After months of head scratching and hand wringing, it appears that work to repair the India Street ferry landing has finally visibly begun, just nine days before next Friday’s G-train closure plunges North Brooklyn into a five-week transportation brown out. It appears city officials are now “cautiously optimistic” that the landing’s owners will finish repairs before the G shuts down.
In our in-depth June 6 post on the topic, we noted a disconcerting lack of transparency about the repair process and called on local political leaders to pressure the city and the landing’s owners to publicly commit to a timeline that would ensure the ferry is operational before shutdown.
We’re well aware by now that the imminent five-week G suspension this summer (from late July through the end of August) has many commuters spooked. Adding insult to injury, the New York Waterways ferry landing at India Street—by far the second-best option for many—has been suspended indefinitely since February, when a gangplank failed and plunged into frigid East River waters moments after passengers climbed aboard.
This looming transportation brownout has raised eyebrows for months. At an April 3 meeting organized by State Senator Daniel Squadron at the Polish and Slavic Center on Kent Street, officials addressed community transportation concerns, including the ferry, but they declined to announce a reopening date. Now, almost two months later—and only eight weeks before the G shutdown—that date is still elusive.
The road to Pulaski bridge traffic jams and sweltering MTA shuttle buses is paved with good intentions. So, for the past several weeks, Greenpointers has been investigating the India Street Ferry closure to determine whether anyone can say with confidence that the ferry landing will be operational before the G shuts down.
(The answer: very likely, but not entirely certain.) Here’s what we found out:
I’ve said it before, I only go to Manhattan to visit the dentist, since finding a new dentist is the only thing more painful than going into “the city.” Otherwise I’m very content to stay on this landmass we know as Long Island and within the confines of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. But travel between the two sometimes illogically results in “having” to go through Manhattan.
With development on the East River waterfront outpacing transportation solutions, commuting remains a hugely unanswered question. In Greenpoint, with much complained about G service (which is only going to get worse before it gets better) and still no East River Ferry service at India St on the known horizon, maybe it isn’t too cockamamy of an idea to imagine a self powered wireless street car that runs along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfront between Astoria and Red Hook. Continue reading →
The biggest craziest news in Greenpoint last week was the East River Ferry ramp collapse at India St Pier. No one was injured thankfully, but their motto, “Relax, we’ll get you there,” is a bit ironic.
There is no telling when service will resume from that location. In the mean time, passengers can take a FREE shuttle bus to No. 6th St. Us Greenpointers sure do love shuttle buses, right folks?
The East River Ferry is for many Greenpointers a great way to commute to the city and because of the recent collapse of the pier last week, you may have to find yourself an alternative mode of transportation for at least a few more weeks as the investigation continues.
A shuttle bus service has been announced that will take ferry riders from India St to North 6th St Pier beginning tomorrow, 2/18 during the morning and evening commute. Continue reading →
We Greenpointers absolutely love riding on the East River Ferry, but what happened this morning around 9am at the India St pier is very unsettling.
The Daily News reported that after commuters had crossed the ramp and were safely on the ferry, the ramp detached and plunged into an icy cold East River. Needless to say, we are thankful no one was injured, but they were understandably pretty freaked out.
Service is suspended at this time and an investigation into WTF happened is happening. More photos after the jump! Continue reading →
Boaters rejoice! The East River Ferry will continue to carry (some) commuters to work and (many) tourists to the Brooklyn Flea until 2019! But, seriously, any transportation vessel that makes the L train a little more bearable in the mornings deserves our everlasting gratitude.
Plus, riding a boat on a summer day is just more fun than cramming against the bodies of 50 sweaty strangers.
The ferry launched in June 2011 as a pilot program. Since then, close to 3 million passengers have cruised across the glorious brown-ish waters of the East River, tripling initial estimates. The ferry now carries 100,000 riders per month.
The only downside is that weekend rides will increase from $4 to $6. That’s a lot more than $2.50, so as much as we love getting to DUMBO in 10 minutes, the MTA wins the approval of our inner cheapskate.
Part of why Greenpoint is so special is because of our waterfront location. And while many still make disgusted faces when thinking of getting anywhere near the Newtown Creek or The East River, others are paddling up our local waterways and even fishing off our piers.
We still have a long way to go before we can even safely touch the water, but with more awareness and recreation on our waterways, the faster they will be cleaned up for future generations to enjoy.
City of Water Day, which is taking place this Saturday July 20th is “a celebration of the potential of the waterfront,” and lots of events are going on nearby.
While nothing specifically is organized on Greenpoint’s waterfront, enjoy a picnic in Transmitter Park or at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk or watch the sunset on the India St Pier or the Manhattan Ave Streetend Park. We have lots of waterfront access in Greenpoint.
If you want to travel to the other end of Brooklyn, Greenpointers who brought you the Newtown Creek Armada along with the Gowanus Dredgers & Brooklyn Atlantis are taking on our sister super-fund waterway, The Gowanus Canal with the Gowanus Voyage, an interactive public boat pond on the Gowanus Canal in which you can explore above and below the surface of this historic waterway by piloting miniature remote control boats and aquatic robots equipped with video cameras and environmental sensors. Gowanus Voyage will take place on Saturday, July 20th, from 1pm-6pm at the 2nd Street boat launch near Bond Street in Brooklyn and is presented with the support of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. The rain date will be Sunday, July 21st.
Dudes! The Fourth of July has passed. August is fast approaching. Sure, this constant humidity and 90 degree heat sucks and begs us to stay indoors in front of the AC racking up the electric bill, but we cannot let Mother Nature win!
Autumn’s cool breeze will be blowing leaves in our faces before we know it. We’ve got to take charge and make the most out of the last of our summer weeks. Here are a few inexpensive suggestions to help you end these hot, sunny days with a BANG.
1. Bike to Coney Island
I dare you! It’s not as far as you think. Well, it is, but it’s a pretty flat, easy route and once you arrive you can eat a hot dog at Nathan’s, jump in the ocean depending on how hardcore you are, and then brag to your friends that you biked 26+ miles. Once you get past Prospect Park, you’re on the Ocean Parkway Greenway for a little more than 4 miles. This bike path is mostly shaded and separate from the street so it’s safe and for the most part a pretty sweet ride. If you’re one of those New Yorkers who’s never been to the historic amusement park, I highly recommend it. Heck, I demand it. It’s equal parts awe-inspiring and gross, but will dazzle you nonetheless. Also, you’ve got to ride the Cyclone at least once in your life.