DOT surveys impact of trucks on Downtown Flushing
by Benjamin Fang
Aug 29, 2017 | 448 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Representative from the Department of Transportation (DOT) hit the streets of Downtown Flushing last week in an effort to learn more about the impact of truck traffic on the neighborhood.

With more than 200 supermarkets and restaurants in the neighborhood, deliveries are a daily occurrence. New World Mall near the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street receives up to 100 deliveries in a single day.

The outreach follows a workshop with Flushing businesses back in May to better understand truck traffic in the area.

“Hundreds of deliveries every day make truck traffic in downtown Flushing a significant contributor to traffic congestion,” said Councilman Peter Koo, whose office joined in the effort. “By surveying each business in the area, we will better understand their delivery needs and be able to strategize and better manage traffic congestion.”

As shipping by rail and barge has declined over the years, the trucking industry has filled in the gap. According to DOT, of the over 400 million tons of cargo that enter the city each year, over 90 percent of it is carried by truck.

And the growing popularity of e-commerce and home delivery is only adding more trucks to the city’s streets. One freight company saw a 29 percent increase in deliveries to residential areas in the city between 2010 and 2015, according to DOT.

Last Friday afternoon, business owners in busy Downtown Flushing were asked when they routinely receive deliveries, how long each delivery takes, and how they use the curb space in front of their establishment, among other questions.

“It is crucial to get input directly from businesses and residents in Flushing and across the borough about truck movement in Queens,” said DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia. “We know how important truck management is to Downtown Flushing.”

The effort is part of the agency’s Smart Truck Management Plan, a citywide program to better understand the impact of truck traffic in the city, as well as compliance with the city’s nearly 1,000 miles of truck routes.

One proposal is to increase the frequency of off-hour deliveries following a successful pilot program from 2009 to 2010, during which participants agreed to shift their delivery windows to between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“Coordinating truck deliveries around rush hours and other peak travel times, particularly with respect to bus traffic, is an important element to reducing overall congestion in Flushing,” said Koo.
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