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TO councillor renews call to ban rush hour deliveries

TORONTO, Ont. -- Toronto City Councillor Michael Walker has once again renewed calls to ban downtown deliveries bet...

TORONTO, Ont. — Toronto City Councillor Michael Walker has once again renewed calls to ban downtown deliveries between 7-10 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Hes the same councillor who floated the same idea about a year ago. The idea was shelved after the citys Works Committee heard from delivery groups including the Ontario Trucking Association.

“As the old adage goes, for every complex issue there is a simple, easy, and ultimately completely wrong answer, and this is the wrong answer for the city’s traffic woes,” Doug Switzer, OTA manager of government relations, to the council a year ago. “The reality is that these restrictions will mean higher costs for deliveries because trucking companies will have to purchase additional equipment and hire more drivers in order to deliver the same amount of goods in a much smaller window of time. And local businesses will be forced to pay for additional staff to be there in off peak periods to receive goods.”

But that hasnt prevented Walker from dusting off the suggested policy.

“Those vehicles contribute a lot to gridlock and do a lot of idling, and both of those contribute significantly to smog and to global warming,” Walker told local media yesterday. “It’s not a solution on its own but it’s a piece of the puzzle. These trucks are queuing up to get into the garages, but they could do it at night.”

Hes calling for the city to launch a six-month study to see if rush hour gridlock will be alleviated by the rush hour delivery ban. He suggests businesses will actually save money because trucks can move more efficiently at night. He did admit companies would have additional staffing costs if required to have workers on-hand to accept nighttime deliveries.

But if were not prepared to make that type of investment in improving the environment, weve got a problem, he said.

The citys executive committee is planning to debate the issue on Monday.

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