Astoria, Transportation
Dec 15, 2017

Changes Coming to the Grand Central Parkway – Trucks Will Be Allowed

Soon big trucks will be able to travel along a seven-tenths section of the Grand Central Parkway between the Triboro/RFK Bridge and the BQE.

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Trucks will now be able to travel along the section of the Grand Central Parkway instead of diverting onto Astoria Blvd.

This morning Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chair of the Democratic Caucus, along with NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, NYS Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Councilmember Costa Constantinides will hold a news conference to announce that large trucks will be allowed on the Grand Central Parkway between the BQE and RFK Bridge. This is something that has been talked about for years, highly desired by residents in Astoria, and it’s finally becoming a reality.

So what does this mean, actually? It means trucks won’t be using Astoria Blvd to get from the Triboro/RFK Bridge to the BQE (I-278). It means people on that seven-tenths of a mile stretch of road will not have to deal with huge trucks barreling through their neighborhood. It means less pollution, less noise, and less of a gridlock headache for residents of that area. It means an increase in the quality of life.

Trucks have had to exit at the end of the bridge (where it dumps onto the intersection of Astoria Blvd and 31st Street) and take surface streets because commercial traffic is not allowed on parkways. Frankly, the idea that trucks could be allowed on a parkway kinda blows my mind—in a good way. Back in 2010, the NY Daily News reported on the issue, noting that residents have been vocal about wanting this change. State Senator Gianaris agreed with them and expressed his opinion in favor of making this change. “I cannot fathom why anybody would have a problem with the solution. It would make the community happy and ease the flow of traffic,” he said.

One of the issues that the NYS Department of Transportation projected that they would have to deal with is altering the roadway so that trucks can fit under any streets that go over the Grand Central. As you know, one of the reasons most trucks aren’t allowed is that the overpasses just aren’t tall enough—well, sometimes they do manage to get on the parkway and this is what happens. In the case of the Astoria section of the Grand Central, the NYS DOT lowered the roadway probably six inches so as not to pose any risk to the 31st Street overpass—I mean, can you imagine the chaos and headache if a truck rammed into this street? It would be a nightmare.

One thing that has occured to us: how will an influx of big trucks affect the Grand Central Parkway traffic?

At the news conference they’ll thank NYS DOT for their work on the roadway, and also talk about the upcoming completion of the aforementioned section of the GCP.

They started the news conference at 10:30am today at Columbus Triangle, located at Astoria Blvd. South and 31st Street, next to the nearby south staircase of the Astoria Blvd N/W subway stop.

So tell us—do you think this is a good idea? Is it good for Astoria? Will it cause you any problems or will it relieve things? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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