Residents Start Petition For East River Ferry Service

east river ferry

There’s a new petition drive to bring East River ferry service to the Lower East Side.  Here’s their press release:

Residents of the East River Coops have launched a petition to bring the East River Ferry to the redeveloped dock at Grand Street.  Residents have also proposed an outdoor cafe at the brick building, from which fireboats once launched.  New York’s Economic Development Corp., which runs the ferry service, will begin studying in June where to site additional stops.  Currently, there are only two Manhattan stops – one on 34th St., the other at Pier 16, near Wall St. 

A ferry stop on Grand St. would help bring in new passenger traffic from Brooklyn and Queens and help revive Grand St.  It will also provide incoming passengers access to three bus lines – the 14th St. crosstown, the Houston Street crosstown, and the 22 to Battery Park City.  All three launch from Grand Street and the FDR and provide easy access for commuters  and tourists going to the Lower East Side, the East Village, Soho, Noho, Union Square, City Hall, Chinatown, and Battery Park City.

The ferry stop will also relieve parking congestion near the renewed East River Park athletic fields, and for heavily attended concerts/events at the East River bandshell.  The ferry stop will provide access to the new Citi Bike station at adjacent Corlears Hook Park, and another at Delancey Street, under the bridge.  It will provide LES residents easy access to Pier 16 near Wall Street, from which ferries launch to Jacob Riis National Seashore and to Sandy Hook.  LES residents will thus have beach access minus subways and trains.

Joseph Hanania, a former reporter for the LA Times and a freelance contributor to the New York Times and to New York Magazine.com, and James Keenan, a member of the East River Coop board and realtor with Keats Fenwick, are promoting this effort.  In the first day, they collected 35 signatures on a paper petition.  They have just put the petition online.  “Our goal is to collect several hundred signatures, and turn it over to the EDC,” said Hanania.

Hanania points out that the Grand St. area has virtually no sidewalk cafes, and no cafes exist in the heavily used East River Park.  “A river view cafe by the ferry stop would attract lots of users, and make the stop even more profitable for the EDC,” he said.   Those wishing to sign may do so at the website Change.org   Here is the link.   The petitions will be submitted to the city by June 15.