NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Forest Hills, Queens residents say their streets have become an illegal rest stop.
As CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported, the neighbors said tractor trainers form all over the country are parking and staying put for days, and they say no one is helping the problem.
Tractor trailers measuring 53 feet long stick out like a sore thumb on the Grand Central Parkway Service Road near 64th Road, filling up blocks. The city Department of Transportation said it is illegal for them to be there.
Residents said in the last year, the problem has gotten out of control.
“A parking lot — like a truck parking lot,” said Raj Patel of Forest Hills. “At night after 9 o’clock, it’s very hard parking. You can’t find the parking. You’ve got too many trucks here parking on the service road
“Because of this car, there’s lots of traffic over here, OK?” “They have to put sign, OK? ‘No parking,’” said Rafik Yusopov of Forest Hills.
“And they’re an eyesore,” said Laura Shepard.
The DOT said 53-foot trailers are only allowed on the nearby Van Wyck and Long Island expressways.
“It takes up about you know, maybe 20 spots,” said Jordan Pincus of Forest Hills.
“They need to park somewhere, but it is not convenient to the neighborhood,” said Marella Vankat of Forest Hills.
Some residents said they would rather have the drivers rested. But it is unclear if they are even in the cabs while parked.
CBS2’s Rozner tried to speak with drivers of the five trucks parked on the road Tuesday. No one came to the windows.
City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-29th) said she has been working with the NYPD for years to crack down.
“The trucks do get tickets. However, it’s the cost of doing business, so it doesn’t scare them away,” Koslowtiz said.
The NYPD said there are six tow vehicles that can take away the trucks citywide. The problem is finding a place to put them once they’re towed.
“I call three times to 311,” Yusopov said. “They take care of that first time, and after that again, they’re parking — no problem.”
The NYPD said it would conduct a tow operation in the area Tuesday night, and officers were seen ticketing several trucks after nightfall. CBS2 will follow up Wednesday to see if the trucks are still there.