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Sunnyside Residents Launch Petition Calling for W.B. Mason to Reduce Truck Noise

W.B. Mason on 43rd Street in Sunnyside (Photo: Queens Post)

Jan. 31, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Nearly 200 people have signed an online petition demanding an end to the heavy truck noise that emanates from the W.B. Mason warehouse in Sunnyside.

Residents say that the trucks that make deliveries from the company’s 39-34 43rd St. warehouse are often double parked and are left idling at all hours of the day and night.

They complain that noise from the trucks backing up can be heard even when their windows are closed and that there is often a strong smell of diesel when they idle.

The warehouse, despite being so close to Sunnyside Gardens, is located in a manufacturing zone and trucks are permitted to operate 24/7.

The petition, which was posted by Beth Lieberman to Change.org last week, is not calling for the company to leave the area; instead, it is asking W.B. Mason to mitigate the noise.

The petitioners want the drivers to stop using their noisy back-up beepers – especially overnight—and want W.B. Mason to stop the trucks from idling for extended periods.

Drivers, according to city regulations, are not permitted to let their trucks idle for more than three minutes while parked near a curb.

In addition, the petitioners want the drivers to stop double parking.

The residents told NY1 this week that more enforcement in the area is needed by the NYPD and/or the Department of Environmental Protection – the two agencies that can issue idling vehicle violations.

Additionally, they are looking into a zoning amendment that could restrict its hours of operations.

The warehouse, which is located next to Lou Lodati Park and across the street from houses, is used by W.B. Mason to distribute office products to companies around the country. The company opened the warehouse in June 2019.

The facility has a loading bay off 43rd Street with two driveways that the trucks go in and out of.

W.B. Mason has taken some steps to mitigate the noise, although the company has not done enough, critics say.

The company’s drivers recently disabled their noisy beepers at night. However, W.B. Mason also relies on third-party vendor trucks and they have not made such a change.

“My house is directly across the street from the factory and the noise is constant– around the clock,” said Kristen McGowan.

“We get woken up, every single night,” she added, noting that her 3-year-old daughter is a light sleeper. “And so when she’s up, I’m up, so it’s really been brutal.”

McGowan says the busiest time for deliveries appears to be overnight and in the early morning.

She said that there are traffic problems on 43rd Street particularly before 9 a.m. She said that school buses often get caught up in the gridlock.

The warehouse also poses a danger to pedestrians, McGowan says. The trucks go on and off the site as people—particularly children– use the sidewalk to access Lou Lodati park and walk to school.

McGowan fears that a serious accident is waiting to happen.

“There’s nobody directing their trucks in, someone’s going to get hurt,” she said.

Several calls were made to W.B. Mason for comment. The company has yet to respond.

The online petition can be found here.

W.B. Mason (Photo: Queens Post)

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31 Comments

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Mary kate

I can understand the outrage if you bought a house across from other houses and then the houses were knocked down and a warehouse was built changing the character of the block. This is not the case here. This has always been zoned for a warehouse. The residents likely paid a deeply discounted price for the purchase of a house facing a warehouse (who would pay full price to live there?!?!). So why the complaining when the space is used as it was intended. It sounds like people who want to pay a discount for their poor location and then want the rules to change to make the location desirable therefore worth more

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Owen

Equally annoying is a resident on that street leaving their gates open and blocking the sidewalk; have to push buggie on road.

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Eddie

@Kristen – I agree with all of what you posted but am confused about your support of the FDNY use of the site. The FDNY wanted to turn that site into a twenty four hour full access facility for multiple city wide divisions utilizing some very heavy trucks. This very element of the FDNY’s proposal is in direct contradiction to your statement “just like bars and restaurants have to close their outdoors, lower their music etc after a certain hour so should they”. Many of those heavy trucks would have been shaking houses all night and morning long, I know I ran one for years.,I am also from an FDNY family and we were all against that site and felt it belonged in an area zoned for heavy industry not low level or mixed used.

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The price is wrong

This seems like a nightmare for those living through the situation and the petition should be a slam dunk. It’s easy to imagine a scenario where this petition gains quick traction with press conferences, environmental activists, and the community board. The solutions, whatever they may be, should be relatively simple and straightforward and aimed at the gap between the law and its enforcement with respect to the multiple stakeholders on the block.

With all of that said, it is unfortunately equally easy to imagine that once all of the hard consensus-building work is done that a spoiler comes in at the eleventh hour in the form of a local business group or otherwise adversarial ad-hoc coalition completely opposed to the changes. They may argue that corporations are constitutionally protected with the same rights as people, they may publish fact-free opinion pieces to politicize the issue, they may spread hearsay and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, they may publish completely ludicrous follow-the-money exposé pieces, they may argue that activists aren’t local and that the real community is being ignored, they may call for a referendum, etc.

These things deserve mention because of our neighborhood’s recent past. Just keep in mind that campaigns that seek to spread misinformation are really seeking to suppress you, exhaust you, and prevent you from speaking up for the kinds of changes you want to improve your quality of life. Just keep in mind that you can’t argue with unreasonable people and focus on the issue at hand without being sucked into narratives that seek to take the attention away from the organizing you’re doing.

Good luck!

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Kristen McGowan

First of all, I was never pro delivery re: the bike lane comments (Hi Alan) second, yes it’s always been a warehouse, it only EVER operated M-F 9-5, Lastly I was one of the residents in support of the FDNY trucks being here. Also regarding the idling complaints, yea not so easy as they have to get ticketed which doesn’t happen. Lastly “loud bar” just like bars and restaurants have to close their outdoors, lower their music etc after a certain hour so should they. Also don’t use a code name like a little bitch when trying to address me. I’ll respect you maybe a smidgen more for not hiding.

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King Kong

Kirsten needs to understand the fact that the was zoned as a manufacturing zone before she moved into the neighborhood.

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Native Sunnysider

One of their trucks backed up into my garage during the night while doing their nightly parking/ repacking routine damaging the door and the car inside.
There were obvious tire marks from their usual pattern and the dent on door was at the same level of their rear step bed. To add, a witness who saw it all even left a note. They refused to own up to it. Worst decision to let W.B. Mason in. FDNY repair shop would of served and cared for the neighborhood better.

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For reals

Buyer Beware: You bought a house across from an enormous warehouse that has been there for half a century.

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Trucks need places to park

That’s the problem with bike lanes, they don’t cater to trucks parking illegally.

Trucks parking illegally in the bike lanes or elsewhere is something I support

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Mac

That’s right Patrice, let business do what business does. It’s gullible people like you who’ve caused America to fall behind every other Western country in every category from quality of life, general physical health, longevity education and so on.,We never had these issues back when Robbins and Milton Bradley occupied the site. Back then there was obviously more respect for your neighbors and way less Political banner waving.

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Sunnysider

The idling trucks problem can be easily solved. DEP has a program that allows citizens to submit a video of a truck idling and they will automatically get ticketed by DEP based on the video evidence. The tickets are about $1000 each and the submitter gets to collect a $ reward, of I think about 1/4 or 1/3 of the fine amount.. Google “Citizens Air Complaint Program” and read their FAQ for requirements. Submit a couple of videos and I guarantee they will stop idling real fast. Its faster and better then waiting for the DEP enforcement agents to issue tickets who will never bother coming.

Backup beepers for trucks are required by law to warn pedestrians the truck is backing up so folks stop and don’t get run over. They shouldn’t be disabled; god forbid the truck accidentally runs over someone on the sidewalk because someone walking by couldn’t tell it was in reverse and the truck driver couldn’t see them due to limited rear visibility.

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Silence is To Be Desired.

The problem goes back to the founding of Sunnyside Gardens. The
land was inexpensive because it was formerly owned by the
it for rail yards. It was by definition going to be noisy. That being said, WB Mason does not produce train noise and has a duty to be a good neighbor.

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we did see it coming

When the FDNY wanted to lease the building as a storage unit for ladders, hoses etc a few years ago the residents on 43rd st complained that they would be looking at big red trucks and bulky firefighters…..be careful what you wish for

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Manuel Sama

People should stop complaining and moaning so much, and be glad that we have these jobs. Keep complaining and you’ll lose these jobs the way AOC lost us 25,000 Amazon jobs in Long Island City!

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Sunnyside residents

We should thank those Whom didn’t support Amazon HQ. It would be WB Mason X 100.

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Demosthenes Chrysan

We’ve all been complaining about this noise and air pollution since last Spring but our representatives have completely failed our community. Call WB Mason Corporate Headquarters phone: 508-586-3434, Twitter @WBMasonCo and voice your opinion.

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Queens Streets for LOL

Wait wait wait wait just a minute here. Whatever happened to “trucks NEED to double park to make deliveries”? I’m catching a whiff of diesel with a strong smell of hypocrisy!

Not to mention a huge karmic justice that some of the key players from our local pro-delivery truck anti-safety group now can’t sleep at night because of noise from delivery trucks, LOL.

I would suggest cutting some parking spaces on the west side of the street as a solution to the problem to test the limits of Queens Streets for All’s hypocrisy. It would work on this block, so will they suggest it now that it suits their interest?

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Holly

Poor residents:( aside front the noice- those idling engines emitting the toxins:( something has to be done!

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