Truck off! Rigs gone wild

The Brooklyn Paper
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Kingsland Avenue in Williamsburg has become a highway to hell — thanks to hundreds of big rigs that illegally use it as a shortcut through the residential neighborhood.

Truck drivers making local deliveries have the right to use local streets, but a Department of Transportation study found that far too many of them are going where they don’t belong, breaking the law — and bruising a few eardrums — in the process.

“The noise here is pretty terrible,” said Adam Gucwa, who lives on the portion of Kingsland Avenue, south of Norman Avenue, that is off-limits for trucks. “When the trucks go past it shakes our house. It sounds like our whole building is falling down.”

But noise is only a part of the problem, said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint), whose office coordinated the study.

“These trucks create traffic, noise and pollution,” the lawmaker said. “Large trucks barreling down narrow streets where our children play is downright dangerous.”

To determine which streets truckers use illegally, the DOT installed cameras on local roads near major truck routes. Kingsland proved to be the most popular, with as many as 267 trucks driving down it in a single hour.

“We spotted several hundred a day on Kingsland, easily,” said Amy Cleary, a spokeswoman for Lentol. “On some days, there were more than 1,000.”

Now that authorities know where to find illegal truck traffic, they plan to install motion or weight sensors in the roads for three months this summer. The sensors will trigger cameras that photograph the trucks’ license plates, which would allow the city to send summons to the drivers.

The plan would have to be approved in Albany, where it faces a future filled with potholes.

But even if it passes, some residents doubt that ticketing will stop trucks from rumbling down their blocks.

“The drivers seem to like using this street,” said one Kingsland Avenue woman.

“I’ve been living here for 70 years and it has never let up.”

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Reader Feedback

izzy from williamsburgh says:
I hope you people are happy drivers ARE getting fined 1000 dollars plus plus yes hard working drivers that are only working for a living and are faced with the choice of doing 10 deliveries and following the truck route
(and losing their jobs) that doesnt make sense or doing 30 dliveries and getting these unfair and cruel fines the truck route makes drivers go in circle which causes congestion and pollution and because they cant do their jobs their are only more trucks added to do the same jobs and you the consumer pays for it as a truck driver I dont want to drive in brooklyn and many drivers are giving it up thanks to you people that are making them into criminals for only doing their jobs truck drivers are even being given summonses on the truck route yes caton and mcdonald is a truck route you can thank the rediculous truck route for bunching up all the trucks on one street the truck route makes trucks burn much more fuel by making them circle and circle around the city and you the consumer is paying for it experienced drivers are losing their lcenses and putting inexperienced drivers on the street I think you should outlaw trucks in ny and go shopping in jersey
June 15, 2008, 3:58 am

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