(This article has been modified from its original publication following the receipt of a formal statement by Mayor Adams’ office).
New York state’s primary trucking association is criticizing a crackdown on overnight truck parking in New York City, saying that “we cannot ticket our way out of this problem.”
News reports emerged late Monday that the city had begun a ticketing blitz in southeastern Queens, near John F. Kennedy airport. That is generally a working-class part of the city, and election information website Ballotpedia said the population of the 5th Congressional District, which covers southeast Queens as well as other areas, is 45.5% African-American.
“This type of parking is not happening in affluent areas,” Mayor Eric Adams was quoted as saying by local CBS affiliate WCBS on its website. “This is a residential community. They deserve the same level of quality of life that we give to other parts of the city.”
Overnight truck parking is banned between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., WCBS said.
The initiative began Aug. 15, according to the WCBS report. But Adams went out with police Monday evening as tickets were being handed out, bringing publicity to the project dubbed Operation Heavy Duty Enforcement.
According to a statement released by Adams office, the first five days of Operation Heavy Duty Enforcement, between, August 15 and August 19, resulted in 597 summonses, 89 wheel boots and 55 towings.
In a statement, Kendra Hems, the president of the Trucking Association of New York, said the organization “in no way condone[s] parking on residential streets where it is illegal to do so.”
But she said that “heavy enforcement alone has not worked in the past and will not work now absent available commercial vehicle parking.”
Hems’ statement goes on to highlight the problem that is bedeviling drivers nationwide: a lack of alternatives.
“The reality is that drivers, many of them our neighbors, family and friends, simply have nowhere to park,” Hems said in the statement. “This is not their personal vehicle but the vehicle that embodies their livelihood and provides for their family.”
She added that the city of New York should work with the industry to “address the underlying issue of inadequate trucking parking in all five boroughs … and finally find meaningful long-term solutions that benefit all New Yorkers, drivers included.”
In the WCBS story, Adams was reported as saying that there are areas in the city where trucks can park and that he plans to work with trucking companies to have drivers park there.
There was no such reference in Adams’ press release. But he was quoted as saying in it: “We cannot let our neighborhood streets turn into illegal parking lots.”