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‘Are you listening?’: Coney Island residents voice concerns over proposed ferry landings

Not-so-smooth sailing: Coney Island residents voiced their complaints about the proposed ferry locations to city officials.
Brooklyn Paper
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The tide was high at a Coney Island meeting on June 11, in which city officials presented their plans to examine the proposed landing locations of the Coney Island ferry, scheduled to set sail in 2021.

The NYC Economic Development Corporation — the quasi government agency overseeing the ferry system — has set its sights on two potential landing spots on Coney Island Creek, one on 31st Street and Bayview Avenue, and another on 29th Street and Neptune Avenue.

The ferry will stop at Bay Ridge, and Wall Street as well, shaving about 30 minutes off the Coney Island-Manhattan commute, according to the NYC Ferry website.

But many Coney Islanders voiced their concerns about the proposed landing locations the meeting. After city officials presented their plans to study the environmental impact of construction and dredging, community members pushed back, arguing that officials should choose a new landing site altogether.

“You need to put your shoes on and take a little walkie,” said Wanda Feliciano, a member of Community Board 13. Like many Coney Islanders, Feliciano is worried about the residential location of the proposed stops, arguing that the influx of riders will overwhelm the West End’s small, remote community.

Other locals claimed that the proposed landings are too far from public transportation, and fretted about safety in the area, given the neighborhood’s two schools. Attendees also raised concerns about the environmental impact of building the landings.

“This site qualifies as a Superfund site,” said Ida Sanoff, a local environmentalist.

The process of dredging, she argued, would resuspend the canal’s contaminated sediment — including unexploded ordinances — posing health risks to locals who swim or fish in the canal.

“Strange things happen when dredging happens around here,” she warned.

Ultimately, some residents questioned whether the ferry will benefit local Coney Islanders, arguing that tourists may dominate the service, taking advantage of tax payer dollars. After all, the ferry line carries a hefty price tag: according to the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, each ferry ticket will require a $24.75 subsidy from the city.

But most attendees remained excited about the new ferry route, and limited their criticisms to what they perceived as the NYCEDC’s aloofness.

“Are you listening?” asked Selena Grant, a Community Board member who argued that residents had already aired their doubts. “You need to listen because ultimately, we live here.”

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306.
Updated 10:53 am, June 13, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

MJ from Bay Ridge says:
Shall the Coney Island ferry route be delayed or cancelled, please reroute it to Staten Island St. George via Bay Ridge.
June 13, 9:23 am
Mathematician from Brooklyn says:
Four subway lines originating there and no problem getting a seat. Why do they need a ferry? ...a heavly subsidized ferry, no less.
June 13, 9:26 am
Section 8 says:
People from Ci Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay would greatly benefit ftom a ferry. We working stiffs deserve it.
June 13, 9:33 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
It's still a boondoggle with a less than projected ridership on all of the routes since de Crony took office as mayor.
June 13, 9:56 am
David from West Brighton says:
Community Board 13 is a detriment to society and to the coney island area. The seniors and minorities who hold power and look out only for the section 8 residents are the sole reason coney island was a cesspool for such a prolonged period of time. The ferry will increase gentrification, increase local business profits, policing, beautification, tourism and much more. Also, the ferry isn't for the NYCHA residents, there's a new financially independent/upper-class population moving in as you can see which requires access to the city/downtown area, this goes for other residents living a little closer to Brighton with condos in the $600k+. Stop trying to halt progress just cause you're scared about losing subsidies for housing and feel threatened due to the rapid growth of coney island. Rather get it together and hustle to move out of the projects, they are meant to be a temporary residence until you get back on track, not as a financial leaching pool for residents to hold onto there entire life.
June 13, 10:09 am
Local from Here says:
Ban personal vehicles in NYC and bring more ferries or other forms of public transit. I'd gladly welcome increased taxes to implement this.
June 13, 11:18 am
Mathematician from Brooklyn says:
N, Q OR D train to Barclays or DeKalb and a transfer to the R or numbered trains provides access to downtown Manhattan. If the gentry require fancy transport they should pay more for it, like the people who take the express buses do.
June 13, 11:38 am
Millard Lorillard VII says:
They subsidize everything else what’s a little ferry gonna ruin? At least the tourists won’t have to deal with the rolling insane asylum and adult day care of the subway.
June 13, 3:10 pm
Guy from New York from Sea Gate says:
It's so funny, first the kicked off the Amazon from LIC, now they want to do the same with Coney Ferry. Good Job New Yorkers.
June 13, 4:27 pm
David from West brighton says:
It's not new yorkers in general, its specific demographics that tend to revolt. Everyone I spoke to seemed to be pro amz and pro-ferry. But as we know it, long term these individuals don't have there way anyways.
June 13, 5:16 pm
Ed from Koch says:
Will the beggars beg on the ferry?
June 13, 7:19 pm
Phil from Queens says:
Why haven't they considered the steeplechase pier for ferry? It's in heart of entertainment district and if tourists mostly use it, may not have to be so heavily subsidiy.
June 13, 7:53 pm
Frank from Furter says:
The cost of the coney island run is 30 dollars per ride. The riders pay 2.75. The transit authority is subsidized by about 1.00 per trip. These ferries are built as intra Harbor boats. They are not built for the open ocean where the steeplechase pier is located.
June 13, 8:07 pm
Lina from Coney Island says:
If city has so much money,they might find a better way to spend it. Also ferry will stop on Wall Street by FDR at least 10-12 minutes walk from the nearest subway station. See no use for working people. The proposed pier at Coney is far away from amusement area so, it would be green taxi or dollar vans. No one from Brighton Beach will use it -too far, no parking. Why do we need it? Too please tourists? Many forget that Coney Island is not only an amusement area but a residential one.
June 13, 8:46 pm
Lol from @u says:
Wait, the ferry isn’t for NYCHA residents? Are you telling me that our oh so popular mayor is lying, and is basically gifting taxpayer money to his real estate overlords? And then you expect us to swallow this —— sandwich and applaud it? I can’t wait for Johnson or Stringer to end this booze cruise for racist rich drunks. Back to the subway with you deplorables.
June 13, 9:40 pm
Noodle says:
Racist rich drunks? Stop projecting. Your parents were probably the biggest ones.
June 14, 7:31 pm
Abbott & Costello from Sheepshead Bay says:
EDC is a hot mess run by James Patchett a hack placed by Alica Glenn in this office. This agency needs an overhaul from top to bottom. How about they address empty store fronts, bs programs that do nothing to help regular citizens/business owners. This agency gets away with this bs since the Mayor is on siesta when it comes to over sight at all agencies. A bigger issue is how someone actually gets a job at this agency. You also have to follow the $$ of the preferred lobbyist for the ferry company. Oh, it's Rudy Guiliani's old girlfriend/press person https://www.nicholaslence.com/leadership
June 15, 6:22 pm
Abbott & Costello from Sheepshead Bay says:
EDC is a hot mess run by James Patchett a hack placed by Alica Glenn in this office. This agency needs an overhaul from top to bottom. How about they address empty store fronts, bs programs that do nothing to help regular citizens/business owners. This agency gets away with this bs since the Mayor is on siesta when it comes to over sight at all agencies. A bigger issue is how someone actually gets a job at this agency. You also have to follow the $$ of the preferred lobbyist for the ferry company. Oh, it's Rudy Guiliani's old girlfriend/press person https://www.nicholaslence.com/leadership
June 15, 6:22 pm

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