Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Today's Headlines

Thursday’s Headlines: The Way of Water Edition

The "Blue Highways" campaign wants the mayor to convert a downtown heliport into a freight delivery hub. Plus more news.

More freight should move by water. And, by the way, the “Blue Highway” logo is just papyrus in bold.

New York City traffic is choked with congestion from trucks making freight deliveries — and a new coalition wants Mayor Adams to take a big step towards shifting that traffic to the city's "underused" rivers and waterways.

The "Blue Highways" campaign wants Adams to convert the Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Pier 6 into a full-time maritime freight delivery hub. Adams's Economic Development Corporation is expected to decide on the future of the pier soon.

The Move NY Coalition previously pushed a congestion pricing proposal that served as the basis for the one set to launch in Manhattan below 60th Street this summer. Their proposal for maritime freight — backed by Riders Alliance, NY-NJ Baykeeper and others — would have shipments travel New York's waterways to waterfront hubs, then have their contents transferred to "human/electric vehicles" such as e-bikes for the last leg of their journey.

The converted heliport alone could take 1,000 trucks off of New York streets, the coalition estimates. Opting to maintain helicopter operations, in contrast, means "pollution, chronic, deafening noise and serious health and safety impacts for millions of New Yorkers," according to the coalition. Under the city's planned contract with its heliport operator, maritime freight delivery would take up only one barge at the facility.

“Converting Downtown Manhattan Heliport to a predominantly marine freight terminal is an opportunity for the Adams administration to make a serious down payment on the establishment of a sustainable 'blue highways' system," said Alex Matthiessen of Move NY.

Shifting freight from roads to water is "is probably the next best thing we can do, post congestion pricing, to reduce traffic," Matthiessen said.

In other news:

  • Heckuva job, Janno: Just six subway stations currently have OMNY card vending machines, according to this report. (Gothamist)
  • Adams's latest number-crunching a lot less dramatic than recent mayoral budget announcements. (Politico, NY Times)
  • Josh Gottheimer drove to MTA HQ to whine about the transportation authority's slow FOIL response times. (Daily News)
  • Revel endorses congestion pricing: "The new operating environment congestion pricing creates will be much better for our riders and drivers." (Daily News)
  • Road rage incident culminates in crash with driver "repeatedly stabbed." (Daily News, NY Post)
  • Gothamist ventured to establish "NYC sidewalk etiquette."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

MTA’s Demotes OMNY Contractor Cubic In Hopes of Speeding Up Commuter Rail Fare Integration

Officials are giving up on Cubic's delayed plans to bring Metro-North and the LIRR into the OMNY-verse.

May 20, 2024

Microtranist Is Taxpayer Funded Uber, Advocates Warn — And It’s a Threat to Real Transit

American cities are falling for the "false promise" of microtransit, a top transportation union argues — and we're all going to be the ones who pay for it.

May 20, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: Road Safety is No Accident Edition

There were two big stories over the weekend — and both were about street safety. Plus other news.

May 20, 2024

Garbage Company Involved in Fatal Crash Will Ply Streets of Eastern Queens, Too

The private garbage company whose truck driver struck and killed a Manhattan pedestrian on Thursday according to police has won the right to pick up trash in a wide swath of Southeast Queens, raising concern for safety there.

May 17, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Fleet Week Edition

Some good news about the city fleet. Plus other news from a busy day.

May 17, 2024
See all posts