A reoccurring truck-parking issue has both community leaders and residents all over the Bronx annoyed.
For many years, tractor trailers have been parking on service roads alongside highways and thruways for extended periods of time, usually at night, in areas in which they are not legally allowed to be parked.
The situation generates a potentially unsafe and illegal scenario, as the parked tractor trailers decrease the width of the service road, potentially forcing cars to merge into one lane while these truck drivers break the law.
There have been countless complaints and reports of these situations taking place, mostly on the service roads of I-278 (Bruckner Expressway) and I-95, although there have also been occurring instances alongside I-695 or Throgs Neck Expressway.
“This has been a problem in our community for many years,” said William Rivera, chairman of Community Board 9, referring to stretches of Bruckner Boulevard service road from Bronx River to Zerega avenues and Cross Bronx service road from Bronx River Avenue to White Plains Road.
“Enforcement is the best solution to this problem, so once I receive a complaint, I call 311 and the 43rd Precinct to inform them of the situation.”
Here’s the law - tractor trailers cannot be parked on a service road, unless it’s a properly zoned area, for more than three consecutive hours or anytime after dusk.
Caught offenders and violators have been hit with a summons and have even had their trucks towed.
A potential problem lies with just summonsing these truck drivers, as a summons typically costs less than renting a space for overnight parking, even after senator Jeff Klein passed legislation to increased the penalty from $65 to $250 in 2012, and $500 for repeated offenses.
“I’m dismayed that five years after passing this bill, there is still a serious lack of enforcement by city agencies,” said Klein. “In 2012, we found that the city could generate more than than $3 million in revenue from the Bronx alone by simply issuing these tickets with increased penalties. That’s money that could be spent on improving the quality of life for residents of the 34th Senate District. In the coming weeks, I plan to sit down with city agencies and refocus our efforts to increase enforcement and to put an end to the notion that this type of illegal activity can persist.”
According to Councilman James Vacca, this is a long-lasting, borough-wide issue that demands vigilance and patience.
“Legally, tractor trailers should be renting space in an appropriately zoned area, such as a manufacturing area,” said Vacca, who has been actively involved in summonsing and towing numerous overnight-parked trucks in Community Board 10, as is aware of the area’s vulnerability to this situation due to its accessibility to highways.
“Because this area (CB 10) is bounded by highways, this has been a issue that has come up time and time again. It is important that the people of this neighborhood stay on top of it, and I encourage people who witness this issue to call my office and 311 with a license plate number, a location and other important information.”
Vacca also explained that even though a dent has been made in the issue, it is still very difficult to summon and/or tow every single tractor trailer that breaks this law.
A few things have to work in NYPD’s favor - they must have the equipment available to tow these trucks and they must have enough room in the tow pound for these trucks to be stored.
However, Vacca wants to drive the issue home to truck drivers that they will eventually be towed if they continue to bend the rules hoping to turn them off of just paying the ticket instead of paying for a full night of parking.
Local residents are not much happier with the inconvenience of those trucks illegally parked.
“This is a vicious cycle,” said Bob Bieder, who works in Westchester Square. “I believe that this is an issue that needs stronger legislation.”
There needs to be more tow trucks in the city to properly take care of this problem.”