New York state legislators are trying to end a parking ticket reduction program for delivery companies in New York City which they say is being abused and causing traffic jams along with stopping the flow of tens of millions of dollars in ticket revenue to state and city coffers.
The news comes following a federal lawsuit settlement in which the city agreed to pay delivery truck companies $14 million for wrongfully ticketing their trucks with costly traffic obstruction violations.
A city program, started in 2004, nearly prohibits issuing double-parking and other tickets to delivery trucks that have stopped in the street for business purposes, such as picking up and delivering packages.
However, in its lawsuit the The New York Trucking and Delivery Association contends that the city got around the program’s double-parking ticket restrictions by issuing traffic obstruction tickets instead. Those tickets cost delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, Fresh Direct and Amazon millions of dollars in fines, which, following the lawsuit, the city agreed to repay.
Now, in response to ongoing lost ticket revenue and complaints about the trucks being double-parked on busy city streets for hours, state lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill that’s designed to put an end to the ticket-shielding program, according to the New York Post.
“Trucks stay double parked for hours because there is no incentive not to. It’s not fair to other people,” Assemblyman David Weprin said.
The Post reports observing delivery trucks parked for hours on city streets. In one case, the same delivery truck has continued to park on a city crosswalk daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The program causes the city and state to lose out in millions of dollars’ worth of traffic fines: about $53 million a year in parking ticket fines for the city and roughly $23 million for the the state in surcharges.
Delivery truck companies and their supporters contend that, despite the program, which reduces or eliminates fines, the city still has not made adequate provisions for these street-based businesses.
“There is simply no accommodation for last-mile delivery businesses,” Kathryn Wylde, president of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City told the Post. “They have no choice but to park illegally. The city needs to make more legal curb space available.”
Under the program, parking-related tickets can still be issued to trucks. For instance, a double-parking ticket is warranted for a truck that has been parked without any apparent business activity for over a half-hour, or if a parking space is available within 100 feet of the truck.