Kings Highway loading zones ‘a complete disaster’

Trucks are forced to double park to unload their shipments on Kings Highway.
Photo by Meg Capone

Get a load of this!

The city’s plan to clear Kings Highway of delivery vehicles is being thwarted by unscrupulous drivers, who illegally park in recently installed loading zones and force truckers to idle in the street, according to the area’s Council rep. 

“Kings Highway is a complete disaster with trucks — double parking and triple parking,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch at a Jan. 29 transportation hearing. “You can go four or five blocks and you have to drive in the opposite lane.” 

In an effort to ease congestion along the bustling commercial corridor, city Department of Transportation installed 28 loading zones along a two-mile stretch of Kings Highway between Stillwell Avenue and Ocean Avenue in September 2018, but the traffic situation remains lousy as result of shoppers, who simply ignore signage indicating the loading zones, according to one fed-up delivery guy.

“It’s very hard for us to park our trucks,” said Daniel Baron, a driver for FedEx. “It is usually the worst from 8-3 pm. This is a main strip, and since people are shopping and stuff they need to park and they don’t even pay attention to the loading zone signs.” 

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg blamed the issue on lack of enforcement, but Deutsch argues that the signage DOT installed around the loading areas doesn’t stick out from regular parking signs, and leading drivers to unknowingly hog the illicit spots.

“It shouldn’t really get to the point that the NYPD needs to come and issue double-parking summonses,” said Deutsch. “We need to make it very clear for trucks and vehicles that this is designated for truck loading and unloading.”

But transportation honchos said while they have received the councilman’s request, the current signs with white letters on a red background are the agency’s standard signage for “no parking” areas. 

“DOT is aware of Council Member Chaim Deutsch’s request for a potential different sign, however, the current signage is our agency standard, which is used citywide,” said a DOT spokesperson. 

Meanwhile, Baron claimed that police have been going after delivery drivers and other vehicles for double-parking, forcing drivers to seek out more distant loading zones and then make the long walk back to their destination.

“Sometimes we even get a ticket for double parking, but we have no choice because we have to unload in a loading zone,” he said. “I usually end up parking in loading zones by Target or a few other specific places where they’re usually empty and just walk to all my delivery spots on the streets because I know I won’t find another spot to unload.” 

At the same time, local shopkeepers are blaming the police enforcement of double-parking laws on a loss business, saying customers can’t run in for a quick purchase without getting fined!

“Yeah it’s a problem — We’re losing business because of it,” said Khalliq, who declined to provide his last name. “People usually like to park and buy things quickly, but they can’t because they get tickets for double parking.”