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Ferry Dock on Center Boulevard Would Overcrowd Gantry Park, Lawmaker Says

 The city is looking at two spots in Hunters Point for a new ferry station.
The city is looking at two spots in Hunters Point for a new ferry station.
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Flickr/Sean Davis

HUNTERS POINT — One of the locations being eyed for a new ferry station in Long Island City has spurred complaints from a local lawmaker, who says building a dock on Center Boulevard would bring unwanted crowds to Gantry Plaza State Park. 

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan penned a letter to the Economic Development Corporation last week, saying a ferry station at the park's northern end "is not the best use of" the public green space.

"The increased traffic through the park may detract from the enjoyment of park visitors and cause undue wear and tear on the park facilities," Nolan said in the Oct. 8 letter. 

"How will lines of people be handled at this location? The park should not be a queuing location for the ferry," she continued. 

The proposed site, at the very end of Center Boulevard and North Basin Road, is one of two locations the city is considering for a future ferry dock. The other spot under consideration is further north, at the end of 44th Drive.

Wherever it's built, the station would be part of a new line that would launch in 2017 that would connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street and Wall Street/Pier 11 in lower Manhattan.

It would be the second ferry dock in Hunters Point, which has an existing East River Ferry station near 54th Avenue and Second Street. 

The EDC has yet to make a decision on where the new Long Island City station will go, according to a spokesman.

Should it ultimately choose the Center Boulevard location, Nolan requested that the city "make some accommodations" to make sure it doesn't negatively affect Gantry Plaza State Park, including building new bathrooms on the park's northern end near the ferry.

She also asked that the EDC provide funding for the New York State Parks Department to cover any extra maintenance or security staff the park might need as a result of the extra people the ferry would bring, according to her letter. 

In a statement, EDC spokesman Ian Fried said the new ferry dock will be a "tremendous asset to the community."

"As we move toward determining the location of the ferry landing, we will continue to work with our local and state partners to minimize impact to the surrounding areas," he said.