Driving Into and Around NYC

Driving into New York City can seem overwhelming for first timers. We recommend that farmers plan ahead of the first day to figure out a delivery route - paying attention to which routes are open to commercial vehicles. Driving the route before the first day of deliveries can relieve some of the anxiety of driving in the city. The following is important information, resources, and things to consider when driving into NYC.

Proper Registration of a Commercial Vehicle

Trucks driving into New York City that weigh over 10,000 lbs are required to have a Department of Transportation Number (DOT #) displayed on the truck. If a truck is stopped without proper permitting, farmers can receive a ticket and be prohibited from continuing to make the delivery. To learn more about the permitting process, visit www.nypermits.org or call 1-888-783-1685 to speak with a representative from the New York State Department of Transportation.

Once the vehicle is properly registered, the driver must keep a daily log of the truck’s use. Consider leaving a special binder in the vehicle to record the truck’s activity for DOT records.

The New York City Traffic Rules requires that commercial vehicles display the registrant’s name and address on both sides of the vehicle.

Driving a Commercial Vehicle in NYC

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) website offers a comprehensive set of rules for driving a commercial vehicle or truck in New York City.

For their comprehensive set of instructions for commercial vehicles visit the website:  www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/trucks.shtml#identification

NYCDOT’s Definition of a Commercial Vehicle

For the sake of choosing a proper driving route and to take advantage of commercial parking and standing, farmers should know whether or not their vehicle is considered commercial or not. All trucks used for commercial purposes and bearing commercial plates cannot use roads that restrict commercial vehicle access. The following is a list of routes that prohibit commercial vehicle traffic: www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/commvehicle.shtml.

In order to take advantage of the unique parking and standing rules for commercial vehicles, the truck must:

  • Have commercial plates
  • Be altered so that only the front seats still exist
  • Show the business’ name and address on both sides of the vehicle, placed in the center of the doors or side panel.

Routes for commercial vehicles

The NYCDOT each year updates it map of routes for commercial vehicles. Consult this map when deciding a route to your CSA, farmers market, and Fresh Food for All drop off points. Note that commercial vehicles are not allowed on most NYC parkways. There are also several hundred low vertical clearance points in NYC. Check the DOT website for a list of these.

What to do if your truck breaks down

If your vehicle is stalled on a bridge or in a tunnel:

If your vehicle stalls on a bridge or tunnel, the vehicle may be removed by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. If this should happen, call the MTA police to get help 888-MTA911PD

If your vehicle breaks down in the five boroughs:

Each road has it own towing company that is contracted to service that route. Call 311 to find out who to call.

Here is the contact information for one company farmers can call for towing service in the five boroughs:

888 965-4555

Parking in NYC

Your CSA, Local Produce Link, or market site should take parking into account when picking a location for drop off. If you are having repeated problems receiving parking tickets, talk to your site manager about strategies to avoid parking tickets.

If you need to double park, you will have better luck avoiding a ticket if you do not block the entire street. Also avoid parking within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. Parking in front of a hydrant will result in a ticket.

Parking rules for a commercial vehicle:

  • Commercial vehicles are permitted to park in loading and unloading zones.
  • Commercial vehicles can double park next to the loading and unloading zones and there is no other space available within 100 ft. in either direction.
  • If double parking, commercial vehicles must not block a bike lane. They should park outside of the bike lane leaving it clear.

The Fleet Program

The Fleet Program helps firms find information about their parking tickets. Any firm can join if it has one or more vehicles registered or leased under the company’s name and address. Companies in the Fleet Program receive weekly reports listing tickets issued to plates on record. They are then given a penalty-free period to answer those tickets. There is no fee for participating in this program or for adding new plates to the list of vehicles enrolled in the Fleet Program.

To find out more, go to: www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/parking/park_commercial_fleet.shtml


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