Rodriguez: NYC Can Move Cargo Without Relying on Big Trucks in the Center of Town

"For major deliveries, we should never see trucks coming into our densest areas," says the transportation committee chair.

Rodriguez speaking earlier today at a DOT press conference for Car-Free Day. Photo: David Meyer
Rodriguez speaking earlier today at a DOT press conference for Car-Free Day. Photo: David Meyer

Trucks chew up NYC streets and account for a disproportionate share of traffic deaths in the city. City Council transportation chair Ydanis Rodriguez has some suggestions to reduce the impact of freight traffic on city streets.

At an event previewing the city’s Car-Free Day events later this month, Rodriguez said he wants to limit truck deliveries to off-peak hours — either before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. He also endorsed the push to legalize electric bicycles in New York state, saying it could lead more companies to phase in deliveries by electric-powered tricycles.

“For major deliveries, we should never see trucks coming into our densest areas,” he said. Rodriguez envisions distribution centers outside the city where larger loads would be divided up and transferred to smaller vehicles.

“These are short term changes that will not require major investments in infrastructure,” Rodriguez said. “They are logistical changes that can seriously benefit our city and allow New Yorkers to breathe a little easier.”

On Saturday, April 22, six zones throughout the city will be pedestrianized from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including 30 blocks of Broadway, for the city’s second annual Car-Free Day. With his remarks this morning, Rodriguez is trying to link the event to lasting policy changes.

  • Albert

    So, in response to motorist extortion (“We’ll give ya even MORE congestion!”), we’re going to cede to them the business-hour streets and banish business trucks to *non*-business hours, right?

    In this malignant symbiosis, drivers whose (commercial) driving makes a useful contribution (commerce) are the ones who have to make way for the
    parasitism of personal vehicles. The last person who thought that was
    the answer to traffic congestion was Anthony Weiner, who was pushing it
    just to sabotage congestion pricing.

    As a side benefit, every one of these now-overnight trucks will be equipped with backup beepers so as to exempt their drivers from the responsibility of others’ safety, while ending any possibility of New Yorkers sleeping during sleeping hours.

  • kevd

    If we charged appropriately for curb space and for congestion, this wouldn’t be an issue.

  • walks bikes drives

    Every morning, during rush hour, Lenox Hill Hospital gets deliveries of some sort with tractor trailers into its loading bay on E76th street. Watching them maneuver those things in… it takes them about 20 minutes to get them in and out. And no cars, or school buses, can pass while they are doing it. Imagine they used smaller trucks that could pop right in with a single motion…

  • walks bikes drives

    Commercial areas need dedicated parking for delivery trucks, and delivery trucks need to use those dedicated parking spaces. The issue is eliminating double parking.

  • AnoNYC

    Loading zones, tons of them.

  • roger

    All this will do is split single truckloads onto more vehicles, thereby making more pollution and congestion.

    A better idea would be to somehow put a freight rail terminal within NYC itself (perhaps with the proposed cross-harbor rail tunnel or a refurbished high line), which would eliminate cross-hudson truck trips. A more daring suggestion would be to just have street running freights at night (allowing for direct delivery), perhaps doubling as light rail routes during the day.

  • Vooch

    This is the problem

    all that needs to be done is enforce the 55′ length limit rigorously

    I see over length trucks routinely all over Midtown.

    let’s first enforce existing rules before

  • Vooch

    some how other world cities do not need to have 65′ tractor trailers making deliveries on their streets.

    somehow their trucking companies manage to be efficient with modest box trucks.

  • Vooch

    yup, all of CBD should have zero car storage from 0600 to 1800 seven days a week.

    only loading zones for vehicles with commerical plates.

    all of CBD

  • walks bikes drives

    These aren’t longer than 55′. But getting a 45′ truck into a loading dock on a 28′ wide street is a bit tight. Especially since building construction across the street is taking up 8′ of the roadbed.

  • walks bikes drives

    How about turning Park Avenue into a rail line?

  • Vooch


  • Ook a Dook

    what do you expect from a former nyc teacher?? obviously he is no einstein when simple math is considered. a dum dum. except when pay to play real estate upzoning is considered. oh wait, i spoke too soon. he got creamed in the sherman plaza plan he tried to foist upon the residents of inwood. he’s at it again with the library and generating public outrage. verdict: dumber than a doorknob.