Shallow thinking leads to results that are permanent
Mar 25, 2018 | 1069 views | 0 0 comments | 97 97 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Balance is always the key. Thinking in only one direction without considering other scenarios causes a narrow focus, a tunnel vision, and can create harmful results.

A small group of people in Hoboken do not want NY Waterway to be located on the land that they legitimately bought last November 2017. These people are thinking of only one result: a waterfront walkway (which we would get anyway no matter who sits on the old Union Dry Dock) and park land.

Neither this group nor the City Council are considering the consequences if NY Waterway’s land is taken from them through eminent domain: NY Waterway will no longer have a site they need to function and this could possibly put them out of business, since there are no longer any other docks for maintenance or refueling in the vicinity. This would have serious consequences for 30,000 cross-Hudson commuters.

As of Thursday, March 15, the City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the city to condemn the land if they decide to do so. They will bond for $11,630,000 to pay NY Waterway for the land.

No one has a clear idea of what would happen to the NY Waterway ferries, which provide a public commuter service to both New Jersey and New York. NJ Transit would never have started up a ferry company to help with their existing troubled transit system. NY Waterway, which gets no subsidies, has worked hard to survive since its inception in 1986 and even almost went bankrupt in 2001 when the ferry terminal in New York was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. They remained strong and struggled to continue to offer the public a means of commuter transportation. They have also been available to assist when there are disruptions to other transit systems and extra ferries are deployed in emergency situations to carry more people that are stranded across the Hudson River. This has helped to mitigate the severity of the NJ Transit commuter problems that have been occurring frequently as our train and bus systems age.

There should be a balance between a ferry operation and open space and there will be the walkway which is mandated by state law.

Give NY Waterway a chance to show what they can provide for the city of Hoboken in open space as well as continue to serve the region with their ferry transportation. A ferry operation needs to be functional based upon close access to their terminals for on-time schedules as well as refueling without traveling miles out of their way to some remote location that at this point does not even exist for them. Docks are needed for their maintenance. Everyone must think deeply about this and not let shallow, selfish desires cloud the reality that ferries must be allowed to function.

Mary Ondrejka

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