Letter: Throgs Neck Ferry station is not all its cracked up to be

NYC Ferry, ferry point park, de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio at a Dec. 28 press conference launching the new NYC Ferry landing in Throggs Neck.
Photo Andrew Dapolite

To the Editor,

With the recent reports and coverage of the ceremonial opening of the Throgs Neck NYC Ferry station at Ferry Point Park, I wrote about then NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attendance and commentary of the new station, which opened during his last few days in office. But then I wondered: Considering the large mass area of Ferry Point Park and also his initial promotions and campaigns of NYC Ferry service stops at connection points to MTA transit, I decided to investigate and search around for the exact location of this ferry station. I must say that my findings are not quite pleasing.

After two years of advertising and upon seeing multiple news photos and videos in the Bronx Times and News 12 The Bronx, I recognized the section of Ferry Point Park — the one-way service road crossing under the Whitestone Bridge from southbound to northbound. I went to the area in question to see for myself. On the left side of the service road is a parking lot partially repaved; on the right side is Ferry Point Park itself with a long walkway stretching as far back to Brush and Schley avenues and multiple pedestrian signs directing to the ferry.

After parking in the lot, I met up with the lot crew and inquired about the dock location — you really cannot see the dock from the parking lot. They informed me it’s through the walkway and that this park entrance across from the lot entry is the nearest towards the dock but there’s still a somewhat lengthy walk to the dock, that you would have to walk the route a bit before being able to see the ferry station. I then asked about a shuttle bus that was spoken of. They said the shuttle bus was not working at the time and that it only runs from the parking lot to the ferry station and back, and nowhere else. They pointed it out which was idled and inoperable at the time and resembles the tour bus seen in the Bronx Zoo.

I then walked into the park and along its divided pathway (for pedestrians and shuttle bus) following the signs to the ferry. From the point of the park entry to the dock, I found the walk to be very lengthy, clocking it at nearly 10 minutes.

In the end, I find this ferry location to be no- idealistic for Throgs Neck. It defies the initial  advertising and policy of connection of ferry service to MTA service from the respective docks. This is unfair to those Throgs Neck residents who do not have a car and wish to ride the NYC Ferry; that to get to their new ferry dock they either have to get a ride from a friend or pay for a cab, Uber or Lyft, which is costly. And adding to the woes is the fact that the park walkway is not fully lit at night, a crucial factor for the last two boats servicing the area under a complete night sky, where that walkway becomes absolutely unsafe.

I don’t know what the former mayor was thinking in having and rushing the Throgs Neck Ferry service at its current location without considering the mitigating factors and circumstances I just brought up. Some people told me he probably looked to adding this amongst his list of accomplishments and declaring all NYC Ferry stations complete and launched prior to leaving office. Well he cannot make that claim as one other station has not opened as scheduled for 2021 prior to his leaving office — the Coney Island Station in Brooklyn.

But in the end, what it all comes down to (with a slight pun): this is “ferry” unfair to the people in Throgs Neck.

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