New York bills target NYC-area truck traffic

August 13, 2019

Keith Goble

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Legislation under review at the New York statehouse addresses issues that focus on commercial drivers and NYC-area truck traffic.

One Assembly bill is intended to permit one of the largest cities in the world to use cameras to monitor truck traffic.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-North Brooklyn, A2105 would authorize New York City to implement a pilot truck weight photo-monitoring system at certain locations around the city.

The system is described as including a weight sensor embedded in the ground to alert a camera each time a large vehicle uses the road.

Truck owners would be liable when the truck’s operator drives on stretches of road posted as a “no thru truck street.”

The bill would authorize up to 50 intersections to be outfitted with the photo-monitoring devices.

Lentol has said that large trucks illegally using residential roads is “one of the biggest quality of life issues affecting our city.” He added that the trucks also create a public safety issue in the affected areas.

The bill is in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

A separate Assembly bill is intended to prevent oversized commercial vehicles from entering certain parkways in Westchester County.

The bill from Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, D-Greenburgh/Mount Pleasant, would direct the New York State Department of Transportation to study and determine which entrances to “special parkways” in the New York City-area county are used most frequently by commercial vehicles. Within one year of making the determination, the agency would be responsible for installing height barriers to prevent or otherwise hinder vehicles that exceed bridge clearance heights from accessing such limited-access roads.

“Trucks are hitting bridges on our parkways with increased regularity, and New York State Department of Transportation continues its failed efforts to warn truckers with road signs that the truckers don’t heed,” Abinanti said in previous remarks.

Abinanti says there have been more than 20 bridge strikes each year recorded on Westchester County parkways.

Parkways affected:

  • The Hutchinson River Parkway from the New York City line to the Connecticut line;
  • The Saw Mill River Parkway from the New York City line to Interstate 684;
  • The Cross County Parkway connecting the Saw Mill River and Hutchinson River parkways;
  • The Taconic State Parkway from the Kensico Circle to the Westchester-Putnam line; and
  • The Sprain Brook Parkway from the Bronx River Parkway near Dewitt Avenue at Bronxville to the Taconic State Parkway at Hawthorne interchange.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a similar bill in 2017. In his veto message, the governor said the DOT had conducted an assessment and was taking sufficient measures.

The latest effort, A3138, has advanced from the Assembly Transportation Committee to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.

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