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 dock and rig it to the pier, welcoming kayakers, boaters, and, perhaps, ferry service.
“This barge is going to give residents waterfront access for kayaking, boating and more,” said Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge).
“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 “Eco Dock,” which will be 40-feet long by 20-feet wide, will be moored to the harbor floor on stanchions, but will rise and fall with the tides.
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.
©2009 Community News Group
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