Members of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC) claim they were blindsided by the city’s plan to move and expand the NYC Ferry landing in Hunters Point South Park, saying that the plan was proposed without any community or stakeholder communication or input.
HPPC said the proposed plan, which was publicized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but not sent to any community groups in Long Island City, would place a 262-foot docking area directly in front of the park’s main waterfront promenade.
“We know that historically, access to the waterways of NYC has been extremely limited and there remain few places to enjoy the rivers that surround our communities because of the location of roads, industrial sites and other infrastructure projects,” HHPC said in a Nov. 1 statement. “The two parks that define the Hunters Point waterfront are one of the most appealing and unique features of the neighborhood. Because waterfront access remains an unfortunately rare feature in the city, people visit from throughout Queens and from all over the city to enjoy unbeatable views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline.”
They added that the promenade near LIC Landing is filled every summer evening by people photographing the sunset and hosts Macy’s VIP section during the annual 4th of July fireworks extravaganza.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the NYC Ferry operation, moved quickly to schedule a meeting with the Hunter Point Parks Conservancy on Friday, when EDC will explain that replacing the landing was always part of the plan that was presented in early 2019 and that the Hunters Point South Park location has the seventh largest ridership in the entire system, with 40% weekday ridership growth and 25% weekend ridership growth in 2022. The new $12.2 million landing will accept all NYC Ferry capacity vessels and be compliant for riders with disabilities.
“The Hunters Point South landing is reaching the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced, but constructing a ferry landing in this area poses significant challenges given the Amtrak and Queens Midtown tunnels directly under the park,” an NYCEDC Spokesperson said. “The proposed location, chosen in close coordination with the NYC Parks Department, will allow a new landing to be constructed safely, and offer a landing to the community that allows for docking of 350-passenger vessels and will be fully ADA compliant.”
NYCEDC presented the plans to Community Board 2 (CB 2) in June and plans to return to CB 2 this winter. In addition to meeting with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, the agency plans on communicating with other community groups throughout the process.
“NYCEDC looks forward to continued briefings and conversation with the community as we prepare for construction in the fall of 2023,” the spokesperson said.
The construction is anticipated to be completed around the end of 2023.