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Lawmakers Scoff At DOT Proposal That Would Turn Some Brooklyn Streets Into Truck Routes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A plan to relieve truck congestion in one Brooklyn corridor has some telling the Department of Transportation to go back to the drawing board.

As CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Tuesday, the proposal calls for transforming streets into truck routes.

More than 73,500 trucks come into Brooklyn each day, filled with deliveries, especially during the pandemic.

Now, the DOT wants to manage how they travel through the city.

"The goal is to keep trucks on sort of the bigger and wider streets in the area so they can make direct connections from place to place and not have to make a lot of turns or not have to go down narrower streets where they might get stuck," Deputy Commissioner for Transportation Planning and Management Eric Beaton said.

That's why the DOT is proposing more truck routes free of cars.

Third Avenue is among the possibilities, as a city report finds truck volume there is comparable to the highways.

"We're constantly trying to look at what will both keep people safe, first and foremost with Vision Zero, and also move things around properly in the city," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The road runs parallel to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in the more industrial area of Sunset Park. If you continue south it becomes more residential in Bay Ridge.

"Whoever wrote this plan or thought of this plan has never been to Third Avenue in Bay Ridge. This is not a place for a truck route, and as far as I'm concerned the plan is dead on arrival. It's just not going to happen," City Councilman Justin Brannan said.

Brannan is among a growing chorus of residents raising concerns, citing Third Avenue in Bay Ridge is a bustling area for restaurants with outdoor dining structures and small businesses.

"There are schools located on this side of Third Avenue. People passing to go back and forth to school once they open up in September and you see people walking here. That's pretty much a really quiet place," said Lori Willis, chair of Community Board 10.

Already drivers navigate blocked roads as trucks make deliveries. Still, they say with few public transportation options, making this a truck route not only raises concerns about safety but fears it will create a traffic nightmare.

For now, this is only a proposal and the DOT says it's open to modifying the plan after getting feedback from the community.

The DOT will hold meetings for public comment. The community board and possibly the City Council will also take up the issue.

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