The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is speaking out against city councilors in Thunder Bay, Ont. who are set to vote on whether or not to restrict vehicles of a certain weight on city streets.
The OTA penned a letter to Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Council explaining why forcing trucks onto different roads is not the answer to this decades-old problem.
City Council is currently exploring the development of a new truck route. If adopted, the bylaw would force heavy trucks bypassing Thunder Bay to use Highway 11-17 and Highway 61 exclusively and would also designate routes within the city to include Hodder Avenue south to Main Street via Water Street, as well as heavy truck routes between the East End and Mission Island.
This means that current heavy-truck routes like Dawson Road, Oliver Road and Arthur Street W. would be off-limits to most trucks engaged in Northern Ontario and Western Canadian trade.
“While OTA is aware of council’s historic concerns and rationale for introducing such measures, the association would once again like to remind council of the possible unintended safety consequences of such measures and reintroduce a proposed solution that includes community safety zone designations and the use of photo radar,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski.
OTA asked council to clarify whether the newly proposed truck routes are built to the safety standards required to handle the new volume of commercial traffic.
“As a road safety partner, we want to avoid at all costs the deterioration of existing safety conditions. The proposed bylaw should not create more safety problems for the public than it resolves,” said Laskowski.
OTA is also advising Council to perform an economic analysis of this bylaw since carriers have expressed concerns about additional costs associated with this proposed truck route.