Between 47th and 50th streets on Skillman Avenue, several trucks double-parked to unload — sometimes three trucks in a row — but traffic moved smoothly and residents did not seem to notice their presence early Tuesday morning.
However, a resident at the Community Board 2 meeting on June 7 said the truck traffic has become an issue, causing unwanted noise and air pollution.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) has been working on alleviating the problem.
“Queens Boulevard and Northern Boulevard are not too far away, and those roads are more appropriate for that kind of traffic,” he said Tuesday.
Van Bramer said he has reached out to the Department of Transportation asking them to place a “No Truck Route” sign at an appropriate location. He said his office has also contacted the 108th Precinct and the Queens North Traffic Enforcement Division with the hope of improving policing and traffic enforcement in the area.
A DOT spokesperson said in an email, “The truck routes and rules for truck activity are set forth in the City’s Traffic Rules, and no portion of Skillman Avenue is a designated truck route.”
The congested areas of Skillman Avenue are primarily the streets numbered in the 40s, in Sunnyside. Van Bramer said the avenue is not equipped for that type of traffic, which can pose a potential danger to pedestrians and the flow of traffic.
Sean O’Neal, a Long Island City resident, said most of the trucks he sees on Skillman Avenue are around 52nd Street. He said the trucks stop to load and unload at stores, but that it has never really been an issue.
Some people do not notice the trucks simply because they do not go into that area, like Marco Bottero, who works between 46th and 45th streets. But he said he does not doubt that it is an issue.
“I’ve never seen Jimmy [Van Bramer] to exaggerate, though. He’s pretty in line with what the community needs,” Bottero said.
Magda Ostrowski, who is in the area every morning and afternoon, said, “Sometimes there are [trucks], but there is a lot of construction.”
Other than that, Ostrowski said she does not notice the trucks.
There is also construction taking place between 33rd Street and 39th Place, where many trucks are double-parked as well. Several cyclists rode through that area, and around 41st Street and up, many women pushed strollers with children, but residents said they do not see the trucks as a danger.
Jill Callan, who owns Tiny You, a children’s clothing store between 46th and 47th streets, said she notices the trucks, but that drivers in the area are pretty cautious.
“I do know there’s trucks on this street, though I’ve never seen anybody get hurt — people are pretty slow around here, so that’s good,” Callan said.
She said it comes down to people and businesses needing their deliveries, including her.