live on the periphery of Long Island City who might want to drive there to use the ferry.
They claimed that there is a lack of parking near the Center Boulevard site.
Wong said that the EDC is likely to reevaluate the location in 3 to 5 years based on how the community develops. He said that the gangways and the barges (used for the docks) can be moved without any great time or expense.
Wong said that all the riders’ needs will be taken care of on the barge—such as ticketing and shelter from cold winds– and that there shouldn’t be any lines that spillover onto Gantry Plaza State Park to disrupt park users.
The EDC will be conducting an environmental impact study to assess noise, pollution and traffic.
However, Wong said that other docks are located near residential buildings, much like this one, and does not anticipate any major problems.
The design and construction is expected to begin in early 2016.