Feb. 23, 2023 By Aliya Schneider
A city task force is trying to learn more about overnight truck parking, and it wants to hear from you by Friday.
In New York City, commercial vehicles aren’t allowed to be parked on residential streets between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. The consequence can be a $65 ticket, with a higher price for tractor-trailers, which can be ticketed $265 for the first offense, and $515 for subsequent tickets within six months.
A City Hall task force created a survey to examine what it calls the “longstanding problem” of overnight truck parking. Respondents can check off why they’re concerned about the parking, such as air quality from idling, noise and blocked streets or bike lanes.
The one-page survey allows respondents to point out on a map where the parking is an issue and to elaborate how often they’re seeing it, and what kind of vehicles they’re seeing. But the survey closes at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
A City Hall spokesperson told the Bronx Times the survey results will help shape a citywide plan to address community concerns while taking the trucking industry’s needs into account.
Shawn Garcia, a Bronx organizer at safe streets advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, told the Bronx Times that illegal overnight truck parking adds to already existing issues in the Bronx.
“Unlawful overnight truck parking adds insult to injury in the Bronx, where residents already face higher pollution from three major highways and commercial freight out of Hunts Point,” Garcia said.
But the issue seems to resonate across the borough, with City Councilmember Eric Dinowitz’s Kingsbridge office receiving numerous complaints about the issue. He said in an email to constituents that some trucks have been towed in his West Bronx district, but there is still a “proliferation of trucks parking on our streets, causing safety hazards and even illegal dumping.”
The city lawmaker in March 2022 co-wrote a letter with his father, state Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, alerting the city Department of Transportation and the NYPD to the issue in their overlapping districts.
“While we certainly are sympathetic to the safety restrictions imposed on truck drivers that often force them to stop driving, there needs to be concrete action taken to ensure that our local streets are not being misused,” the letter from the Democratic Riverdale lawmakers stated.
While Transportation Alternatives believes the city needs to reduce how much it relies on trucks by allowing environmentally friendly last-mile delivery solutions, commercial trucks still need safe and lawful places to park away from residential streets, bike lanes and pedestrian crossings, Garcia said.
Councilmember Dinowitz is a sponsor on a resolution that would call on the state Legislature to increase the amount the city can fine the vehicles for the overnight parking. Along with Councilmember Kevin Riley, a Baychester Democrat, Dinowitz is a co-sponsor on a resolution that would require the city to identify one location in every borough for off-street tractor trailer parking. The bills’ main sponsors are Queens Councilmember Robert Holden and Brooklyn Councilmember Justin Brannan, respectively.
This article has been updated on Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. to include a comment from City Hall.
Reach Aliya Schneider at [email protected] or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes