City prepares to banish tractor trailers from Maspeth

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The city will begin implementing the long-awaited truck bypass plan to route tractor trailers around Maspeth beginning in October.

The plan, which had been in the works for about a decade, was approved by Community Board 5 at a July 13 meeting.

“I’m relieved that there is a bypass plan being implemented,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5. “We are hopeful that this will be successful.”

The city Department of Transportation will begin by making several roads one-way only, including Maurice Avenue and 59th and 58th streets and 55th Drive, according to Giordano.

In addition, city workers will install a concrete island and stop sign at the five-way intersection of Maurice and Maspeth avenues, 56th Terrace and 58th Street.

The plan was designed to prevent large tractor trailers that exited the Long Island Expressway from taking Grand and Flushing avenues as a shortcut into Brooklyn and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Many of the trucks would get lost in the maze of residential streets or get stuck at major intersections.

In response to resident complaints, the DOT held several outreach sessions this year to get community input on a possible plan.

In several tense community board meetings, business owners protested the implementation of one-way streets.

Nick Diamantis, whose family owns the Clinton Diner, at 56-26 Maspeth Ave., successfully convinced the DOT not to make 57th Place, which runs in front of his eatery, one-way.

Aurthur Goldstein, a lawyer who represents Junior’s Cheesecake, at 58-42 Maurice Ave., condemned the plan when CB 5 voted in favor, saying it would make it nearly impossible for truck drivers to transport goods in and out of the company’s factory.

But the DOT worked with Junior’s afterward to reach a compromise involved a curb cut on one side of Maurice Avenue. The curb cut will allow delivery trucks to back into awkwardly angled loading docks along the avenue.

“What they’ve calculated is that if they do a curb cut across from Junior’s, the trucks can come in northbound and make a very wide turn back into the loading dock,” Goldstein said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 2:55 pm, September 29, 2011
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