By Matthew Fischetti
State Senator Andrew Gounardes has introduced a bill that would charge 25c for online delivery sales in order to raise funds for the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and other infrastructure projects.
The senator, who reps nabes including Red Hook and Sunset Park, argues that the bill would help offset the negative ramifications of trucking industries.
“Heavy-duty diesel vehicles are responsible for roughly half of on-pipe tailpipe emissions even though they represent only a fraction of total vehicle activity in the city. These tailpipe emissions create a long list of externalities for environmental justice (EJ) communities in the form of polluted air, stressed infrastructure, increased traffic congestion, and decreased quality of life,” the bill reads.
The bill also notes a 2021 Department of Transportation report which stated that shifting freight networks to water and rail would be necessary in order to limit “last-mile warehouses”, which is why Gounardes’s bill would include port, marine terminals and rail lines as areas that could receive new funds.
Over 2.3 million packages are currently delivered to New Yorkers every day, which increased from an average of 1.8 million pre-pandemic, according to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The bill also notes that five more e-commerce facilities are scheduled to come into Sunset Park and Red Hook.
Back in February of this year, Councilwoman Alexa Avilés, who also reps Sunset Park introduced legislation that would limit the zoning requirements for the “last-mile warehouses.”
The bill is currently sitting in committee. If passed, the bill would take effect on January 1 of the following year it is signed into law.
“Our streets are clogged, our highways are weakened, and our neighborhoods are polluted because of the volume of online deliveries made each day in New York City,” State Senator Andrew Gounardes said in a statement. “This bill is a common-sense solution to our city’s infrastructure problem as e-commerce retailers struggle to keep pace with our demand for overnight deliveries.”