Channel 19

Todd Dills

No parking

| November 25, 2008

The Clinton Diner, an inner-city Queens spot made famous for its appearance in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfella’s and for its popularity with truckers both local and long-haul, made the New York Times last Friday. The primary subject: “>Where Have All the Big Rigs Gone?” as reads the story’s subtitle. A relatively recent rash of fines for trucks parking in the area has put a damper on haulers’ patronage of the restaurant, on a small, triangular block bounded by Rust Street, Maspeth Avenue and 57th Place in Flushing just a bump northeast of Brooklyn.

North Carolina hauler Harvey Mundy told reporter Graham Beck, “You don’t have half the trucks in here that you used to. The last five or so years, it has been really bad with the tickets.” It’s long been a citation-worthy offense, of course, to park or idle for long periods on New York City streets, Beck reports. And “>at the urging of community groups,” he writes, “the city’s Department of Transportation and the New York Police Department have increased their efforts to enforce truck laws in recent years. The Transportation Department has installed thousands of signs and held community meetings about truck traffic. The Police Department deploys a special truck enforcement unit to problem areas.”

Such, it appears, is at work in the area around the Clinton Diner. Beck reports, though, that owner Nick Diamantis mourns your disappearance: “We lost friendly faces,” Diamantis said.
  • Anonymous

    I think that the NYC DOT and NYPD target the truckers because they are from out of state. They can write a bunch of tickets quickly and the truckers have no way to complain except by refusing driving jobs to NYC. The truckers need to make a living and the NYPD, DOT and the recent high fuel prices make it very hard for truckers. BR/I love the burgers at the Clinton Diner and really like that the diner was used in over 20 movies. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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