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Toronto decides to shelve downtown delivery restrictions

TORONTO, Ont. - Trucks servicing Toronto's downtown core were delivered positive news after the City of Toronto's ...

TORONTO, Ont. – Trucks servicing Toronto’s downtown core were delivered positive news after the City of Toronto’s Works Committee voted to sideline a controversial proposal by Coun. Michael Walker.

The committee voted this week to shelve the proposal to prohibit deliveries in the downtown area between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

After hearing deputations from Ontario Trucking Association, the Courier Association and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the Works Committee voted to note the motion but take no further action on it, effectively killing the proposal.

“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,” explained Doug Switzer, OTA manager of government relations, to the council.

Switzer also pointed out that imposing restrictions on delivery times would adversely impact the downtown businesses that rely on trucks, noting every cup of coffee, every piece of paper, every beer and steak sold comes to the downtown core in a truck.

“The restrictions that you are considering placing on trucks, you are really imposing on businesses,” he continued. “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.”

“The root of congestion problem is not the fact that trucks need to make deliveries, it is the volume of traffic combined with a lack of appropriate loading and unloading areas,” Switzer concluded. “What we need to do is look at issues like building design, as well as street and sidewalk design, to find ways to allow necessary deliveries to be made without impeding the flow of traffic during rush hour.”

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