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New Truck route plan attempts to reconcile conflicting interests

New Truck route plan attempts to reconcile conflicting interests

Everybody hates trucks even though virtually everything we eat, wear, watch or communicate with arrives by truck for at least part of its journey. In an industrial city like Hamilton the intersection between trucks and neighbourhoods is a constant source of tension. The nature of Hamilton industry necessitates a lot of large trucks, In addition Hamilton has an airport district that will be home to tens of thousands of new logistics-related jobs and that means even more trucks in the future. Our port, which ships a lot of bulk goods is also heavily truck-dependent.

Hamilton has been Working on various Truck Route plans for almost 15 years. The city is currently employing a truck route system that was developed in 2010. Next week councillors will get to look at a new plan that makes several changes to the existing truck route system. These include:

  • Removal of Trucks on Cannon Street between Sherman and Downtown. This area is also served by a bike lane, and the incompatibility of truck routes and bike lanes was a frequent comment in public information sessions.
  • Large sections of downtown restricted to trucks of five axles or less. The study noted that there will be a tradeoff with this restriction because larger trucks will have to wind their way through the reduced number of streets they are allowed to use, and this will result in more driving time and more greenhouse gases.
  • Removal of Trucks on James street south of Main
  • Trucks heading for the West Harbour area will be restricted to daytime only.
  • Truck usage on a large part of the North Service Road in Stoney Creek will be removed
  • There will be significant future roadways added in the area surrounding the Airport where significant industrial expansion and job growth is expected.
IBI photo

In developing this new plan the consultants engaged in possibly the highest level of community engagement ever for a project of this size. Consultation tools included:

  • Webpage that received 8,600 hits over three months
  • Two on-line surveys
  • Online mapping tool was developed to solicit location-specific input from the community. The tool obtained over 1,060 hits between June 2020 and September 2020. Nearly, 330 location-specific comments were provided, mostly by residents
  • Virtual public information centres, promoted by a mail-out that reached 230,000 addresses
  • Numerous speaking engagements to interested community groups.

The full consultant’s report can be found here. The maps showing the proposed network and what has changed are on pages 36 and 37.

The matter is being discussed today at a special meeting of the Truck Route Subcommittee. Nearly three dozen delegations will be heard.

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