Reducing the External Costs of Last Mile Freight Systems in the Newtown Creek Area

Long Island City, Queens (photo credit: Mitch Waxman)

In the fall of 2020, Geoff Storr, a graduate student of Public and Urban Policy at the New School worked with the Newtown Creek Alliance on a policy brief addressing last mile distribution centers around Newtown Creek. The research paper seeks to address the Central Policy Issue: How can the localized quality of life, environmental and economic burdens caused by the proliferation of last-mile distribution operations in the Newtown Creek industrial area, and other industrial areas in New York City, be mitigated? NCA is very thankful for Geoff’s thorough research and detailed analysis of this growing sector, including its impacts on the surrounding communities and recommendations for improved land use and transportation policy. We look forward to continuing this important conversation with Geoff, our partner organizations working to protect and improve the Industrial Business Zones around the Creek, and, of course, community members interested in and impacted by this issue. Read and download the paper here:

Reducing the External Costs of Last Mile Freight Systems in the Newtown Creek Area by Geoff Storr

Executive Summary: The number of last-mile distribution facilities in New York City is sharply increasing. Growing demand for home delivery of consumer goods and groceries is driving a steady flow of development of new delivery facilities in industrial zones within the city’s outer boroughs. The increasing commercial truck traffic arising from last-mile delivery activity causes adverse quality of life and environmental outcomes for residential communities, particularly those in close proximity to Industrial Business Zones (IBZs). Further, this as-of-right development is encroaching significantly on scarce industrial space inside the city’s IBZs.

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