TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) says the city of Toronto needs to develop a comprehensive goods movement study, and should not limit itself to looking for banning trucks from school zones or other parts of the city.
The comments came after City Councillor Gary Crawford called for city staff to study banning trucks in school zones. Crawford was reacting one day after a teenager was tragically killed by a disposal truck, on her first day back to school.
“If we truly are interested in making things better, we need to look at things more broadly and more comprehensively,” OTA president David Bradley said in response. He pointed out blanket solutions like banning all trucks are impractical.
“The city is dependent upon trucks for providing the essentials of life every day,” he said. “They are where they are, when they are, because the customers they are serving require them to be. We need to examine ways for all types of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to better co-exist.”
“If you want to restrict trucks from certain routes at certain times of the day, then it is imperative that the people who own the goods the truckers are hauling be brought into the frame,” Bradley added. “Trucks can operate at any time of the day, but if you want to move them to off-peak times then there has to be someone there to ship or receive the goods, which is out of the trucking industry’s control.”
Bradley noted that delivering product at nighttime leads to another set of concerns - noise complaints from residents.
“Sometimes it makes sense to introduce such restrictions in order to keep trucks out of residential areas,” said Bradley. “But too often the motivating factor is NIMBYism and before you know it the trucks can’t go anywhere.”
The OTA is calling on the city to launch a comprehensive goods movement program.
“City planners concentrate on the movement of people, but goods movement always seems to be forgotten,” said Bradley. “A comprehensive study of goods movement into, out of and within the City of Toronto has long been needed.”