We all know trucks bring us good things, but are trucks good things? Not if they make deliveries in the early morning or at night, some New Yorkers think.
Residents of Manhattan's Upper East Side are divided over plans to extend truck delivery hours at a new three-story Fairway Market on East 86th Street.
They want the convenience, better cost and selection offered by a major supermarket - but not the added street and sidewalk traffic from truck deliveries.
And some of them really don't want the noise made by delivery trucks unloading goods as early at 5 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m., seven days a week.
It's a potential test case for New York City's plans to shunt truck freight delivery to off-peak hours, clearing congestion claimed to cost the city $13.4 billion a year.
It's also a test of whether municipal plans that sound fine on paper would make a hell of a noise outside an 86th Street window at 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
Local digital news outlet DNAinfo has been tracking the story as Fairway plans to move into a former Barnes & Noble location on the busy cross-town street.
The city gave Fairway Market a green light to extend loading zone hours over the objections of the East 86th Street Merchants/Residents Association.
That group has been working since 2002 on a $2.2 million capital improvement plan for the street that includes new benches, trees, bike racks and lampposts.
Additional truck traffic and sidewalks filled with boxes and pallets aren't in the architectural drawings available on the East 86th Street Association's Web site.
One member of the association and local community board told DNAinfo the 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours were "completely out of the realm of anything in the area."
That may be true, and no one likes being woken by the rumble of a delivery truck.
But would paralyzing a city block with midday truck traffic be a better solution? East 86th Street is a major commercial strip on Manhattan's East Side.
As a former resident of East 84th Street, I can attest that noise and inconvenience are a daily part of life in the Big Apple -- as in any big city. No question.
But if New Yorkers really want the convenience of that East 86th Street market, they'll have to adjust to the inconvenience of extra trucks at some point, whether it's morning, noon or night.
Or just shop at the Upper West Side Fairway on Broadway and 74th Street.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.