Residents and business organizations are signing a petition in support of year-round ferry service at Atlantic Avenue/Pier 6, announced State Senator Daniel Squadron.
“We think year-round ferry service for Pier 6 will be positive for merchants,” said Atlantic Avenue BID, Executive Director, Josef Szende. “They bring more foot traffic to Atlantic Avenue and will help them improve their sales.”
With a recent proposal request by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for an East River Ferry operator, several area elected officials and 11 community groups wrote a letter urging the EDC to encourage applicants to include year-round service to and from Atlantic Avenue/Pier 6 in their proposals.
The letter also urges the EDC to only award a contract to an operator that’s includes that service.
Brooklyn Community Board Six’s District Manager, Craig Hammerman, believes that “the petition is a great way to raise awareness about the issue and show the power of how important this is to us.”
The return of East River Ferry service as a three-year pilot program has proven to be a popular and viable form of year-round transit for NYC commuters, a highlight for visitors, and a key element in the revitalization of the city’s waterfront.
The letter writers maintain that expanded service at Atlantic Avenue/Pier 6 would enable more residents and local business owners to enjoy those benefits. The petition has already been signed by hundreds of Brooklyn residents, including Squadron, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, Assemblymember Joan Millman and Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin.
Vilma Heramia, the executive director of the Carroll Gardens Association, explained that she and her organization supports the expanded service because “first of all, the Columbia Waterfront area is very isolated [and] there is only one bus line that goes to this area, so the community is very isolated and we need other transpiration alternatives.
“So having something like a ferry would ease up a lot of transportation issues in the community and at the same time would help create traffic along Columbia Street,” Heramia continued. “A lot of local businesses and restaurants are not really doing well and it’s mostly because of transportation issues.”