Upper East Side to Astoria Ferry Access

A New York City Ferry. Photo: Godsfriendchuck, via Wikimedia Commons

ASTORIA – The nonprofit organization Old Astoria Neighborhood Association (OANA) has long been an advocate for ferry service between Astoria and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Following reports that the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has advised that the review of the proposal for an extension of the service not begin until 2021, OANA has asked that the process be expedited and is circulating a petition to gather support for the extension of ferry service. The petition is available online: change.org and on the OANA website: https://oana-ny.org.

OANA and its President Richard Khuzami released the following statement highlighting the ferry extension’s positive effects for the community:

The Old Astoria Neighborhood Association would like to reiterate its advocacy as expressed to the NYC EDC in Oct 2018 for changing the origin Landing on the Astoria Ferry from Hallets Cove, Astoria to the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

We feel that this extension of the route to the Upper East Side would create a positive economic effect to both areas. Each waterfront is 1515 ft and about five minutes transit time one-way from each other.

Both areas would receive great business, tourism, culture, job, and residential benefits. The Upper East Side is an established “destination” for New Yorkers, and Astoria is an up and coming neighborhood. Traffic will flow both ways and increase commercial traffic in Astoria and Western Queens

Astoria would provide more affordable apartments that you can get in the upper east side, one of NYC’s most expensive markets, within an easy 5-minute commute. There are currently approximately 4000 new apartments proposed for Hallets Peninsula. And Astoria’s business and cultural institutions would become easily accessible to the Upper East Side residents.

Other positives include:

  1. 2nd Avenue subway access
  2. Less cars on streets
  3. Access to the proposed Astoria Waterfront Arts District
  4. Required infrastructure already exists, therefore start-up costs will be minimal
  5. Per the EDC Feasibility Study: Support growing neighborhoods and connect people to jobs and economic opportunities throughout the city. This definitely ties into Astoria- the most new units per capita in the US; plus new park facilities that received at over a $30M investment
  6. Also per the EDC Feasibility Study: NYC Ferry also aligns with the goals of Mayor de Blasio’s “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” which aims to create economic growth and improve New Yorkers’ lives by improving citywide connectivity. Connecting East 90th and Astoria terminals specifically addresses the connectivity issue with minimal cost.

Creating new transit corridors is a major goal of our Ferry System, and this is an obvious, cost effective addition.

On another note, to address the criticism that the subsidies for the Ferry are too large, we ask that transfers between the Ferry and MTA be immediately initiated, and transfer buses from landings to the subway station be provided where needed. Since the Ferry costs are fairly fixed, by increasing ridership significantly you decrease the subsidy needed. (How much does depend on the revenue sharing agreement established.)

Regards

Richard Khuzami, President

More information is available online: Old Astoria Neighborhood Association (OANA) www.OANA-NY.org.

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