Should Congress approve a proposal to increase the size and weight limits for semi-trailer trucks, Queens residents already worn down by thousands of trucks passing through such neighborhoods as Maspeth would further see their quality of life deteriorate, borough leaders said.
“It’s crazy – we have trucks coming up residential blocks now; our streets can’t stand all this weight,” said Roe Daraio, president of the COMET – Citizens of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together – Civic Association – a group that has for years been fighting truck traffic in the Maspeth area.
Congress is now considering whether to allow bigger trucks to travel the country’s roads as it works on reauthorizing the surface transportation bill, otherwise known as MAP-21. With pressure from some of the country’s largest trucking companies and businesses pushing for increased size and weight limits – with many business owners saying it would help to significantly curb costs – a vote could come as soon as this month.
Specifically, Congress is looking at a proposal that would increase weight limits for single-trailer trucks to 97,000 pounds – 8.5 tons more than what is currently allowed.
A national nonprofit, the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, is working to stop the plan, and it issued a release stating that Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith, a trustee and former president of the New York State Sheriff’s Association, also strongly opposes any increase to truck sizes or weights.