On March 3, the Transportation Committee heard Councilman Paul Vallone’s bill, Intro 315, aimed at curbing the illegal truck traffic that plagues many residential streets in his and many other districts. Trucks are a vital part of New York City’s economy and serve millions of residents and businesses through making deliveries and providing transport and services; however, many streets in the city are not designed to handle such traffic. Trucks are generally not allowed to use non-designated routes.
However, due to a Department Of Transportation (DOT) policy that discourages negative signage to be placed in the City of New York, commercial trucks have flagrantly used residential streets to speed up their routes knowing that the New York Police Department will often not issue violations because of the lack of this “negative signage.” Vallone’s legislation would require the Department of Transportation to conduct a study of compliance to the rules of the City of New York by truck drivers relative to truck routes every three years, and rank the 10 blocks within each community district where the largest number of trucks illegally disregard required truck route destinations. At such the department shall post a sign or ensure such a sign remains, stating “No Trucks Except Local Deliveries.” The Department would also be required to post the locations of these signs on their website.
“Enough is enough! It’s time for the DOT’s policy to be changed to reflect the true quality of life concerns of our constituents,” said Vallone. “Unfortunately, in an attempt to beautify the neighborhood by avoiding negative signage, you end up instead with trucks and tractor trailers plowing down residential streets, polluting with fumes and noise and endangering residents. The bottom line is that designated truck routes are established for a reason, and we need to ensure that the NYPD is able to enforce these restrictions. I am glad that my bill has been brought to a hearing and I look forward to working with my colleagues to see it pass.” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, testifying at the hearing, stated, “Unsafe commuting conditions are caused in part when trucks illegally deviate from designated truck routes in the city. I strongly support [Int. 315], crafted in the spirit of Vision Zero and our collective efforts to combat fatalities and serious injuries caused by vehicular traffic.”