Local politicians and community members alike went to the steps of City Hall on Tuesday to demand ferry service in Coney Island and Canarsie.
City Council Member Mark Treyger led the effort after rallying support via a Facebook post several days before the event.
“Our neighborhoods joined together on the steps of City Hall to make it clear that ‘outer’ outer borough communities in Southern Brooklyn deserve their fair share, and I believe our message was heard,” Treyger said to Coney Island News.
The local effort consisted of groups such as Coney Islanders 4 Ferry, the Alliance for Coney Island, the Coney Island Beautification Project, and the Waterfront Alliance. Even representatives from the New York Cosmos, a local professional soccer team, were present.
Among other politicians in attendance were Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, State Senators Diane Savino and Roxanne Persaud, Assemblymembers Pam Harris and Jamie Williams, and Council Member Alan Maise.
“I thought it was a very successful event,” said Pamela Pettyjohn of the Coney Island Beautification Project. “It was wonderful seeing so many advocates, community people, and representatives unify for a good cause both for Canarsie and Coney Island.”
Pettyjohn touted the many different ways that ferry service could benefit the community on a year-round basis and suggested that it could even help in emergency situations.
“I was here during sandy and it was impossible to evacuate,” she said. “But with the ferry this would all be taken care of and we can definitely support the ferry as far as revenue is concerned.”
The mounting pressure on the city continued the following day when a representative from Harris’ office said at a Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative meeting that she is “demanding” ferry service as soon as possible.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has yet to commit to concrete plans for ferry service to Coney Island, but it is increasingly sounding like a matter of if, not when. An NYCEDC spokesperson told Coney Island News last month that a ferry stop in Coney Island could be considered if ridership and demand warrants it, and the city already created a preliminary outline weighing the feasibility of the service.
A Change.org petition for Coney Island ferry service has generated nearly 800 signatures thus far.