Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Aug. 26, 2022:
NYC cracks down on illegal truck parking, trucking group fires back
New York City is in the midst of an enforcement spree around illegally parked commercial vehicles, and the state's trucking association has responded.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the New York Police Department announced operation “Heavy Duty Enforcement,” an overnight action against illegally parked commercial vehicles in neighborhoods of southern Queens. According to a statement from the mayor's office, the multi-faceted effort is in response to community complaints and consists of three teams utilizing heavy tow operations, booting, and writing tickets.
Beginning on Monday, Aug. 15, NYPD officers deployed to multiple locations across southern Queens. In the first five days of the operation -- from Aug. 15 through Aug. 19 -- the NYPD said it issued 597 summonses, attached 89 wheel clamps, and towed 55 illegally parked vehicles to a temporary storage facility.
According to section 4-08(k)(6) of the New York City parking rules, large commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking on residential streets overnight between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., seven days a week.
The Trucking Association of New York said the problem can be solved not by issuing tickets and towing trucks, but by creating more truck parking.
"While we in no way condone parking on residential streets where it is illegal to do so, we feel it is imperative to understand we cannot ticket out of this problem," TANY President Kendra Hems said in a statement posted to the group’s Facebook page. "Heavy enforcement alone has not worked in the past and will not work now absent available commercial vehicle parking. The reality is that drivers, many of them our neighbors, family and friends, simply have nowhere to park. This is not their personal vehicle, but the vehicle that embodies their livelihood and provides for their family.”
Hems added that the city needs to “address the underlying issue of inadequate truck parking in all five boroughs. The industry is taking steps, but we cannot do this alone, we need our partners in government to dedicate the time and resources to resolve this problem.”
“If you park commercial vehicles illegally, you will get ticketed, towed, or given the boot,” said Mayor Adams. “For far too long, large commercial vehicles have been parking illegally in this neighborhood, disrupting daily life and contributing to noise, traffic and pollution. We cannot let our neighborhood streets turn into illegal parking lots. I want every New Yorker to know your city is looking out for you and your quality of life.”
Florida testing lane closure alert system
The Florida Department of Transportation has announced the official start of a one-year statewide technology pilot program that establishes a new Lane Closure Notification System (LCNS), which FDOT said is the first of its kind in North America.
The main goal of the LCNS is to improve the safety of workers by alerting drivers about active work zones or lane closures, and aid motorists and truckers in navigating these work zones safely, timely and efficiently. The system leverages the latest GPS and mapping technologies to provide advanced notices through leading GPS apps and services.
When using one of these mapping services, users will receive work zone notifications in the same manner (for example voice alert and visually) that they receive other alerts along their designated routes, such as for incidents or traffic congestion. With the new system integrating into mapping services that drivers already use, this additional hands-free feature enhances the driver’s experience, increases mobility, and improves safety, FDOT added.
Drivers will be able to rely on real-time and accurate work zone information through their preferred mapping app or device, as these notices are put into the system by supervisors who are located on the scene of the work zone.
A soft launch of the LCNS technology was successfully kicked off in early June. A statewide rollout to over 500 construction projects is anticipated over the next few months and will be published to navigation apps such as Google Maps, Waze, TomTom, and Apple Maps as the mapping companies decide to utilize the feature. It's unclear as of publication time if FDOT is also working with trucking-specific mapping and routing apps to make these alerts available on those services. This story will be updated with any additional information.
New Love’s open in Washington state
Truck drivers traveling through southern Washington now have a new place to stop with the opening of a new Love’s Travel Stops location in Pasco, Washington.
The new store is located off of U.S. 395 near the intersection with U.S. 12.
The location offers drivers 57 truck parking spaces, an Arby’s restaurant opening Aug. 29, seven diesel bays, five showers and more.
It is the company’s seventh location in Washington state.