Nabes want brakes put on o’nite truck parking

Neighbors are tired of trucks parking for long hours along Bruckner Boulevard next to Pelham Bay Park. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

They’re back!

Big 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks are again parking overnight on local Bronx, ruining local quality of life in stretches of Pelham Bay, Throggs Neck and elsewhere.

Bruckner Boulevard along Pelham Bay Park – between Middletown Road and Wilkinson Avenue – and the Cross Bronx Expressway service road near St. Raymond’s Cemetery have seen an uptick of the big rigs using the area as a makeshift truck stop.

Complicating enforcement, many of the forms being used to issue summonses to the trucks are pre-printed with the old $65 fine, rather than with the newer $250 penalty.

John Marano, the Community Board 10 chairman, one of the people who noticed the uptick, said he does not want to blame beleaguered truck drivers, but there is a ripple effect on community quality-of-life.

“I don’t want to make the truck drivers villains, but they are taking up lots of parking spots, and all of these trucks on the street are ugly.”

Marano said he is concerned there are no bathroom facilities for the drivers and believes they should pay to make use of truck stops in other states, including one not far from the George Washington Bridge at the end of the New Jersey Turnpike.

At the urging of Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, city and state legislation passed in 2010 raised the fine to $250 to discourage overnight parking of commercial vehicles on community streets.

“Since winning the battle to raise fines on illegally parked truckers, the 45th Precinct has helped my office identify bureaucratic hurdles at City Hall that are preventing enforcement,” Klein said. “Rest assured, we will cut through this red tape. It takes a little pushing, but we’ll get it done, and we’ll get it done soon.”

Another issue is that the city Department of Transportation doesn’t appear to have a map of what constitutes a residential street and where commercial parking can be allowed, a police source said.

Other areas where trucks seem to herding for overnight parking are service roads along I-95 north of Pelham Parkway near Co-op City, said Marcia Pavlica, Country Club Civic Association president.

“The city has admitted that even if they boot these trucks, they have no place to tow them nearby,” Pavlica said, adding that many are parking near the defunct golf driving range off E. Gun Hill Road.
There also appear to be problems with commercial trucks parking overnight on Bruckner Boulevard near Swinton Avenue, a source said, and at Webster Avenue alongside Woodlawn Cemetery.

“There is no space for truck parking in our district, and I would not want to volunteer space,” Marano said. “It is up to the city to come up with a solution.”

Webster Avenue near Woodlawn Cemetery another favorite overnight parking spot for unwanted trucks.
Photo by Patrick Rocchio

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