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.”
©2008 Community News Group
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