Volume 22, Number 29 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 27 - December 3, 2009
Downtown Express photo by Julie Shapiro
Some Gateway Plaza residents say the new ferry service to serve the Goldman Sachs building is noisier.
Increased ferry traffic brings in more noise complaints
The vibrating rumble of ferries pulling in and out of the World Financial Center terminal has drawn the ire of some Battery Park City residents who say the noise is disturbing them.
“It’s like you’re under attack all day,” said Beth Dornhofer, who has lived in Gateway Plaza overlooking North Cove for 26 years. “There’s no escaping it. Your home should be your sanctuary.”
The new B.P.C. ferry terminal opened about a year ago, but it wasn’t until the beginning of November that residents noticed a problem. That is when NY Waterway doubled its ferry service from Paulus Hook/Jersey City to serve the new Goldman Sachs headquarters in Battery Park City. Since then, several Gateway residents told Downtown Express they have been unable to sleep past the first ferry run at 6 a.m.
“The noise is deafening,” said Fran Miller, whose Gateway apartment faces the Hudson River. “The windows rattle. The things in my house rattle…. This just can’t go on.”
Miller and others said the ferries that work the Jersey City route are louder than the other ferries Waterway runs and go closer to their homes. The culprits are referred to as the “Italian line” because they have names like Christopher Columbus, Frank Sinatra and Yogi Berra.
The ferry terminal is several blocks north of Gateway, and the ferry noise is not as audible on the esplanade near Gateway, but residents say the noise and vibrations reach their apartments nonetheless. The residents also say the ferries often run closer to the Battery Park City side of the river than is necessary, increasing the noise.
Pat Smith, spokesperson for NY Waterway, said the company was taking the complaints seriously and would look into them. However, he said the same boats have been running on the same line for years (albeit less frequently), so it does not make sense that the noise level would suddenly change.
Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee will discuss the issue at its meeting next Tues., Nov. 1. A representative on NY Waterway will be present, Smith said. Linda Belfer, chairperson of the committee and president of the Gateway tenants association, said she hoped Waterway would agree to reduce the noise of the ferries’ engines.
— Julie Shapiro