Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Does Queens really need larger trucks on its streets?

From the Forum:

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.


Anonymous said...

Even if you ignore the significant quality of life issues to residents, lawmakers need to be reminded that this country doesn't adequately maintain its roads (even now!) because we don't fund this activity enough. Heavier trucks will only exacerbate this situation.

For an eyeopening experience, I recommend checking out http://geoguessr.com.

Here someone has developed a game using GoogleStreetView that plops you down some where and you have to guess where you are in the world.

After a while, you begin to see patterns. You begin to see that a way to differentiate parts of the northern contiguous 48 U.S. state and the southern parts of Canada is that the Canadian roads are usually well maintained and the U.S. roads are often looking a little rough around the edges.

Some of the images are a few years old but having played this game hundreds of times over the last year or so, it's pretty convincing evidence that our roads need help relative to most other industrialized nations.

And then we have our government bowing down to private interests to make things even worse...

Anonymous said...

Why are such enormous trucks allowed on small streets at all?

You'll see several of them on 163rd St. several days a week making deliveries to Marinos, a small grocery store.

In addition to blocking the street, these trucks emit noxious fumes and are incredibly noisy! Sometimes they're parked and idling for upwards of 1/2 hour. And all they drop off is garbage industrial food - not even anything high quality - orange soda and white bread. And some salami.

How is it that one store is able to be such a nuisance to the neighborhood? How can we get rid of these vile trucks?

Anonymous said...

FedEx has scaled back the size of their trucks for local deliveries. You will see something resembling an oversized van on NYC streets. A smart move. UPS and the USPS should do the same,

Anonymous said...

We've got trucks and large busses on the GCP . It's a parkway, no commercial or vehicles over 5,000pounds. Oh ,I forgot,there is no police enforcement cause they let the Highway Patrol go from 400 cops to 110! WTF !

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, there was enough NYPD available to stop Noel Polanco on the Grand Central Parkway who was not driving a truck.