September/October 1997, p.7

Monster Trucks Crushing NYC

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Cyclists notice their mammoth presence and the twisted and shattered asphalt in their wake. Residents feel their vibration, and see cracks in walls and ceilings. Tax payers suffer billion dollar losses as highways like the Gowanus are pulverized and bridges like the Manhattan and Williamsburg devastated. Transit riders lose out as structural repairs to tunnels suck up scarce construction dollars It is the invasion of the oversize trucks and it is only getting worse.

These giant suckers are literally destroying the City in front of us. Though NYC I law sets the maximum truck size at 55 feet, T.A. members have spotted hundreds I of grossly oversize trucks in all five boroughs. And it is not just interstate traffic. Local retailers like D'Agostino's, Sloans, and Rite Aid are bringing oversize trucks into the City everyday. The consequences are very serious. In April, cyclist Jill Solomon was killed by an oversize truck near the Queensboro Bridge. Not only are the trucks dangerous, but one 80,000-pound truck does about 5,000 times the pavement damage as a car. Unfortunately, the Giuliani administration has chosen to ignore the problem. Fewer than ten traffic officers enforce truck rules citywide and all of them are on Canal and Broome Streets in lower Manhattan. Given that 90% of freight enters NYC by truck this problem is not going away and the City needs to get serious about enforcing truck laws now and begin a concerted move to more sustainable rail freight.

67-foot truck parked directly across from the NYPD Traffic Control Division on 30th Street. TCD is the unit charged with enforcing NYC truck weight and 55-foot maximum length laws.