Elected officials call for stiff penalties for illegally parked trucks

Legislators and community leaders from Throggs Neck are calling on Governor Paterson to sign a bill that would impose stiff penalties for trucks parked illegally on residential streets. The bill is now on his desk, awaiting signature.

Tractor-trailer trucks parking in Throggs Neck have been a long-standing problem in locations like the Cross Bronx Expressway service road near St. Raymond’s Cemetery, and on the Throgs Neck Expressway service road outside of Locust Point and near Pennyfield Avenue. They have also affected streets surrounding Astor Little League near East Gun Hill Road.

The legislation would raise the current overnight parking fine in the city from $50 to $250 for a first offense, and to $500 for a second offense in six months.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca persuaded the City Council to pass a “home rule message” in support of the state legislation.

All three elected officials have been flooded with complaints about illegally-parked trucks taking up scarce parking spaces and creating safety hazards by limiting visibility.

The elected officials held a press conference near Cross Bronx Expressway service road and Randall Avenue on Tuesday, August 24.

“For years, out-of-state private truck companies have used Bronx residential streets as their personal parking lots,” Klein said. “The law aims at discouraging commercial truck companies from congesting our streets to ensure that our neighborhoods remain safe and pleasant places to live.”

In the process of trying to remove tractor trailers trucks from unwanted spots, they learned that the current overnight parking fine of $50 provides little deterrent to tractor-trailer operators because the fine can cost less than legal parking the trucks.

The bill aims at making the fines large enough to encourage trucking firms to park in lots located in industrial areas.

“I implore the Governor to see the reason behind this bill, and to attach his signature immediately,” Benedetto said. “Large trucks parked on our neighborhood streets are a blight on our area, and a threat to public safety. We must do whatever we can to deter these truckers from abusing our streets.”

Joining the legislators were Community Board 10 chairman John Marano, Locust Point Civic Association president Jerry Landi, and Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association board member Andrew Chirico. They all called on Paterson to raise fines.

“For too long, low fines have given tractor-trailer drivers no incentive to abide by the law and stay off of local streets,” Vacca said. “The result has been an eyesore for communities and a safety hazards for pedestrians and motorists. Senator Klein, Assemblyman Benedetto.”

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