Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ferry Flap

Kayak-related story going around in the NY media today regarding ferry horns, the paddlers who have been wanting to hear horns when the smaller ferries leave their docks (as is required by Coast Guard Regs) for ages, and a few Battery residents who are throwing a fit now that they are. Frankly, although I'm in thoroughly in favor of people following navigation rules, I might have had more sympathy with the residents if the main instigator didn't indulge in the worst censorship of opposing views I've ever seen on a blog.

I myself actually got blocked from even VIEWING batterypark.tv for having the gall to post a link to the regulation in question. OK, OK, I tried to post it twice - once and then again when the first attempt disappeared. The nerve of me, huh? 

Anyways, I could opine some more, I've certainly found the guy annoying enough to work up a good head of steam, but I got to work late today because of a bit of a personal emergency - nothing bad, just something I chose to attend to - so I've got a lot of catching up to do and I'll just cut to the links.

Here's the basic story in the New York Times CityRoom Blog. They didn't go into the censorship and general unpleasantness there as much, that's a column that has space constraints and has to focus on the main issue - the blog crap really was a sideshow and I think Mr. McGeehan did a good job of explaining the actual story. 

Also made the Talk of the Town section of New Yorker magazine - subscribers only but if you are, you can read it here.

And click here for the viewpoint of a paddling blogger who's taking a far less tiptoey approach to this (but with whom I pretty much agree).

On an interesting and sort of disappointing side note, a friend reported that she was by that terminal this morning and the ferries had gone back to silent running. Maybe the squeaky wheel did get the grease, him and his four-member Facebook group. 


Tillerman said...

I love hearing the ferry horns. As well as being important for safety they contribute to the atmosphere of any busy waterfront. What a wonderful sound to start your day with!

bonnie said...

I wish our angry guy could get an attitude adjustment from you!

Tillerman said...

And as a small boat sailor, often in a harbor that does have a ferry, I appreciate the horn letting me know when it is leaving its dock.

bonnie said...

The small ferries are the only boats in the area who DON'T follow that rule. It always made crossing those ferry terminals feel like a gamble - the one I passed the most frequently, at 34th street, you'd keep an eye on who came in and who was sitting there as you arrived, and then whether the passengers were coming off of the ferry, or whether the boarding had begun ), but in the end you just had to grit your teeth and go for it and hope that they didn't pull out without seeing you.

Mostly the visual assessment of the situation worked but at the spot that's become contentious, it doesn't. They put in a big floating terminal in 2009 with four or five slips on both north and south facing sides - you can only see the boats on the side you're approaching, what's happening on the other side is a complete mystery. I haven't passed that new terminal myself but I expect it's pretty stressful.