City Finally Finishes Eight-Year-Long Truck Study

Yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced the publication of its Truck Route Management and Community Impact Reduction Study. The study, which began over eight years ago (PDF), recommends the establishment of an Office of Freight Mobility, new educational materials and public outreach efforts, improved street signs, better enforcement, and some policy and regulatory changes — for example, requiring trucks over 26,000 pounds operating on city streets to be equipped with a convex mirror to help reduce blind spots.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign has, for some time now, been the leading organization pushing New York City to do a better job of managing truck traffic. Executive Director Jon Orcutt says the long-awaited study signals "the end of an era" and offers some good news and some bad:

The good news is that the city can no longer claim they are studying the issue. They have to start acting. Also, the study acknowledges that it is possible for more trucks to be directed to limited access roads where they belong.

There are three pieces of bad news. First, it is shocking that it took so long to come up with these relatively elementary recommendations. Second, it is disappointing that basic traffic-calming street designs, like gateway treatments that might discourage trucks from turning down neighborhood streets, play little role in what the city apparently plans to do. Finally, it is bad news that the city is saying changes in truck routing behavior will require much stronger application of police resources. Historically this has been a losing proposition for traffic-related rules; as, for instance, with painted bicycle and bus lanes which drivers are allowed to violate with impunity.

  • P

    Quickly flipping through this I don’t really see much that will improve life for anyone that already lives near a truck route- only preventative measures for those who don’t. As someone who lives near one I would be happy with simple enforcement of the speed limit and traffic signals. It would be free money for the city in my neighborhood.

  • Nicolo Macchiavelli

    I got something to molify the truck diseconomies. They are called barges. Each one that brings in a load of aggregate takes 40 trucks off the road, same with fuel oil. Save the working waterfront. Write Doctoroff, its better than wasting your ink on the Atlantic Yards.

  • Fascinated

    I was hoping for more of a précis after the jump. I suppose this is good in the sense that it gives news outlets an angle to discuss it. It’s hard to know what this means, but if it in any way discourages 18-wheel grocery trucks from turning down my block, I’m all for it.
    But you’ll want another hyphen in the headline there: Eight-Year-Long….

  • Happy Camper

    Eight years to produce the extraordinary new truck signage which ” contains the identical word message and truck symbol as the previous sign, but intorduces a green circle around the truck silhouette” .

    The $ 1.2 million green circle!

  • ny

    as a truck driver I can tell you the truck route is a failure instead of getting trucks out of the city in a minimum amount of time they are making trucks circle and circle around.instead of routing truck efficiently and safely they are putting trucks where there are many pedestrians. there are no signs to direct trucks this has just become a nightmare for hardworking truck drivers where they are waiting to trap drivers who uknowingly fall into. I stopped driving trucks in nyc and Im hoping many more will and everyone can go shopping in nj


Brooklyn to Mayor: Get a Transportation Policy

A 1997 traffic-calming protest in Brooklyn Heights (Photo: Transportation Alternatives). The neighborhoods of north Brooklyn have long been some of the most abused by regional traffic and transportation policy. So, it is not a surprise to see that the Tri-State Transportation Campaign has managed to convince twenty-eight Brooklyn neighborhood organizations to sign-on to a strongly […]