The Department of Transportation has agreed to relegate space on the middle deck of the Staten Island Ferry to become a designated "Quiet Zone." The SI Advance says that the area will be a place where passengers can seek solace to "avoid loud cell phone conversations, general chatter and ferryboat preachers who seek a captive audience." For now the Quiet Zones will be voluntary and self-policed, but City Councilman Ken Mitchell is drafting legislation for the DOT and NYPD to be able to enforce the new rules as well. Mitchell and State Senator Diane Savino pushed for the areas, similar to ones employed on Amtrak trains, because Staten Islanders face the longest average commute in the nation. After a survey went out to Ferry riders asking about their commutes, Savino says, "Everyone of them said that they wanted some place to go on the boat where they could go and just contemplate their life." The signs will be posted on the Bridge Deck of the three newest Molinari-class ferryboats; Savoy says she is brainstorming how to make the plan work for older ferry models as well.
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