By Ron Hine | FBW | January 25, 2018
What’s your druthers? A public park or a ferry depot at the former Union Dry Dock site? Please take a moment to fill out the short survey sponsored by the City of Hoboken. The deadline is tomorrow, Friday January 26 at 5 pm, and Mayor Bhalla is seeking your opinion which is critical to the future of the site, now owned by NY Waterway.
A park would add over 3 acres of public open space to Hoboken’s waterfront, connecting Maxwell Place Park to Castle Point Park, and nearly completing the contiguous, undeniably public waterfront park that is now so beloved by people throughout Hoboken and the region.
The depot would provide refueling, storage, removal of sanitary waste and repairs of NY Waterway’s fleet of 37 diesel-operated ferries. An estimated 80 ferry trips in and out of this site would occur from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. No studies have been done to assess the public health impacts on the surrounding residential neighborhoods due to exposure to diesel fumes and other contaminants. The wakes and turbulence caused by ferry traffic would seriously disrupt the kayaking, fishing and marine habitat in the immediate area, and NY Waterway has not provided or made public any environmental impact studies for the project.
A note about the funding Since the 1990s, state and federal grants, private developers and the Port Authority have provided nearly all the funding for the acquisition and construction of Hoboken’s waterfront parks, with local taxes accounting for only a small percent of these costs. The Fund for a Better Waterfront continues to consult with our experts who are familiar with the various funding sources and creative approaches for the acquisition and construction of a park at Union Dry Dock. Also, note that Hoboken’s Open Space Trust Fund is a dedicated revenue source approved by the voters of Hoboken in 2007, not an additional tax.
Clearly we have a bias on this issue as we have been advocating for a continuous, public waterfront park in Hoboken since 1990.
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