Citigroup ferry dock needs public uses: C.B. 1
BY SYDNEY PEREIRA
Last month, the Hudson River Park Trust and
Citigroup suddenly began construction on a
dock at Pier 25 for a Citigroup employees-only
water taxi. C.B. 1 responded by calling for a possible
public use of the facility, such as a weekend shuttle to
Governors Island for kids’ sports teams or a ferry to
the East Side’s Pier 11/Wall St.
“I don’t think we should have a ferry boat and a
dock that is helping Citigroup and not be used for
anything else,” said Alice Blank, co-chairperson of
the C.B. 1 Waterfront, Parks and Resiliency Committee,
at the committee’s meeting last month.
The board also requested air-quality monitors be
added due to concerns that the water taxis’ exhaust
could waft to the Tribeca pier’s playground, which
is currently closed for renovations. The board added
that if the air-quality monitors found negative impacts,
Citi should move the landing dock elsewhere.
“The most vulnerable of our population — children
under 3 years old — are being brought to the park by
nannies during the hours of the water taxis’ operation,”
said Paul Hovitz, co-chairperson of the C.B. 1
Youth and Education Committee.
Trust President Madelyn Wils has told C.B. 1 that
Citi will use both the “best available technology” and
the “least polluting” engine currently available in the
Citigroup’s water taxi service is expected to run
from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every half hour. Up to 15 passengers
PHOTO BY SYDNEY PEREIRA
Citigroup and the Hudson River Park Trust
have added a new water-taxi dock for Citigroup’s
use at Tribeca’s Pier 25.
at a time will ride the 49-passenger vessels,
currently the smallest size used by Hudson River water
taxi operators, according to the Trust. The dock
will be open to uses outside of Citigroup’s water taxi
pending Trust approval.
Citi also recently gave $10 million for the development
of the park’s Pier 26, which will feature an
eco-oriented design, which the Trust “broke ground”
on last month.
Citi claims its water taxi service will replace roughly
15,000 shuttle bus trips annually, which includes trips
between its two Manhattan offi ces, at 388 Greenwich
St. and 111 Wall St., as well as to its Jersey City offi
ce. It was unclear exactly how many shuttle trips Citi
runs between Jersey City and Manhattan.
“By consolidating most of our workforce in the
New York metro area into two locations and installing
the water taxi service, we will eliminate the approximately
15,000 shuttle trips that currently run
through the neighborhood,” Citi spokesperson Mark
Waterfront Committee member Bob Townley, who
also heads Manhattan Youth, said if Citi is going to
spend money on the park, it should not be for a “limousine
shuttle” for kids to Governors Island. Instead,
he said, the funds should go toward park security.
The Hudson River Park Trust is considering C.B.
“We are reviewing the resolution from C.B. 1 carefully
along with our partners in the project,” Trust
spokesperson James Yolles said. “We have assured
C.B.1 there is nothing in our arrangement with Citi
that would preclude these additional services and are
open to exploring all appropriate uses.”
Paul Goldstein, the Waterfront Committee chairperson,
acknowledged some board members’ concerns
about backing a private use in a public park.
But he added, “I think the pluses may outweigh
the negatives, in that we have an opportunity to open
Air monitors planned for L-shutdown bus routes
BY SYDNEY PEREIRA
The city announced last week that it will install
air-quality monitors along new bus routes during
the L train shutdown.
During the shutdown — slated to begin April 27,
2019 — the city plans to add additional subway, ferry
and bus service, plus bike lanes. To transport 17 percent
of displaced L train riders, the city intends to create
a dedicated “busway” along 14th St., plus four new
bus loops in Brooklyn and Manhattan that would send
80 buses per hour over the Williamsburg Bridge during
After months of protest by local residents, the city
committed to monitoring particulate matter, called PM
2.5, from diesel bus emissions. Those monitors are in
addition to existing ones at construction sites for the L
train along E. 14th St. in the East Village monitoring
PM 10, where work is ongoing.
“Considering where we’ve come from, I view this as
real progress and a real win for community groups that
have been working on this,” said Pete Davies, a Soho
activist and member of the Kenmare/Little Italy Loop
Early last month, more than 40 Downtown community
groups and district leaders from the East Side to
the West Side signed onto a letter demanding that local
politicians address air-quality concerns at E. 14th St.
and Avenues A and B, as well as along the new interborough
bus routes. The groups slammed an environmental
assessment that was conducted due to an ongoing
COURTESY BRAD HOYLMAN’S OFFICE
From left, State Senator Brad Hoylman recently
joined Andy Byford, the Transit Authority
president, on a tour of the construction
site at the L train’s First Ave. station. The
station is getting a new entrance at Avenue A
and will also be the main staging area for the
L train tunnel repairs.
lawsuit against the L shutdown. The study found no
signifi cant difference in impact on air quality between
“no action” — meaning, doing nothing during the L
shutdown — and the “alternative service” plan.
At the end of last month, state Senator Brad Hoylman,
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Manhattan
Borough President Gale Brewer and 18 other politicians
from Brooklyn and Manhattan sent a joint letter
to Andy Byford, president of New York City Transit Authority,
requesting he implement air monitors along the
bus routes, establish baseline readings and make the
data public — which Byford has now committed to.
“I think there’s the old adage, ‘You can’t manage
what you don’t measure,’ ” Hoylman said. “No one
knows what the impact of the tunnel shutdown will be
on public health and the environment because of all
these new buses. And the M.T.A. has committed to this
project and is, as they say, ‘consulting with experts’ in
determining how to proceed.”
But, Davies said, “The devil will be in the details.”
Where monitors will be located, how many will be
installed, and how the city will establish a baseline
standard for air quality remains to be seen.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Department
of Transportation plan to establish a baseline
“as soon as possible,” make results public, and monitor
for PM 2.5, according to a presentation at a Community
Board 2 Traffi c and Transportation Committee
meeting on Nov. 1.
“We made it very clear, we’re not scientists,” Davies
said. “But we trust, now that Byford has committed to
this, that they will do this in a meaningful way.”
Soho resident Lora Tenenbaum, a former C.B. 2
member, fears that the monitors will be placeholders
for a plan if air quality does ultimately worsen.
“Putting them there isn’t enough,” she said, adding
that both analyzing air quality and taking action if
there are negative impacts are critical.
14 November 15, 2018 CNW Schneps Community News Group