Dock holiday as Bay Ridge gets new ferry launch

October 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm Leave a comment

Bay Ridge’s 69th Street pier is on its way to becoming a boating destination and transit hub, thanks to a $300,000 plan to outfit the fishing wharf with a dock.

The city will acquire a floating pier and rig it to the dock, welcoming kayakers, boaters, and perhaps ferry service.

“This barge is going to grant day boaters access to Bay Ridge from the East River, and give residents waterfront access for kayaking, boating and more,” said Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), who secured the cash to purchase the dock.

“Eventually, the ‘Eco Dock’ will be a local hub for ferry service, helping commuters get to and from work in Manhattan,” added the councilman, whose earlier dock dreams were shattered last year when the city decided to install a second dock at the 58th Street pier in Sunset Park before bringing a ferry landing to the 69th Street pier in Bay Ridge.

The installation of the dock is part of a statewide push to create new water landings along the Hudson, in part to commemorate Henry Hudson’s “discovery” of New York 400 years ago. The Eco Dock, which is scheduled to arrive in Bay Ridge next year, is expected to be the first of its kind installed in the city.

More information about the dock is expected to be released at a press conference on Tuesday.

Activists who have pushed for increased waterborne transit in Bay Ridge are looking forward to the installation of a new landing.

“This is a sign of progress,” said Heather McCown of the Sunset Ridge Waterfront Alliance. “When they rebuilt the pier, they really cut us off in terms of ferry service or water access. This is a sign we’re finally going to utilize the pier the way it used to be utilized.”

The Eco Dock is the first step to realizing McCown’s longtime dream — an aquatic alternative to Bay Ridge’s sluggish R train.

“If we can get a ferry reinstated, it’s going to be great for commuters, the local businesses, and the property values in Bay Ridge,” said McCown.

Though the planned dock will be able to accommodate ferries, sea transit service has not yet been organized. In the past, New York Water Taxi — which operates a route between Lower Manhattan and the 58th Street pier — has expressed an interest in servicing the 69th Street pier.

By Ben Muessig

The Brooklyn Paper

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Entry filed under: Brooklyn, Get Wet, Public Waterfront. Tags: , , , , , , .

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