Council floats ferry plan to service 8 boro sites, including Yankee Stadium
Anchors aweigh. Bronxites could someday soon be doing their commuting by boat.
Officials weighing ferry service around the city have put eight Bronx locations on the list of potential stops, including Riverdale, Hunts Point and Orchard Beach.
“It makes sense,” said Councilman James Vacca (D-East Bronx). “It will reduce vehicular traffic into Manhattan every day, and make use of an unused resource, which is the waterfront.”
A presentation and public hearing on the plan are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Riverdale Temple at 4545 Independence Ave.
“I hope that commuter ferry service will have a significant impact on Riverdale and other Bronx neighborhoods,” said Councilman Oliver Koppell (D-Riverdale).
Also among the possible Bronx sites: Ferry Point, Soundview Park, Yankee Stadium, Fordham Landing and Roberto Clemente State Park.
The Riverdale ferry would stop in midtown and at the World Financial Center.
The final report, called the Comprehensive Citywide Ferry Study, is due out in October. After that, the City Council will review it and decide final locations, based on access, cost, public interest and usage.
In Riverdale, the obstacle to ferry service has always been waterfront access, said Tony Perez Cassino, chairman of the traffic and transportation committee for Community Board 8.
“The Devil is in the details,” he said.
Indeed, there is still much to work out, according to Vacca.
“How do we make ferry service affordable so it becomes an alternative for people taking their cars? I think that’s the main challenge,” he said. “There are other logistical issues. We don’t want to disturb wetlands, and then there’s always parking.”
It is also not known how long it would take to run a ferry from, say, Orchard Beach, to midtown and downtown, according to Vacca.
But he added that he believes ferry service in the Bronx will become a reality.
“I do think there’s a commitment to ferry service and working out these logistics that we didn’t have before,” he said.
by Mike Jaccarino