NEW YORK — The mean streets of New York can be a tough place to make deliveries.
"You have to double park, most of the time," said Femi Afolabi, an Amazon delivery worker. "You just have to double park."
On Third Street in Brooklyn, there is a new safe haven for delivery drivers like Afolabi, thanks to the transportation department's Neighborhood Loading Zone program.
But on this day, four cars are parked here — illegally. Each was ticketed.
Drivers who live on Third Street are infuriated about losing more parking spaces.
"It's hell. It really makes you think about when you want to take your car," Fernando Datil, who lives on Third Street, said of the parking situation.
Residents are also risking more parking tickets.
Joan Wargo says she and her neighbors are confused about the zone's boundaries, and she questions reserving precious parking space for delivery drivers who she says won't use them.
"It's unreasonable to expect that a delivery driver is going to park at the end of a block and walk all the way up, halfway or further, to deliver packages," she said.
Samuel Valle plans to circulate a petition to move the delivery zones, like on the avenue.
"It's just taking away from the residents and the neighborhood, and as it is right now, it's very hard to find a spot," Valle said.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) created the first neighborhood loading zones in 2019, as the increasing popularity of online shopping led to a surge in UPS and FedEx deliveries.
New zones were created this month in Park Slope and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and in Manhattan, bringing the total number citywide to 112.
The DOT says narrow streets with large apartment buildings and bike or bus lanes are prime candidates for the zones, adding the "Neighborhood Loading Zones can help decrease unwanted parking behaviors such as double parking and the obstruction of bike lanes, leading to safer streets for all road users."
The transportation department says it can cut down on double parking by as much as 73% on blocks where it is in effect.
It came in handy during a grocery delivery to an apartment in front of one of the new loading zones.
Yasmeen Valerio, helping make the delivery, said, it's "more comfortable because cars can pass by and you're not making traffic. So, I think it's a pretty good idea."
Reducing doubling parking and traffic jams, but adding to the frustration of drivers trying to find a parking space.
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