May 27, 2022 By Christian Murray
The New York City council voted Thursday in support of state legislation sponsored by two Queens legislators that would increase the fines commercial truck owners would have to pay who park their vehicles on residential streets overnight.
The council, with the backing of eastern Queens councilmember Linda Lee, voted to support legislation authored by State Sen. Leroy Comrie and Assemblymember Clyde Vanel, both of central Queens, that would impose a $400 fine for a first violation, with any subsequent violations within a six-month period hiked to $800.
Lee called for her council colleagues to pass the home rule message prior to the vote but noted that there is a lack of truck parking spaces in the city that needs to be addressed.
“I want to encourage my colleagues to support SLR7 [the legislation] which raises the fines on commercial tractor trailers which are illegally parked overnight,” said Lee, who is the co-Chair of the City Council Queens Delegation. “We know that this is a big issue across our city.”
Lee said that the fines alone will not fix the problem of trucks parking in residential areas overnight—and that the city must increase the availability of truck parking in the city.
However, “at the same time we need a real deterrent for bad actors who continue to park in our residential neighborhoods. As it stands it’s cheaper to risk getting a parking ticket each month than to rent one of the few spaces still available in the city.”
Trucking across New York City has increased dramatically in recent years, with trucks transporting approximately 890,000 tons of freight within New York City each day, a number projected to grow by nearly 70 percent by 2045, according to city data.
Federal regulations limit the number of hours a trucker can drive per day, and they must pull off the road when they hit their hours. As a result, without adequate parking facilities in which to rest, drivers often pull to the side of the road to park overnight, resulting in illegal parking in residential neighborhoods.