East 239th Street is not a truck stop, but according to residents, dozens of truckers have been treating it like it’s their personal parking lot.
“It gets to the point where it’s overwhelming,” said John, a resident of the area who declined to give his last name. “Last week there were about 20 parked on the street during the weekend. It’s just getting ridiculous.”
He said, on some weekends the number of trucks parking in the narrow streets and sidewalks from East 239th to East 241th streets at Furman Avenue can reach as high as 40.Some of the trailers remain on the streets for an entire weekend at a time.
Since many of the trucks either have fake license plates, or no plates at all, it has been very difficult to track down and confront the trailer owners about the illegal parking.
The problem has been ongoing for the past four months, John said. At first it was just a couple of trucks parking there overnight, but once truckers realized the straight streets were easy places to park, soon dozens were coming to park in the area.
“Remember the Hitchcock movie ‘The Birds?’ It’s exactly the same scenario,” he said. “You give a person an inch and they take a foot. Then they take an arm. It used to be that on weekends there wasn’t a car on the streets, but now you can’t find a spot.”
Added to the problem of crowding the streets, exhaust from the trucks has been billowing out onto trees along the roads, which has been slowly killing the greenery, John believes. The number of trucks has also impeded trash collection and street sweeping, he added.
“There are approximately eight private homes in this area, so it’s not much of a priority, I guess,” he said.
After bringing up the issue, along with the poor trash collection, to different departments through calling 311, John recently brought the topic to the Community Board 12. For its district manager, Carmen Rosa, the real problem is safety along the streets.
According to Rosa, the community board has notified the police and traffic enforcement departments about the problem. But enforcement will be difficult, she said, because the area is zoned as partially commercial.
“Some of the area is commercial and you’re allowed to travel through, but you can’t park there,” she said. “It’s also difficult to tow these trailers because it takes a special truck. But we’re asking that agencies continue to ticket the trucks. All we can do is to continue to follow up with the agencies.”
Calls to the 47th Precinct were not returned.