Lone advocate, Dorothy Lee, a Canarsie resident stood outside of the Rockaway Parkway Subway Station in Brooklyn, last Friday, Aug. 11, calling out to commuters to add their signatures to a petition, demanding City Council start a ferry service from the Canarsie Pier, with stops at Coney Island before docking passengers at Wall Street in Manhattan.
Lee, who moved to Canarsie four years ago, said she had already garnered upwards of 3000 signatures and is confident that the Canarsie Improvement Association, of which she is a member, would secure 5000 signatures to have the measure passed for ferry service from the Canarsie pier.
Canarise, which has a large concentration of Caribbean nationals,and is represented by Guyanese-born Sen. Roxanne Persaud in the 19th Senatorial District, needsan alternative mode of transportation said Lee, who noted that several elected officials and residents came out with their banners at a recent night-out meeting in the community, touting the ferry service.
“It is a joint effort of residents and elected officials who are seeking alternative service — bus, train and ferry, to Manhattan,” said Lee, one of seven residents who started a Kennel Club, after waking their dogs in the park, and wanted to do more to improve the community, hence the Canarsie Improvement Association.
She said the group is doing an outreach in churches, malls, and public places to campaign for the ferry service.
She added that the residents have been very receptive and excited about the ferry service, and have been lining up to add their signatures, and to also share suggestions to revitalize the Canarsie pier, with the return of a once popular restaurant.
“The ferry service would benefit the Canarsie neighborhood, drive up property value and help the business community thrive,” said Lee.
Rep. of the Eighth Congressional District of New York, Hakeem Jeffries said, “the launched water-borne transit option celebrated its one-millionth rider last month, but several outer-borough transit-starved neighborhoods have been left in its wake, and it’s high time they get the same opportunities, of both Canarsie and Coney Island.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio last September, promised Canarsie residents that a ferry to their neighborhood was “on the table,” however, the mayor went ahead and launched other ferry services from various ports leaving Canarsie behind.
This, according to reports, caused citizens to begin petitions demanding service from both Canarsie and Coney Island.