NYC Ferry Is Expanding Again, but Not Without Growing Pains

The Astoria route — which will include two stops on the East Side of Manhattan, one in Long Island City and one on Roosevelt Island — is the fourth launched this year. The first two were along the East River and out to Rockaway; the third was a Brooklyn route with stops in Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.


Some recreational boaters fear that city officials are rushing to roll out the ferry service — one of the mayor’s favorite initiatives — without sufficient regard for the concerns of local residents.

Ramsay de Give for The New York Times

Hallets Cove, which bulges toward northwest Queens, is “a unique spot anywhere within reach,” said David Matten, the president of the Long Island City Boathouse, as he motioned toward the relatively calm water and the ferry terminal that juts out from the north side. “This is like building a subway stop in the middle of a playground,” he said.

The prospect of ferries plowing through the cove and idling at the dock could jeopardize the free kayaking lessons volunteers like Mr. Matten and Agnes Michalek, the chairwoman of the boathouse, have been providing to the public.

“We won’t run a program until we feel it would be a safe program,” said Ms. Michalek, as neophyte paddlers queued up on Saturday afternoon to try the yellow, plastic kayaks. After participating in a trial run of a ferry to and from the Astoria dock last week, Ms. Michalek said the decision on whether it would be too hazardous to continue was “still up in the air.”

Peter Flynt, a co-director of the ferry service for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said officials had been meeting with members of the community for two years to try to balance their concerns with the benefits of linking waterfront neighborhoods across the city. He said the decisions on where to locate the…

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