NYC Council passes bills to curb online-delivery truck chaos

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City Council members Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a slew of measures designed to reduce traffic chaos caused by trucks delivering goods purchased online.

One of the moves aims to siphon off dedicated curb space for the likes of Amazon and UPS.

The legislation requires the city Department of Transportation to institute loading-only parking spots in each neighborhood and develop “micro-distribution centers.” The distribution centers would serve to transfer parcels from large trucks to smaller transit vehicles such as cargo e-bikes.

The DOT will have to install five dedicated loading zones per year for a total of 500 over three years, according to the legislation.

“We have to recognize the dynamics of our streets and how things have changed, especially when it comes to how people receive their goods — which is mostly through packages and so forth,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), the bill’s sponsor.

A general view of a FedEx truck and a UPS truck as seen in New York, NY on March 29, 2018.
The City Council voted to install “”micro-distribution centers,” for trucks to unload items across the five boroughs.
Christopher Sadowski
Councilman Antonio Reynoso
Councilman Antonio Reynoso says the parking regulations are necessary as more New Yorkers shop online.
William Farrington

Two other pending bills would officially sanction the DOT to use “pay-by-plate” parking tech and clarify loading-zone rules — so that such areas cannot be used as parking for drivers with city-issued parking placards.

Pay-by-plate has been on the DOT’s agenda for nearly three years and is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s stalled effort to curb the illegal abuse and misuse of city parking permits.

A United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) driver sorts boxes, including an Amazon box, in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.
The City Council overhaul vote comes before the holiday shopping season.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Amazon Prime delivery van outside residential building in Queens, NYC.
The City Council looks to implement parking placards for designated delivery companies.
Education Images/Universal Image

Hizzoner’s plan had been to switch the entire city over by the start of 2021 to the new digital parking system, which will automatically register cars as legally or illegally parked. The program has yet to launch.

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks

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