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Big trucks to be banned on downtown streets

Big trucks to be banned on downtown streets

With council approval. heavy trucks will no longer be able to use Cannon and Barton to access York Boulevard from the North end Industrial area. Instead, they will be re-routed easterly along Burlington Street, where they can use the Red Hill and Linc to access the 403 if they are headed west, or than can access the QEW. The ruling applies to vehicles in excess of four axles. The move was opposed by industrial users, particularly the agri-food operations on Burlington Street who rely on tandem hoppers to move materials, who argued the added time and distance will increase food costs to consumers. From a residential standpoint it means the mega-trucks will no longer be on Cannon Street, which has been a key concern of residents in the area. In fact Cannon, King, Main and most of Victoria and Wellington Streets will not only allow four axled vehicles.

Staff have been holding consultations with affected stakeholders since 2019 and the plan that was approved by the Truck Route Subcommittee Monday was one of five options considered. York Boulevard will still allow passage of  heavier trucks in order to connect with the CN rail terminal but the trucks will not be allowed to venture further into the city. Trucking stakeholders warned that banning the largest trucks would actually lead to more trucks on the road, since it would take a greater number of  smaller vehicles to move the same amount of cargo.

Staff had originally developed a plan that would have seen five axle trucks on many downtown roads, but opted to set the limit at four axles. The staff recommendation notes, “four-axle restriction provides accessibility and positive guidance for local delivery trucks while minimizing the unavoidable impact of heavy trucks on sensitive receptors, low income and vulnerable residential communities.  This restriction would preclude non-local delivery trucks from traversing the downtown and residential communities while encouraging the use of smaller vehicles for local delivery purposes.  However, it may require more trucks to deliver the same amount of goods which has cost implications for both shippers and receivers.”

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