Residents and businesses of the Lower East Side launched a petition to bring the East River Ferry to a new stop at the redeveloped dock at Grand Street, under the Williamsburg bridge. At press time, an online petition was nearing 500 signatures, and supporters had also collected about 50 paper signatures, which they will present to the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
The EDC, which runs the ferry service, will begin studying this month where to site additional stops. Currently, there are only two Manhattan stops – one on 34th St., the other at Pier 16, near Wall Street.
According to supporters, a ferry stop on Grand Street on the Lower East Side would help bring in new passenger traffic from Brooklyn and Queens and help revive an underutilized Grand Street. 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 St. and the FDR, and provide 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.
Those in favor of the ferry stop also say that it would relieve parking congestion near the renewed East River Park athletic fields, and for heavily attended concerts/events at the East River bandshell.
“Our goal is to collect several hundred signatures, and turn it over to the EDC,” said local resident Joseph Hanania. “A river view cafe by the ferry stop would attract lots of users, and make the stop even more profitable for the EDC.”
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