Locals, Lawmakers Call For Action
With truck traffic on a Woodside street reaching a fever pitch, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Rep. Joseph Crowley called on the city and the NYPD at a Monday, July 23 press conference to keep the rigs off the roadway.
According to Van Bramer, residents living along 65th Place have complained that trucks plowing down the street have contributed to noise and air pollution in the area.
He claimed that “a beautiful, quiet residential neighborhood … is stuck in between the LIE and the BQE and Queens Boulevard and other major thoroughfares.”
According to the New York City truck map, the street is not a local truck route, but offers an easy path to get to through truck routes.
“It’s dangerous,” he added. “Big 18-wheeler trucks are not supposed to be on these streets.”
In addition, because the street is not a truck route, it is not built to handle heavy vehicles, and the roadways have reportedly begun to deteriorate.
“This road was not meant to have 18-wheelers or heavy machinery,” Crowley noted.
The traffic, which residents claim has increased over the past year, has also caused local homes to suffer; one resident claimed that he had to spend $3,000 to repair a water main which had broken due to vibrations from trucks barreling down 65th Place.
The lawmakers have requested that the Department of Transportation (DOT) install “No Truck Traffic” signs on the street, and for the 108th Precinct to increase its enforcement efforts.
“It’s not about changing the law or about redesignating streets,” said Crowley. “The truck routes are already designated.”
Rosemarie Daraio, the president of the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) civic group, noted that the area has traditionally been prone to flooding.
“We don’t need the heavy trucks to damage the infrastructure any more,” she stated.
Daraio told the Times Newsweekly that she does not believe that truck route changes to the area as part of the recent Maspeth Truck Bypass project have contributed to the increase in trucks on 65th Place.
She also expressed skepticism that the DOT will install the No Truck Traffic signs, claiming that the agency prefers to install “positive signage.”
“Signage without enforcement doesn’t mean anything anyway,” Daraio added.