Sunday, April 30, 2006

Common Sense?

Brooklyn Skyline:The truck stops here

While most people came to air grievances about their local streets, a bigger picture emerged, according to DOT spokesman Tom Cocola.

“We got a lot of good feedback from people suggesting that the answer is we need more rail freight,” Cocola said. “And that’s true, New York doesn’t rely on rail freight the way other big cities do.”

People are stupid. There is just no other way to say it. People are stupid. If you think trucks go tooling around on surface streets in New York City from somewhere else on their way someplace else you are a putz. If you are a paid official in the "Department of Transportation" and you don't know any better, you make Michael Brown look overqualified. If a truck is on the streets of New York City they are (a) delivering something (b) picking up something or (c) hopelessly lost (I've been all three). Trust me, we aren't there because we don't have hobbies.

One of the unique things about NYC is how much light industry is still in the city. Most other places you are picking up loads out in an almost deserted industrial district. NYC you're backing off of a packed street, around the illegally parked cars, over the sidewalk, and into the building. The high density and the mixed use layout of the city makes it (in theory at least) much more walkable and amenable to mass transit use. The downside is people encounter a lot more trucks in the course of a day.

Almost all rail freight makes the journey to and from the train on a truck. Even if you forced all goods to come into NYC via train, You'd still have trucks hauling all the crap around city streets. Contrary to popular belief, train engineers can't back the boxcar up to the curb (or more often double park it) in the garment district and load up like a truck does. They also don't deliver to the local bodega. You talk about trucks on the turnpike versus freight trains, you might have a point. You complain about trucks in the City versus trains, you're just another NIMBY troll.

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