She said, "Everybody knows that big trucks don't belong on local shopping streets. They kill retail business, they create hazardous conditions for pedestrians, and they pollute the air. It is important to do anything possible - as soon as possible - to reduce truck traffic on Grand Avenue."
Assemblywoman Markey said that getting big trucks off this street has been the community's goal for more than a decade. "Frank Principe and Community Board 5 developed a Maspeth Bypass Plan a decade ago to reduce dangerous truck traffic through the heart of the community. However, we don't need to wait for relief if this 'Local Route' designation can be made now and enforced."
Assemblywoman Markey said that while the designation will help, "Signs are not enough. We also need vigorous enforcement. It's up to the Police to catch truckers who violate the ban and make sure they are fined."
She said a bill in the Assembly she is sponsoring this year will permit the City to place cameras at key intersections - like Grand Avenue and 69th Street - and make it possible for the police to track down owners and operators and fine them when they break the law.
"In these tough economic times, it is important that we do everything we can to help neighborhood businesses survive. Getting trucks off this street now will make a difference to Maspeth and I join with my colleagues in asking the Department of Transportation to support the request we are making - and enforce it," she added.