Oct. 13, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan has thrown cold water on the City’s idea to build a ferry dock at Gantry Plaza State Park.
This dock would be part of a new ferry line that the City plans to launch in 2017. The line will run from Hallets Cove in Astoria to Roosevelt Island, to Long Island City (potentially at Gantry), 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 be untouched.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation is exploring putting Long Island City’s dock either at the end of Center Boulevard (the northwest corner of Gantry Plaza State Park) or across Anable Basin off of 44th Drive.
However, the agency strongly prefers the Center Boulevard option due to higher anticipated ridership, as the LIC Post reported last month,
In a letter to the EDC last week, Nolan said she has “a number of concerns” about this plan.
“Locating a ferry terminal in a park is not the best use of scant park land,” she wrote. “The increased traffic through the park may detract from the enjoyment of park goers and cause undue wear and tear on the park facilities.”
Nolan also proposed a handful of accommodations for the site, should a ferry dock ultimately be installed.
These include the installation of restrooms at the north end of the park, ferry staff to help with orderly loading and unloading, and compensation to New York State Parks to monitor and respond to wear and tear on Gantry.
The EDC intends for queuing and waiting to take place on the barge itself. At a September meeting with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and the Hunters Point Civic Association, EDC director of ferries James Wong said that the agency does not expect lines to spillover into the park.
“Ferry service in Long Island City will serve as a tremendous asset to the community. As we move toward determining the location of the ferry landing, we will continue to work with our local and state partners to minimize impact to the surrounding areas,” EDC spokesman Ian Fried said.
Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected]