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Constantinides, Transportation Advocates Rally Against Delivery Trucks Reduced Fine Program

(Council Member Costa Constantinides Office)

Dec. 3, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and transportation activists joined together Monday to call for an end to the city’s program that lessens parking fines for delivery trucks.

On the steps of City Hall, the elected officials and activists demanded an end to the Stipulated Fine Program, which they say gives delivery trucks a free pass to block bike lanes, fire hydrants, crosswalks and handicapped parking spots for a discounted ticket rate, which can sometimes be as low as nothing.

Critics of the 15-year-old program say that it fails to hold truck drivers accountable for creating unsafe streets, filling them with unprecedented traffic that in turn fills the air with more harmful car exhaust.

There are more than 1,000 participants in the program–including companies such as FedEx, UPS and Verizon–who often block bike lanes. More than 52,000 violations were issued for blocking the bicycle lanes over a two-year period ending in July 2019, according to rally organizers. As a result, the program may have reduced nearly $800,000 in fines, they said.

More than one million packages are delivered throughout the city on an average day, according to officials.

The pols choose Cyber Monday to host the rally as the number of delivery trucks on the roads is expected to spike in the coming days as online shoppers take advantage of Monday’s deals. To deal with last year’s package rush, UPS alone hired an additional 10,000 seasonal workers nationwide, they said.

“Millions of packages bought on Cyber Monday will hit the streets over the next few weeks to create a safety nightmare,” Council Member Constantinides said. “We have seen more than 50,000 bike lane violations over a two-year period with little to no penalty for these companies.”

In October 2018, Constantinides introduced a bill to effectively abolish the Stipulated Fine Program and hold companies accountable for unsafe streets.

“Frankly, it’s sickening that we give delivery corporations a free pass to put people at risk,” he said. “Ending the Stipulated Fine Program will keep our cyclists and pedestrians safer, reduce the unprecedented traffic levels, and take useless, harmful truck exhaust out of our air.”

Speakers at the rally Monday said the program also causes greater air pollution with more and more delivery trucks on the road.

“The reality is, emissions from delivery vehicles are polluting our air, our roads are less safe because of double parking and illegal parking in bike lanes, and we’re losing out in millions of dollars in fine revenue we could use to improve our city,” Public Advocate Williams said. “Residents of New York deserve safer streets, and parking rule violators must pay their fines, so I would like to thank Council Member Constantinides and the advocates who have continued to push this issue forward.”

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15 Comments

Bill

Do the simple math… $800,000 divided by 52,000 violations comes to about $15 per ticket. Do you really think this has any impact on FedEx or UPS? It’s simply a cost of business.

Costa represents Astoria, so they say. Delivery trucks are a nuisance with their double parking, but not the major problem…

1. Out of control bikes, motorized bikes and scooters who fly through intersections with no regard to traffic lights, stop signs, etc.. Why doesn’t Costa address this issue with greater enforcement and fines?

2. Too many Uber and Lyft clogging highways and taking up parking spaces. We live near LGA and the Grand Central Parkway often becomes a parking lot because of them. Whose bright idea was this in the first place? Not only are they a traffic hazard/nuisance but they also pollute the air. I thought Costa claimed to be an environmentalist. Guess he doesn’t care about all these vehicles and their pollution.

To quote scripture, Costa strains out a gnat, but swallows a camel. Get with the important stuff that impacts Astoria, Costa!

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Pat Macnamara

You make too much sense. Clueless Costa’s acolytes will be downvoting you. He is a bum. A political hack looking for sound bytes to prop up a failed campaign for borough president.

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Chris Legend

Ending the Stipulated Fine Program will not reduce the number of trucks on the road. If delivery companies are required to pay more in parking ticket fines, they will pass those expenses onto us, the consumer.

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Ed Babcock

The coucilman and all these advocates have their heads screwed on backwards! The streets ae financed by the road tax which is collected at the fuel pump in NYS. The bicycists are ripping everyone else off. They have special space reserved for them and pay nothing for it.
If you look at public transportation in many cities – it takes place in the middle of the street and people walk out to get it. The proper functoning of the curb is not obstructed. That’s why the street weren’t running along the curb!
How are all the goods going to be delivered to our homes and to the stores w/o access to the curb.

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Sara Ross

Delivery trucks have to do their jobs (for businesses and residences) and since parking has been eliminated by the 2 bicyclists that use the bike lanes, where are they going to park? In my neighborhood, UPS and Fedex trucks are ticketed all the time, yet there are cars parked day and night in front of hydrants, sometimes even blocking the crosswalk and the precinct cars drive right past!

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Jenastoriat

Eliminate this corporate free (or near free ) program for sure. At the same time designated delivery zones should be created, maybe with curb cut outs where the sidewalks are wide enough. AND require delivery trucks to be low-emission hybrid or electric.

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Pat Macnamara

Clueless Costa-environmental crusader armed with his trusty podium. The amount of pollution that comes from between his ears is more of a threat than one hundred double parked trucks. Meanwhile armed robberies are happening in broad daylight in Astoria. Aggressive homeless panhandling. Empty storefronts everywhere.

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Arthur A. Montano

These politicians posture and preen, but the reality of life in the 21st Century is that it arrives by delivery. Instead of villainizing these companies and their drivers, perhaps they should come up with a solution to the mess they’ve created with the seemingly endless tangle of bike lanes and the restrictions they impose on everyone. I’m all for the safety or cyclists, but the city’s approach almost implies that there’s more of them than automobiles.

Create solutions, not scapegoats. The fine reduction program is an admittedly flawed attempt to address a very real problem: just how are delivery drivers supposed to do their jobs in this city? Drive around and look for legal spots?

By reducing fines while still allowing ticketing, the city acknowledges the very difficult position this particularly necessary industry faces.

These politicians are shameless.
Shameless.

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Alex

Perhaps we change more metered and free parking to truck loading and unloading parking only in these areas.

Bike use is increasing every year, so bike lanes are needed. A 5 foot wide bike lane on a 35+ foot wide roadway, where almost half of it is being used for storing private property, is the least the City could do for other road users.

Bike lanes arent the problem. Allowing private vehicles on valuable roadway space for essentially for free is the problem.

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Bart Simpson

The parking is not free. If you eliminate the gas tax and registration fees I would agree with you. What do private bicycle users pay to repair the roads or remove the snow.

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What do private bicycle users pay to repair the roads or remove the snow?

Taxes. Cyclists pay taxes. You really didn’t know that?!

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Anonymous

No really, cyclists pay no special or additional taxes and have claimed road space that should be allocated to mass transit dedicated bus lanes. Vernon Blvd growing in density would benefit the masses by having that bike lane converted to a dedicated bus lane that doesn’t deviate off of Vernon.

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Neath Williams

I 1000% agree with this initiative to reverse this policy. Not only do these corporations not pay taxes they also get reduced fines for violating parking rules, sheesh! Treat them like any other citizen would be treated if double parked or $115 for blocking a hydrant. They are an absolute nuisance! So are double parked Uber, Lyft, and other Livery cabs….I understand that all of these deliveries and even transportation services are important but why cant any of these “professional” drivers seem to find the empty spot to pullover or the driveway to temporarily block?? Just drive down 5th avenue or 2nd Ave first thing in the morning, it’s like a slolom driving course!! Reverse the rule, FINE THEM!

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Oscar

You are naive to think that paying more in fines will just be somehow absorbed by these companies. These added costs of doing business will just get passed on to the consumer. Many of those consumers are small businesses who in turn pass on higher cost to the end user. So this blowhard Costas just once again finds the boogeyman to blame the current mess this city has created. Just chase everyone out of the city and you will be left with the very rich in their enclaves and the swaths of large immigrant neighborhoods making up everything else. Read into what I just said as you like, but it’s true. The political hacks are trying every opportunity to appeal to some base out there that will nod their head in agreement to nonsense with no understanding of the consequences or history behind these issues.The boogyman is now people who own cars, Amazon, Rikers, parking spaces and any other bad guy they can come up with. Come up with real solutions for the MTA, alternative transportation, over population, NYCHA, businesses leaving, homeless and your idea of just cramming more and more people into this space we call home.

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