City Hall – City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced today that the Council will introduce and hear a legislative package for smart, safe, and sustainable deliveries sponsored by Speaker Johnson Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Antonio Reynoso, Carlina Rivera, and Keith Powers.
It includes a bill to create a pilot program for micro-distribution centers to stop trucks from using our sidewalks and streets for hours on end to unload their goods, as well as a bill to expand commercial loading zones citywide. Another bill calls for the City to redesign its truck routes to make them safer and less polluting, especially in Brown and Black environmental justice communities. A detailed list of the package, which includes six bills and one resolution, is below.
The Council is also announcing today it is commissioning a study by transportation economist Charles Komanoff to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of charging vehicles delivering e-commerce products for time they occupy our streets and roads.
In recognition of how disruptive online retail has been to our streets and brick-and-mortar stores, the study will explore how a congestion-based charge can promote shifts from e-commerce back to New York City’s local businesses. The study will also explore ways to “right-size” delivery vehicles and packaging, and encourage smarter last-mile logistics in order to reduce emissions, congestion and waste. Fees from these potential policy changes could be used to finance transportation improvements.
About 90% of the 365 million tons of cargo brought into New York City each year comes in by truck. By 2045, trucks will be carrying upwards of 540 million tons of cargo into the City each year, creating even more conflicts and competition for space on our streets.
Many of these trucks are performing essential services for New York City’s residents and businesses, but they can also have serious negative impacts on our neighborhoods with respect to congestion, emissions, and health and safety hazards, with a disproportionate burden falling on low-income communities of color. Trucks account for roughly 13 percent of the City’s transportation emissions, 12 percent of vehicle traffic, and at least 12 percent of pedestrian deaths as the result of traffic crashes.
In recognition of growing conflicts on our congested streets, the Council reviewed the sustainable freight solutions from cities around the world, including London, Paris, Oslo, Buenos Aires, and D.C. to find proposals that could work in New York City.
Drawing from those best practices, the Council’s Smart, Safe & Sustainable Deliveries legislative package will create sufficient, dedicated space for commercial vehicles to get trucks and packages out of our City’s bus lanes, bike lanes, and sidewalks. It will also ensure trucks are paying their fair share for curbside parking, and increase the efficiency of commercial deliveries to better serve our small businesses and residents.
“Even before COVID-19 led to an explosion in online shopping, we had more truck traffic in New York City than our congested streets could handle. But the City hasn’t holistically addressed the increasing amount of truck traffic we’re seeing, or the problems of idling and double parking. We need to get trucks out of our bus and bike lanes and to incentivize safer, low-emission modes of transportation, and reduce vehicle miles travelled. We also need to ensure these e-commerce businesses are paying their fair share, which is why we’re commissioning a study on how the City can use congestion pricing models to shift some of this online shopping back to the stores we know and love, while reducing truck trips and emissions. I’m proud of this package, and confident we can make our streets safer and less congested while working to help our local businesses,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. With this package of bills, the Council has also committed to pass Intro 1141-2018, relating to the City’s stipulated fine and commercial abatement programs, which allows participating freight companies to pay a lower amount on parking tickets they accrue while making deliveries. With a commitment to amend and pass this bill, the Council will ensure that the City is prohibited from reducing trucks’ fines where such reductions undercut the City’s vision zero and accessibility goals.
Smart, Safe, & Sustainable Deliveries Bill Package
1. Sustainable Micro-Distribution Centers (the Speaker): This bill would require DOT to pilot a dozen 800 square-foot micro-distribution centers for the purpose of transferring goods from commercial vehicles to sustainable modes of transportation such as electric vehicles, cargo bikes, and hand trucks for the end of its journey. The micro-distribution centers will create dedicated space for delivery companies to stage deliveries and optimize last-mile routes, while simultaneously getting them off of the streets and sidewalks, incentivizing sustainable modes of transportation, and improving street safety. One year after the implementation of the pilot, DOT would be required to make recommendations for the program’s expansion.
2. Commercial Loading Zone Reform (Council Member Powers): This bill will require all commercial loading zones to be metered to ensure commercial vehicles are paying their fair share for their use of the curb, extend the number of hours that commercial vehicles can park in loading zones from 3 to 8 hours to reduce the practice of unnecessary idling, hovering, and double-parking to avoid fines while drivers make deliveries, prohibit placard parking in commercial loading zones below 60th street in Manhattan, and require the maintenance of temporary commercial loading zones where construction staging occupies or otherwise prevents the use of existing commercial loading zone.
3. Expand commercial loading zones citywide (Council Member Reynoso): This bill would require DOT to ensure that no less than 25% of available curb space is dedicated to loading zones in both densely populated neighborhoods and neighborhoods with commercial and manufacturing uses. This standard would ensure that DOT assesses the need for additional commercial vehicle loading zones and creates sufficient space for deliveries and servicing trips in the City’s densest neighborhoods.
4. Require large commercial buildings to submit and implement “Delivery and Servicing Plans” (Council Member Rivera): This bill would require owners of large commercial buildings to submit and implement Delivery and Servicing Plans to the Department of Buildings (DOB) on an annual basis. At a minimum, the building owners would be required to provide access to on-site loading and unloading locations and storage rooms, and implement either a delivery reservation system or off-hour deliveries for the building’s suppliers and vendors. In addition, the building owners would be required to survey tenants to identify and implement other truck traffic mitigation measures, including but not limited to the consolidation of vendors, cooperative procurement and the use of off-site consolidation centers. The bill would also require DOB to create an Office of Sustainable Delivery Systems to provide technical assistance to building owners, including a step-by-step guide, with respect to developing, amending, implementing and evaluating the plans.
5. Require the construction of secure package rooms in new and significantly renovated residential buildings (Council Member Reynoso): This bill would require developers of new residential buildings to create a secure package storage area on the ground floor of the building. This requirement would also apply to residential buildings undergoing significant reconstruction or renovations.
6. Require DOT to redesign NYC’s truck routes (Council Member Rodriguez): This bill would require DOT to redesign the City’s truck routes in partnership with key stakeholders and opportunities for public comment to improve safety, increase visibility, reduce traffic congestion and emissions, increase efficiency, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and reduce negative health and safety impacts on residents and workers.
7. Resolution in Support of the New York State Legislature’s Legalization of Cargo Bikes (Council Member Rodriguez): This resolution would support the New York State legislature’s legalization of cargo bicycles to promote the adoption of safe and sustainable modes of delivery on New York City streets, while reducing congestion, vehicle miles travelled, and emissions.
“The quick and efficient movement of freight is critical to both the City’s economy and quality of life,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “Too often our streets get clogged and our bike lanes get blocked due to double parked delivery vehicles, creating dangerous and frustrating conditions for cyclists and vehicles. Furthermore, idling delivery vehicles, and the vehicles that get trapped behind them, pollute our air with hazardous pollutants. The introduction of today’s package will go a long way toward rationalizing how our street space is allocated, improving the ability of freight, cyclists, and vehicles to move through our streets, as well as the quality of our air. I applaud Speaker Johnson for pushing forward with this important package and I look forward to its swift passage.”
“I consistently hear from constituents regarding the onslaught of deliveries and package sorting on our streets and sidewalks. Commercial Loading Zone Reform will make the delivery process more efficient, ensuring there is enough dedicated space for deliveries while requiring trucks to pay their fair share for using street space. I am glad to partner with Speaker Johnson on legislation that addresses a pain-point for many New Yorkers,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “The increase in online shopping and deliveries brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it clearer that the way we handle freight and shipping in most American cities just isn’t working for our 21st century economy. That’s why I’m proud to join Speaker Johnson and my colleagues in supporting this legislative package, which includes my bill to require large commercial buildings to develop ‘Delivery and Servicing Plans.’ These building-wide plans will ensure that deliveries to tenants are managed more efficiently and limit impacts to our streetscape, our neighbors, and our environment,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“Proud to join Speaker Corey Johnson in introducing 2 bills ensuring our trucks are running more sustainably and safely in New York City. By requiring DOT to partner with stakeholders and the public to redesign our City’s truck roads, we’ll be improving safety, increasing efficiency, reducing traffic and emissions produced by trucks, among much more. We need a transportation plan that prioritizes the safety of pedestrians and cyclists,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “Intro 1141, will ensure that trucks are respecting the city’s vision zero and accessibility goals. Trucks should not be illegally parked on our bus or bike lanes, blocking pedestrian ramps, or parked on spots reserved for people with disabilities. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Speaker Corey Johnson, my colleagues at the Council, and advocates to ensure we’re making the City the safest most pedestrian, and cyclists-friendly city in the nation.”