In a bid to combat congestion and safety issues for pedestrians and bikers, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) is rolling out a new website that city residents can use to report double-parking or blocked lanes in loading zones.
As of press time, the website had gathered over 800 comments, effectively turning a map of Manhattan into a grid of logged complaints. With the skyrocketing use of e-commerce that has been maintained after a pandemic boom, city officials hope to give community stakeholders input into how delivery trucks function in their neighborhoods.
A sample of the more colorful comments on the website includes: “This is the absolute worst double parking in Manhattan. It’s an absolute nightmare. Trash everywhere too...it’s a hellscape of noise, traffic and trash.” (This was attached to East 86th St.)
This public comment site–mandated by Local Law 168–will be instrumental for the DOT as it determines where to place 500 new loading zones per year in 2023 and 2024. As of March, the department had already installed more than 2,000 zones since December of 2021.
DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez stated “We want New Yorkers to help us pin down double parking and blocked bus and bike lanes across our city. Our new web platform will empower New Yorkers to join the conversation about where problems exist and where we can build new loading zones across the five boroughs.”
The website comes paired with a DOT announcement of a delivery hub pilot to launch this summer. These “microhubs” will establish off-street locations where packages can be transferred to lower-emission vehicles–such as cargo bikes and hand carts–for the final leg of their journey.
The proposal stated that “the pilot is part of the agency’s larger effort to rethink the City’s curb space to meet the demands of e-commerce.” These announcements indicate that DOT is rolling out a bid to reshape the use of public space, with the goal of balancing urban environmental concerns and online shopping habits.