City officials revealed renderings and information about the planned Astoria ferry dock in Hallets Cove at a meeting Thursday to hear residents’ concerns about the landing, which is expected to be complete in 2017.
The new dock will be located off the promenade across from the Astoria Houses complex and will consist of an approximately 3,000-square-foot floating pier with two slots for ferries. The floating pier will have an attached, sloped walkway that connects to the promenade.
Astoria’s ferry dock will be included as part of a new citywide ferry service that Mayor Bill de Blasio first introduced during his State of the City address earlier this year, and seeks to ease public transportation issues for current and future residents of the neighborhood. More than 600 people are expected to ride the Astoria ferry each day by 2025, according to stats from the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
“Ferry service is going to provide a reinvigoration of our waterfront, but more importantly a vital transportation option,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said at the meeting. “This is not to be a luxury; we are not here tonight to talk about pleasure boating.”
The proposed ferry dock is about a 20-minute walk from the nearest train station, the N and Q at Astoria Blvd., and often residents in the western Astoria area need to ride a bus to the train. Economic Development Corp. representatives said the ferry will cut commute times down for those that live in the most western part of the community and want to travel to Manhattan quickly.
To alleviate residents’ concerns about security, gates to the dock will be locked when ferry service is closed.
Parking, which some residents believe could become a possible issue, may not be drastically affected by the addition of the ferry, according to results of an Economic Development Corp. survey.
The data shows that 90 percent of people will walk, bike or take the bus to the ferry, while only about 30 people would park in the neighborhood to use the water vessel.
Not everyone was convinced. Some believe it may give an option for residents who live further east to use Astoria as a parking lot and take the ferry when going to Manhattan.
“If they’re interviewing ferry riders in Manhattan, yes, no one is driving to ferries in Manhattan, but it’s a little quieter around here,” said Astoria resident Jonathan Corbin. “There is parking available, although minimal. There is some concern that it’s going to be very disruptive for residents.”
Another possible issue brought up was the potential clash between ferries and kayaking in Hallets Cove.
Constantinides said they are looking very closely at this situation and want a lively waterfront with a variety of uses, although little information was given at the event about how kayaking would be affected by ferry routes as well as what protections might be put in place for kayakers.
“That river belongs to everybody,” said local kayaker Jean Cawley. “Kayaks are often called speed bumps by ferry operators. I don’t want there to be a Vision Zero in 20 years for the river.”