NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City says drivers will soon see fewer double-parked trucks and blocked intersections, because of drastic changes to a parking ticket plan.
But as CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the Trucking and Delivery Association is not happy to hear that.
The city says it’s about easing congestion, but opponents say it will stab small businesses in the back.
Driving around the five boroughs, traffic can be maddening.
“Very bad traffic today, oh my goodness,” one driver said.
The city says it’s trying to tackle the problem by zeroing in on trucks, cutting back on breaks truckers get when it comes to paying tickets.
Over the last 10 years, thousands of companies have gotten many of their parking summonses discounted through a city program they signed up for. The idea is to make managing tickets easier and quicker. It also saves companies the hassle of fighting every ticket.
But come this fall, those perks will change.
For example, double parking outside Midtown costs most drivers $115. Companies in this program used to pay nothing, but will now have to pay $65.
Obstructing traffic at an intersection typically costs $115. Truckers used to pay $100, but will have to pay the full $115 instead.
The city estimates the changes will bring in $17 million annually.
Grymes asked Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg whether this is a way to raise revenue for the city.
“No, this really actually comes out of the mayor’s announcement of the city’s congestion action-plan last year,” she replied. “We’re making some changes to the program that we hope will incentive better behavior, quicker turnover and reduce congestion. It’s not going to be a big revenue-raiser.”
Ken Thorpe, with the New York Trucking and Delivery Association, represents more than 700 small businesses that make deliveries. He called their work crucial to the city economy.
“I think it’s a crime what this administration is doing under the name of safety and reducing congestion, which is laughable,” he said.
He said navigating the five boroughs is not easy, especially with bike lanes and pedestrian plazas.
“Why should a trucker be getting a parking ticket at all?” he said. “What do you think the likelihood is of you, in every instance, finding a nice, clear curb spot? You’re not going to.”
Thorpe said these tickets could make or break a small business and his association might sue the city.
Big companies like UPS are still reviewing the potential impact.
The changes are expected to take effect November 1.