Commuting to Manhattan from the East Bronx will be easier and cheaper than ever as the dream of a Throggs Neck/Ferry Point ferry service taking shape with construction expected to begin in 2021.
Representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination, NYC EDC, and an environmental impact study company called AKRF spoke with the public last Tuesday night at Villa Barone Manor on the study’s finding and received attendee’s feedback as part of their four stop tour to review the ferry expansion plan throughout the boroughs.
There are currently seven active ferry routes throughout the city with 21 landings spanning from Rockaway in Queens to Soundview in the Bronx. The Soundview landing started in 2018 and has seen ridership far above what projections were.
The plan now is have a 34’ ft. by 90’ ft. ferry barge, capable to holding 350 people, run from Wall St. to East 34th Street to East 90th Street to Soundview and finally to Throggs Neck in under 30 minutes. The fare would match the standard $2.75 subway fare.
The planned landing location is at Ferry Point Park, a strip of land just west of the Hutchinson River Parkway and looks out to the East River with views of the city.
While the proposed expansion plan still has many hurdles to go through before construction, the panel Tuesday night revealed their findings through the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). There are 20 different areas of study under the City Environmental Quality Review, but the three discussed at the meeting were Open Space, Urban Design and Visual Resources, and Transportation.
The conclusions of the three categorized studies found no adverse effects to the park’s attributes and operations.
The meeting also took focus on what improvements the existing parking lot would get to accommodate rider parking. The parking lot is currently ridden with bad potholes.
The EDC’s plan is to run a shuttle from the parking lot to the boat.
Members of the audience including Councilman Gjonaj were concerned with how those without cars would be able to find their way to the boat.
“You’re relying solely on vehicles driving to the ferry, there is very little ability based on the area for foot traffic to walk to the ferry,” Gjonaj said.
Currently, the two closest buses to Ferry Point Park are the Q50 and Q44 (SBS), but still leave riders with a lengthy walk.
One attendee, Michael Kaess, spoke up about creating safe cycling paths to Ferry Point. He suggested to the EDC speaking with the Parks Department about biking/walking path running from Harding Avenue to Ferry Point that would run through Trump Links golf course and a portion of Ferry Point Park.
Written comments on the Draft Supplement Environmental Impact Statement may be submitted until 5:00 P.M. on March 16, 2020 and may be submitted at the public hearings, by email, or by regular mail to:
Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination
Attn: Denise Pisani, Deputy Director
253 Broadway, 14th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007