New Parking Crackdown on Big Rigs and Other CMVs in NYC
New York, NY – It is about to become even more challenging for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators in New York City (NYC).
Last week, the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) issued a Notice of a rule change to crack down on truckers and other CMV operators who double-park on city roadways.
According to the new rule, which is set to begin March 8, 2020, CMV drivers “actively engaged in loading or unloading goods, tools, materials, or other items for the purpose of making pickups, deliveries or service calls” will have no more than 20 minutes to do so.
Under the language of the old rule, CMV operators could double-park while “expeditiously” loading or unloading.
However, NYC officials say the rule was is need of updating because the language was too vague to properly enforce.
Additionally, unlike the old rule, the new rule specifies a total prohibition on CMVs double-parking if doing so “blocks the only lane of travel in the same direction.”
According to the new rule: “No person shall stand, stop or park a vehicle on a street at any time in such a manner or under such conditions as to leave fewer than 10 feet of roadway width available for the free movement of vehicular traffic.”
Cycling advocates were quick to applaud the new rule.
According to a report by StreetsBlogNYC, Transportation Alternatives, a group with the stated mission to “reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile and advocate for better bicycling, walking, and public transit for all New Yorkers,” spoke out in favor of the new rule.
“This rule change validates very real public safety concerns, namely that double parking is dangerous for all road users,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, Danny Harris. “We know all too well the threat posed when people on bikes are forced out of their lane and into mixed traffic.”
“Clear Lanes” Initiative
NYCDOT’s action was set in motion back in 2017 when NYC mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his “Clear Lanes” initiative to study ways to reduce congestion along city streets.
“With 8.5 million people, NYC is experiencing both record population and economic vitality; but our success has put serious demands on our already crowded street network,” de Blasio said at the time. “New Yorkers have been telling me loud and clear about the quality-of-life problems created by traffic where they live and work. With a targeted effort to help clear travel lanes, delivery zones, intersections and highways, these initiatives will address these concerns head-on, using established and new tools that will keep our City moving, from midtown to all of our neighborhoods .”
As part of the initiative, NYCDOT tested the impact of restricting curb access.
During a six-month pilot program in 2018, NYCDOT banned curbside loading on both sides of the street along two major commercial corridors and in a zone within Manhattan during peak hours (7 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.).
The “expeditious” pick-up and drop-off of passengers was allowed, as was deliveries to off-street loading docks.
NYC Also Cracking Down on Overweight Trucks Along the BQE
On Friday, January 31, Mayor de Blasio signed Executive Order No. 51, which instructs the New York Police Department (NYPD) to step up enforcement on overweight big rigs along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE).
MORE ON NYC’S TRUCK CRACKDOWN
According to state law, enforcement officials can issue fines as much as $7,000 to truckers operating tractor-trailers determined to be in violation of the 80,000 pound weight limit.
A recent study determined some trucks along the BQE are as much as 170,000 pounds, more than double the allowable weight.
“Such excessive weight can do serious damage, with consequences for the roadway’s structural integrity,” de Blasio said in his announcement.
The BQE carries about 150,000 vehicles each day which includes approximately 15,000 trucks.
Photo courtesy of NYCDOT