THUNDER BAY, Ont. -- Representatives from Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) met with officials in Thunder Bay this week to discuss alternatives to a proposed truck ban for one of the city’s favoured truck routes, Dawson Road.
McKevitt Trucking founder John McKevitt, OTA president David Bradley, and OTA senior vice-president Stephen Laskowski met with Thunder Bay mayor, Keith Hobbs, and city councillor Trevor Giertuga, who has been advocating for a truck ban on Dawson Road – the city’s busiest east-west commercial truck route.
In February, Thunder Bay city council unanimously passed Giertuga’s resolution calling for a length restriction on vehicles (excluding buses, RVs, gravel, float and local delivery trucks, as well as emergency vehicles which were exempted) from travelling on the municipal portion of Dawson Road.
However, when the Ministry of Transportation refused to permit signs to be put up informing people of the restrictions, Council referred the matter to the city's inter-governmental liaison committee, which in turn passed a motion to make Dawson Road into a community safety zone. That action would mean lower speeds along certain sections and a doubling of speeding fines.
According to Bradley, “We were well received by both Mayor Hobbs and by councillor Giertuga. There appears to be a genuine desire to look at alternative ways to improve the safety of all vehicles, not just trucks, on Dawson Road – at least for the time being – before further contemplating a ban.”
“We came away with the feeling that it is understood that a ban on trucks would be difficult to achieve for a variety of reasons and would just create other problems,” Bradley added. “We agreed to stay in touch and OTA offered to work with council, the local police and MTO to find a mutually beneficial solution.”