The mayor of New York City has a message for privately owned waste trucks: Use caution. This comes after a privately owned waste truck carrying construction debris hit a bystander at an event for the mayor. The accident occurred in Chinatown on Dec. 18. Rescue personnel rushed the 60-year-old pedestrian to the hospital. He is currently in critical condition. The driver of the truck caused a similar accident earlier this year.
Pedestrians face real danger
New York City is a dangerous place for pedestrians, and the mayor has made his intentions of fixing this problem well-known. One of the factors in pedestrian-related incidents is the high number of private construction vehicles traversing the busy city streets at any given time. This latest incident brings the issue back to the forefront of the mayor’s agenda.
More construction equals more vehicles
As the building boom throughout the city continues, privately owned sanitation trucks have gained a large foothold on traffic. In order to keep up with waste disposal for construction sites, companies are hiring third parties to truck the debris from sites to landfills. Tens of thousands of trucks shuttle debris and supplies around the city. The drivers of these trucks often have poor driving records and have little to no oversight, two factors contributing to the problem.
Plans to assuage the problem
The mayor is actively considering how to get some of the construction vehicles off the road. One proposal floating around would divide the city into zones, with a set number of private waste vehicles permitted to operate in those zones at a time. The Department of Sanitation backs the move, and the City Council may get legislation to consider it early next year.
The commercial waste hauling advocates oppose any legislation that restricts the number of companies allowed to operate in the city. They do not believe the restructuring of waste zones is the solution.