Residential streets in southeast Queens have become parking lots for truckers who illegally park their rigs overnight in increasing numbers over the last couple of years.
On Monday evening, Aug. 15, Mayor Eric Adams was in St. Albans to announce that the NYPD launched operation “Heavy Duty Enforcement” to crack down on illegally parked commercial vehicles. In the first five days of this multifaceted effort, the NYPD issued 597 summons, attached 89 wheel boots and towed 55 illegally parked tractor-trailers in response to community-generated complaints.
The operation consists of three teams utilizing heavy tow operations, booting and summonsing enforcement, spanning several NYPD commands, bureaus and city agencies. The mayor made his announcement, joined by local leaders at the Montefiore Cemetery Lot on Springfield Boulevard near 121st Avenue.
“If you park vehicles illegally, you will get ticketed, towed or given the boot,” Adams said. “For far too long, large commercial vehicles have been parking illegally in the neighborhood, disrupting daily life and contributing to the noise, traffic and pollution. We cannot let our neighborhood streets turn into illegal parking lots. I want every New Yorker to know your city is looking out for you and your quality of life.”
Large commercial vehicles are not allowed to park on residential streets overnight between the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week, according to NYC parking rules.
Operation “Heavy Duty Enforcement” deployed NYPD officers from Patrol Borough Queens South, along with the Transportation Bureau, personnel from the 103rd, 105th and 113th precincts, and Traffic Enforcement Agents to multiple locations across southern Queens in the past week.
“Working in close collaboration with neighborhood residents, the NYPD continues to improve the quality of life of all people we serve,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “Our enforcement actions are community-focused, intelligence-driven and implemented based on the specific needs of each New York City neighborhood. These illegally parked commercial vehicles are negatively impacting this community — and when New Yorkers reached out, the NYPD responded. As always, we will use every resource available to enhance life in our city, and together, we will use every resource available to enhance life in our city.”
Southeast Queens Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers, chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, applauded the mayor, NYPD, DOT, and her community partner, William “Bill” Perkins, of the Southeast Queens Illegal Truck Parking Task Force, for piloting “a holistic approach to remove trucks off of our streets, finding suitable locations for trucks,” and implementing enforcement when needed.
“Quality of life continues to be diminished by chronic illegal truck parking that has wreaked havoc across District 31 and areas across the five boroughs,” Brooks-Powers said. “Residents continue to be plagued with tractor-trailers with no alternative in sight.
She added that there have been discussions with the Port Authority and the Queens Illegal Truck Parking Task Force to explore solutions at JFK Airport where there is plenty of space for parking.
“I can tell you from southeastern Queens in my neighborhood, Brookville Park, four or five years ago, there would be two or three trucks parked,” Perkins explained. “Now there’re 30 trucks parked, and in some locations, if you go down Springfield Boulevard, you’ll see 50 trucks parked. So it is not just increased, it’s exponentially increased.”
It is also among the top constituent complaints received by District 27 Councilwoman Nantasha Williams.
“We consistently have constituents voicing their complaints through various forms of communications to our office about the trash, dangerousness, and the minimizing of quality of life that these trucks cause,” Williams said. “My office has partnered with the NYPD and DSNY to perform tag and tow operations as a way to address this issue, but what we need is a long-term solution. I want to thank Mayor Adams for starting this task force and launching it in southeast Queens. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government to find a sustainable solution that provides truck drivers with legal parking that does not affect the quality of life for our constituents.”
The issue is a major concern in other areas of the borough. Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris launched her own initiative in Astoria by compiling hundreds of complaints from residents.
Councilwoman Sandra Ung also said she looks forward to the NYPD crackdown on illegally parked trucks in northeast Queens.
“I am pleased that the city is serious about addressing the issue of illegally parked commercial trucks in our residential neighborhoods,” Ung said. “This is a serious issue for constituents in my district who live on or near the Horace Harding Expressway, where tractor-trailers park for long periods of time. My office has received multiple complaints regarding these large trucks and 18-wheelers, including idling trucks, which can increase air pollution and affect the health of residents, especially children and older adults.
“While I appreciate that these drivers have long routes and are mandated by federal law to take breaks, we can’t allow our residential streets to be turned into illegal parking lots,” Ung continued. “I look forward to working with the mayor and my colleagues in government to address this issue.”