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De Blasio's Freight NYC Plan Spurs Optimism, Concerns

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

Article/ I report on the pros and cons of a plan intended to modernize New York City's freight distribution system.

Photograph by Adi Talwar

New York City officials pitching a new freight distribution and infrastructure plan have yet to address its environmental or economic downsides.

The $100 million plan, announced by Mayor Bill De Blasio in mid-July, is supposed to overhaul and modernize New York City’s freight distribution system by shifting away from trucks, which pollute city air and congest the streets and highways, toward maritime and rail options, and smaller, greener vehicles.

But experts say the plan could increase traffic and emissions near barge hubs and that the switch to smaller vehicles may not necessarily reduce emissions. Further questions surround the economic viability for suppliers and whether the shift from trucks to barges could pose economic challenges and significantly slow delivery speeds.

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