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September 12, 2012

Via the New York Times:

Titania Inglis, a 33-year-old fashion designer who wears her own flouncy avant-garde creations, likes to take the East River Ferry from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she keeps her work samples, to the East 34th Street slip in Manhattan and then bicycle to the garment center. Indeed, Ms. Inglis, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, can wax rhapsodic about the pleasures of sailing on a swift tidal river glistening with sunlight.

“It’s about having a fun commute,” she said, as she wheeled her bicycle off the ferry arriving at 4:10 p.m. at the India Street pier in Greenpoint.  “The wind in your hair, watching the skyline come toward you as you approach Midtown and getting to see New York from this vantage point.”

But she was one of only three people to get off that ferry. And the same number got on.

I don’t think bicycles are a panacea here, but surely one way to increase ridership on the East River Ferry would be to make cycling to and from it safer and more convenient on both sides of the river.  Riding from almost anywhere in Williamsburg and Greenpoint to one of the ERF stops along the waterfront is safe and pleasant due to relatively lower auto traffic volumes and the more complete bike lane network, including the unparalleled Kent Avenue bike lane.  However, it’s on the East Side of Manhattan that things break down, turning an integrated bike-ferry-bike trip into something only the intrepid would dare attempt.

Christine Quinn, who has been a great supporter of the East River Ferry, needs to understand that it takes a holistic approach to New York’s transportation network to guarantee the success of any one part.

One Comment
  1. Eric McClure permalink
    September 12, 2012 10:51 am

    Bike share could integrate terrifically with the ferry service, if done right. And unlike the ferry service, bike share won’t cost taxpayers a penny.

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