FreshDirect trucks are getting rotten reviews for their parking.
The brazen delivery drivers are co-opting long stretches of Big Apple streets, creating traffic headaches and dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bikers by double- and triple-parking — and in some cases, getting into heated verbal altercations with passersby, peeved residents charge.
“They’re taking ownership of the city and we’re allowing it through neglect,” griped Andrew Fine, vice president of the East 86th Street Association, who recently tweeted a video of the trucks double-parked along Lexington Avenue.
The Post in late September observed one FreshDirect truck double-parked without any activity for over an hour near East 84th Street and Lexington Avenue, in morning rush-hour traffic. Another was parked for at least a hour in part of the left-turn lane near East 84th Street and 2nd Avenue. A truck also double-parked near West 60th Street and Columbus Avenue for several minutes to collect empty delivery boxes during the afternoon rush-hour.
Commercial vehicles are only allowed to double park for a maximum of 20 minutes, while actively loading or unloading, according to the DOT.
“They put us on a place and we just gotta do what we gotta do,” said deliveryman Jahsheem Simon, 26. “We can’t necessarily move.”
The online grocery service, whose annual net sales exceed $700 million, delivers everything from eggs to prepared antipasti to cleaning supplies to customers’ doors.
Locals complained that the trucks are creating hazards for pedestrians and others who share the streets.
This past December, a moped rider fatally crashed into a double-parked FreshDirect truck at East 76th Street and 1st Avenue. Joel Reiss, a partner at the restaurant Who’s Jac. W? on 2nd Avenue, said that he almost got mowed down by a car when crossing East 84th Street this summer because a FreshDirect truck had parked in the left-turn lane, obscuring the motorist’s view.
“It’s certainly not helping the situation,” complained David Markowitz, a technology marketing executive. “When I ride my bike to the park … they push me out into the middle of the street.”
Residents say some delivery men are turning sidewalks into break rooms and even scrapping with neighbors.
“These guys [are] sitting on the tree pits, using them as an ashtray, and one of them turned around and started cursing at [my husband], threatening him,” said resident Orah Massarsky. “Same thing happens to the doorman, same thing happens to the super.”
Council Member Julie Menin, who represents the Upper East Side, told The Post that these practices by FreshDirect “creates safety issues for pedestrians, for cyclists, for vehicles, in addition to causing environmental concerns” and recently introduced a bill to increase penalties for idling trucks.
FreshDirect did not respond to a request for comment.
An NYPD spokesperson said the 19th Precinct was aware of complaints about FreshDirect trucks regularly double parking in the Upper East Side. It is “working to address this condition, issuing multiple warnings and summonses,” they said.