Curbside deliveries are about to be banned during peak hours in Midtown Manhattan, along parts of Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn, and parts of Roosevelt Ave in Queens. In other parts of these zones deliveries will be forced to take place on one side of the street. This six months “pilot” program is the city’s answer to congestion problems. The delivery ban will be from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m and will begin on March 19th in Queens and Brooklyn and on April 2nd in Manhattan.
The minimal window for curbside deliveries is so dreadfully inadequate that it may increase congestion. Delivery vehicles will have to stage outside of the zones until the delivery window opens. Many larger companies will put more vehicles on the road to accommodate the reduced delivery window.
It is the receiver NOT the truck that sets the delivery schedule. Customers are still going to demand goods and services when they need them. Trucks will have to choose between the unacceptable options of turning down their customers or non-compliance. Some examples of inflexible delivery times are:
- Construction sites
- Freight elevator hours of operation (certain buildings)
- Union restrictions on delivery times (certain buildings)
- Perishables, which are usually requested first thing in the morning or throughout the day (bakeries, supermarkets, and restaurants)
- Services such as plumbers and HVAC
This puts receivers in the restricted zones at a competitive disadvantage to their counterparts outside the zones. For example, if a café on one block can receive deliveries at 7 a.m. they are much better prepared for the morning rush than their counterpart who must wait till 11. In addition, the delivery ban will force a renegotiation of labor contracts with both union and non-union workers as more nighttime work will be needed.
The reasons for increased congestion are overdevelopment and the loss of traffic lanes and parking spaces. Not only does this plan fail to address these causes, in some cases, it exacerbates the problem. There will be more trucks double parking and circling around the impacted zones waiting for a space to open. Forcing trucks to park further away from the delivery location puts pedestrians and freight at risk as well while also creating a logistical nightmare.
While devising this plan City Hall did not reach out to all affected parties. As a result, the Trucking Association of New York (TANY) put together a wide-reaching coalition of suppliers, receivers, and business groups in opposition. This group includes: The Food Industry Alliance of New York State (FIA), National Supermarket Association (NSA), New York Oil Heating Association Inc. (NYOHA), New York State Restaurant Association, Northeast Dairy Foods Association Inc., NYC Hospitality Alliance, Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Bodega Association of the United States (ASOBEU), and the Hunt’s Point Cooperative Market. Hopefully these stakeholders, the Mayor’s Office, and City DOT can come together on incentives and best practices that will safely and effectively reduce congestion and improve the business climate in the City.
More information on the areas of the city impacted as well as full details on the Clear Curbs and Clear Lanes initiatives is available below.
(*Note: the section of Roosevelt Avenue impacted by the Clear Curbs initiative has been shortened to 90th street).
(**Note: newyorktruckstop.com is not affiliated with the Trucking Association of New York [TANY]. However, Zach Miller, co-publisher of this site and a member of TANY, is the chair of TANY’s Metro Region Government Affairs Sub-Committee. Any questions? Reach Zach directly at email@example.com)
(***Note: newyorktruckstop.com is not affiliated with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, though we are members)