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Truck parking law not enforced enough: pols

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From the Bruckner to the Cross Bronx Expressway, gigantic trucks continue to be illegally parked on service roads or local streets overnight.

It has been an on-going problem, even as the city has imposed heavy fines starting in 2010.

But several Bronx elected officials think the city isn’t enforcing the law enough.

They are demanding the Department of Finance print new tickets showing the new fines.

Leading the effort is Senator Jeff Klein, Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Assemblyman Mike Benedetto who teamed up to get the bill passed.

Fines went from $65 to $250 with repeat offenders getting hit with a $500 fine.

Lawmakers thought the change would move truckers into legal parking lots, like motels near Conner Street in the north Bronx.

But truckers continue to scoff at the new law, according to Benedetto. “Just today I saw a tractor trailer parked on Bruckner Boulevard,” he said.

Fixing the problem is simply a matter of common sense, according to Klein.

“Why not just print a new ticket and make it easier?”

Councilman Vacca, who commonly spots commercial trucks parked on residential streets, called on the city to “get its act together.”

“This should not have taken two years to develop a form showing police officers how much the fines are,” said Vacca.

Klein’s office said the city is losing $8.8 million in possible revenue each fiscal year because DOF hasn’t come up with the new parking summonses.

“If the city invested a minimal amount to print new tickets that would quadruple the revenue for the city,” said Soundview Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, who backs the law.

But it’ll take even more legislation to get DOF to honor the request.

That’s because the 2010 law doesn’t require the agency to print new tickets reflecting the new fine, according to records.

As it stands there 18 of 85 violations listed on a handwritten ticket for a traffic agent or police officer to fill.

But while the violation on illegal commercial vehicle parking is listed, the overnight parking of tractor trailers is not, leaving agents to fill in that violation as “other.”

But Klein thinks there’s no guarantee the fine would be enforced by officers. “You’re banking on the fact the officer knows about the fine increase.”

It certainly was enforced on August 21, when cops at the 45th Precinct launched a ticket blitz against a number of trucks illegally parked in Throggs Neck overnight. One trucker received a $515 ticket.

The problem was especially troubling for restauranteur Dominic Brocoli, who lost business at his new IHOP eatery in April after some flatbeds were parked on White Plains Road. Police issued tickets, which were ignored by the truck company.

Klein’s office is still in talks with the DOF, who say they are looking into re-formatting the ticket.

With zero truck stops in the area, Benedetto suggests someone can take advantage of the demand and build one. “Here’s an opportunity for a new business to spring up.”

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or dcruz@cnglocal.com.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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