Bronx to truckers: Stay out or face steep fines

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | Monday, September 17, 2012

Stay out or be fined. That’s the message the Bronx Community Board 10 has for commercial vehicles that park along their city streets.

Kenneth Kearns, district manager for Community Board 10, told Land Line recently the truck parking problem is becoming a “quality of life issue” for the approximately 115,000 residents in his district.

At the nexus of three major highway systems, Interstate 95, Interstate 87 and Interstate 278, truck parking in the Bronx is scarce. In fact, there are no truck stops between New Jersey and Connecticut, which Kearns admits is a Catch-22 for truckers who need to take federally mandated breaks.

“The trucks tend to be very big, very old and very dirty,” Kearns said. “They sit there grinding away all night long, while the drivers are in the back sleeping. We are not interested in our community board becoming a truck stop.”

The community board has increased the maximum fines to $515 in an effort to keep trucks from parking along its streets.

“I don’t know how to talk to them. I don’t know who they are, but they don’t live in this neighborhood, which consists mainly of one- to three-family $600,000 homes,” he said. “They wander off the highway and end up parking on city streets where they shouldn’t be.”

Kearns said the community board’s role is to deal with the concerns of the taxpayers who live in the neighborhood. He said commercial vehicles are taking up valuable parking spaces, which is a common complaint among residents.

“The fines have been increased and the drivers pay them, but we aren’t seeing any results,” he said. “I can’t even venture to guess where you could put them. Nobody wants them.”

He said plans for an outlet mall in the Bronx are currently in the works. While his neighborhood may benefit from the planned new commercial development, the problem of where the trucks delivering to the stores will park remains.

Kearns said that while the New York State Department of Transportation is aware of the problem, no viable solutions have been proposed so far.

“We are the smallest level of government in New York City,” he said. “We aren’t out to ticket them out of business. We are just asking for some sensitivity on the truckers’ part. If there is some way to deal with them in a more creative fashion, we would be happy to consider it.”

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