Aug. 19, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
The north west corner of Center Boulevard—which hugs Gantry Plaza State Park—is one of two sites being considered for the new ferry dock that will serve as the Long Island City stop for the incoming Astoria-to-Wall Street ferry line, city officials said.
Last week, the LIC Post reported that the City is examining putting the new ferry dock north of Anable Basin, just off 44th Drive. Subsequently, the EDC said Monday that it is also examining the Center Boulevard location, claiming that this may be a better option.
The EDC is looking at only these two sites as part of its environmental review for the new ferry line, which will open in 2017 and run from Hallets Cove in Astoria to Roosevelt Island, to Long Island City, to East 34th Street and Wall Street in Manhattan.
The new ferry line is separate from the existing East River Ferry; the Hunters Point South dock will remain.
The EDC is basing its preference for Center Boulevard following its experience with the Hunters Point South dock, which is nearer a more populated area.
A dock near Gantry “may be more advantageous,” according to an EDC official, than a dock in the less active region north of the basin.
Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, similarly said that the Center Boulevard option could provide easier ferry access than the 44th Drive option, which might not attract the same ridership.
However, he added, “the negative is how it may impact the park.”
He cited an increase in crowds, trash and the noise from the ferry horn as potential sources of concern.
The City is in conversations with New York State Parks regarding the feasibility of the Center Boulevard site.
Community Board 2 chair Pat O’Brien noted that docking the ferry north of the basin might make sense in the long run.
“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,” he said. “That [site] might be one of the possibilities to make it accessible for everybody.”
Next month, four public meetings will take place regarding the environmental impact of the City-wide ferry service project.
A Queens meeting will take place Sept. 16 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens, at 6 p.m.