The city plans to build a second ferry dock on the Long Island City waterfront to cope with the overwhelmed 7 train and a projected flood of new residents to the neighborhood in years to come.
The new stop will be a completely new dock separate from the existing Hunters Point terminal, which is part of the East River Ferry network, but will be necessary as thousands of new housing units are completed in the area.
The proposed citywide ferry system Mayor de Blasio unveiled earlier this year shows the new ferry stop, called Long Island City – North, which is already receiving cheers from residents and experts, although it won’t be operational until 2017.
“Expanding ferry service along the lengthy LIC waterfront is a must and in fact we need two more stops, not one, to maximize the benefits of our waterfront both culturally and economically,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the nonprofit Long Island City Partnership.
The new landing doesn’t have a definite site yet, according to a representative from the city’s Economic Development Corporation. But the city is “working closely with property owners to determine the exact location,” which will be a newly constructed landing paid for from a portion of the $55 million for the citywide ferry system capital investments.
That’s the official word today, but the EDC’s September 2013 Citywide Ferry Study indicates that the Long Island City – North dock would be somewhere near 47th Road and Center Boulevard. This is notable, because the nearest train station, Vernon Boulevard on the No. 7 line, is about a 10 minute walk away.
It will be beneficial for future residents, especially since the population will balloon in coming years.
More than 10,500 residential units will be built by 2018 around the proposed Long Island City – North ferry landing, according to the Citywide Ferry Study.
The study also forecasts that the Long Island City north dock to the Pier 11/ Wall Street stop would be the most popular for riders in the proposed new ferry routes, accommodating an estimated 1,542 daily patrons by 2018, because of “ambitious development projects.”
Despite the potential of the ferry service, residents don’t want the city to believe just implementing more ferry service will be the only thing they can do to improve transportation for the booming neighborhood.
“It’s critical that these transportation policies are part of a whole strategy, not just separate transportation pieces,” said Long Island City resident Jeff Foreman, who is a member of the Hunters Point Civic Association. “In our neighborhood each piece must be analyzed for its impact on a transportation infrastructure that is otherwise totally dependent on the 7 train, which simply has insufficient capacity for what is here and currently being built, much less the tens of thousands of units being planned along the 7 line.”