By Joy Bergmann
Jeffrey and Sandra Smith are fed up. They say e-commerce grocery delivery trucks from Fresh Direct and Amazon Fresh monopolize commercial parking spaces, double-park, block turning lanes and obstruct bike lanes near their apartment at 89th and Amsterdam. “This is a takeover of the neighborhood in a very bad way,” says Jeffrey. “It’s total madness.”
It’s also – as the sage Yogi Berra once said – deja vu all over again.
Back in June 2016, Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee grilled Fresh Direct execs on their “depot” distribution model in which trucks occupy commercial parking spaces for long periods – up to 8 hours – while employees distribute groceries in a multi-block radius. Commercial parking regulations limit metered usage of such spots to two hours – depending on the exact location.
And yet, according to the Smiths, the trucks stay put, do not always feed the meter, rarely get multiple tickets in a given day and never seem to get towed. NYPD reps did not respond to WSR’s request for comment on the Smiths’ observations. But, according to one officer, NYPD Traffic Enforcement agents issued 63,995 parking summonses to commercial vehicles in the 24th Precinct in 2018. The Smiths wonder why enforcement hasn’t been more aggressive.