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Proposed Lower East Side Ferry Stop Moves South

By Lisha Arino | June 10, 2015 1:36pm
 A proposed Lower East Side ferry stop has been moved to Cherry and Jackson streets from Grand Street, officials said.
A proposed Lower East Side ferry stop has been moved to Cherry and Jackson streets from Grand Street, officials said.
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Flickr/Sean Davis

LOWER EAST SIDE — A proposed Lower East Side stop on the East River ferry will likely depart from a landing at Jackson and Cherry streets by Corlears Hook Park, instead of Grand Street, officials said. 

Economic Development Corporation officials revealed new details about the stop on the new $55 million citywide system, including its new proposed location and fare, at a Community Board 3 committee meeting Tuesday night.

Safety issues and technical studies of the area, including water depth, pushed the stop a little further south from the Grand Street location originally announced a few months ago, officials said.

The ferry landing — including its ticketing and waiting areas — will be located on a floating barge connected to the promenade by a walkway, officials said at the presentation. Planners needed to make sure it would not stick out too far into the water and negatively impact federal shipping channels or become a safety hazard.

The barge’s design also made it difficult to locate the stop at nearby Pier 36, they said.

“Safety being our number one priority, we wanted to make sure that the ferry landing was going to be protected from the ongoing traffic but that we were also going to bring it to a place where pedestrians could get to one the land side and that the boats could get to on the water side,” said Lydia Downing, a vice-president and deputy director at the EDC.

Proposed Routes for NYC's Expanded Ferry Service.

Neighborhood residents worried about the ferry’s sustainability, especially at the new proposed location for the stop. The area is not as populated as other waterfront spots in the neighborhood, they said, and transit options are limited. The closest subway stops are several blocks away and the bus that runs through Corlears Hook Park comes infrequently, residents said.

“I do think a piece of the puzzle is that people are going to use it for work and other things they need to do daily, not just pleasure and shopping,” said Tobi Elkin, a community board member who attended the meeting.

“And if you can’t get them to a train — fast — what good is it?”

In addition to the new location, EDC officials said fares would be $2.75, like local subways and buses, but would not take Metrocards. They anticipate nearby residents who walk and bike to make up a large share of the ferry's ridership, they said.

Other details about the upcoming ferry service, like its hours, were not yet available since the city is still accepting proposals from interested operators until Friday, officials said.

Expanded ferry service is expected to start in 2017 with service to Rockaway Beach, Astoria and southern Brooklyn, according to the EDC. Ferry service for Soundview and the Lower East Side is scheduled to begin the next year.