Mayor de Blasio’s War on Traffic Continues with Delivery Bans During Rush Hours


Mayor de Blasio’s War on Traffic Continues with Delivery Bans During Rush Hours

Mayor de Blasio’s War on Traffic Continues with Delivery Bans During Rush Hours

Traffic congestion has been a major concern in New York City seemingly forever. The Vision Zero program, aimed at reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities by slowing traffic, has also increased the number of traffic violations issued to drivers. New York traffic lawyers are busy keeping up with challenging these violations, many of which can be arbitrary and discretionary, and result in high fines and points. With de Blasio’s new New York City delivery truck bans, the high cost of ticketing for delivery drivers promises to rise substantially.

De Blasio continues to crack down on traffic violations, adding more and more enforcement staff with new initiatives. After doing little to reduce congestion, the mayor’s plan seems aimed at drivers who have no control over the situation. According to the Mayor, vehicle speed in Midtown Manhattan has decreased by 23 percent over the last seven years. The average speed in the city is estimated to be a crawling 5 and 10 mph. Private drivers and other commercial vehicles contribute to the problem, but it’s delivery trucks that are going to pay for it.

Clear Curbs Initiative Takes Aim at NYC Delivery Trucks

De Blasio’s new program includes five initiatives to keep traffic lanes clear--or drivers will face stiff fines. The most controversial initiative is called Clear Curbs, which will ban truck deliveries in congested areas of the city from 7am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm. The targeted areas for the initial testing of the plan include:

  • Manhattan (Midtown): the zone bounded by Sixth Ave. to the west, Madison Ave. to the East, 45th St. to the south and 50th St. to the north.
  • Queens (Jackson Heights and Corona): Roosevelt Ave., Broadway to 108th St.
  • Brooklyn (Downtown, Park Slope, Prospect Heights): Flatbush Ave, Grand Army Plaza to Tillary St.

Pick-up and drop-off of passengers and deliveries to off-street loading docks will still be allowed. As with any enforcement, this is, of course, open to interpretation.

The pilot program will begin in January 2018 and last six months. After that, the city will reassess the impact of the idea.

Clear Lanes Initiative Will Restrict Routine Deliveries

The other delivery truck restrictions, called Clear Lanes, will restrict truck deliveries in New York on 11 crosstown streets. One side of the street will allow deliveries, while the opposite will ban them entirely from 6 am to 7 pm. Clear Lane streets will include:

  • 60th and 59th Sts. (Fifth to Second Ave.)
  • 58th St. (Lexington to Second Ave.)
  • 54th St. (Eighth to Third Ave.)
  • 53rd St. (Ninth to Third Ave.)

Merchants and drivers are not pleased with the proposals and program. “The plan makes no sense at all,” said Nelson Eusebio, a board member for the National Supermarket Association. “The 7 am to 10 am part is definitely going to hurt us. That’s when retailers get most of their deliveries.”

The hours of the ban are bound to create havoc for delivery drivers on a schedule as well as for businesses needing to pay workers to come in early and stay later for shipping and receiving. In addition, the drivers will be facing stepped up police enforcement and fines for violations.

To enforce the new regulations, the city will increase the Enforcement Task Force from 40 to 80 and add another 110 uniformed police. These traffic officers will also focus on “blocking the box” enforcement meant to reduce gridlock at over 50 key intersections as well as moving violations at other incident-prone locations.

The estimated $10 million cost for this staffing, according to de Blasio, will come entirely from fees generated. New York traffic attorneys are already expressing concern that the need to pay for higher enforcement of the program may lead to questionable ticketing. NYC Traffic Lawyers Are Watching the Situation Closely

The city is also looking for ways to fine delivery trucks traveling in NYC without making deliveries. How the city intends to distinguish between empty trucks after deliveries or vehicles passing through remains to be seen..

Critics across the spectrum have pointed out the flaws in the mayor’s programs. According to some, alternatives like congestion toll pricing, improving the public transit system, or adding tolls to East River bridges all would have more effective results than fining drivers trying to do their jobs.

In the meantime, drivers getting hit with these fines should consult with a traffic attorney that specializes in New York City traffic law. With drivers making multiple daily deliveries and enforcement out to make an example of some, the cost of fines can quickly escalate. The Clear Curb and Clear Lanes initiatives, both brand new and untried, are bound to create unfair practices and unclear ticketing in its pilot program that every driver should know their rights.


With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts,  our team of local traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time.  We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums.

Michael Beer