EDMONTON, AB — A new study conducted by the City of Edmonton is looking to evaluate and potentially improve trucking in the city limits.
A draft city goods movement strategy released last week provided 34 suggestions to aid the city’s trucking industry, reports the Edmonton Journal. Some of the suggestions include removing truck bans from certain roads, as well as improving thoroughfare on others.
“It’s a large part of the economy here in Edmonton and Alberta … It’s an important part of the construction industry, oil and gas, logistics,” city transportation engineer Howaida Hassan said.
“It talks to the quality of life of people who live in the city (and) how quickly the goods get to us, that sort of thing.”
The last time Edmonton saw a transportation study of this magnitude was over a decade ago. Over 2,300 truckers were surveyed last fall and industry and community members were also consulted.
So what are the two main complaints? Yellowhead Trail and 75th Street.
Currently, on 75th Street there is a truck ban between 90th Avenue and 98th Avenue, causing trucks to divert around the area.
“The industry values directness in their routes, whether that means having better connections between truck routes (or) whether we need less congestion,” said Hassan.
In 2011 there was talk of removing the ban, but nearby residents were quick to shut it down saying it would affect their property values, among other things. Instead, councilors requested a study of truck movements, loads and travel patterns.
Carl Rosenau, president of Rosenau Transport Ltd., said that if the same detours were imposed on the motoring public, people wouldn’t stand for them.
“If we had tried to get the motoring public to do that detour every day, then they would see what it’s like,” said Rosenau. “You want to move efficiently in the city. That’s part of our cost.”
A potential solution for improving the network is creating consolidation centres where trucks transport goods from the big rigs to smaller delivery units that then move around the city.
Currently, this system is utilized in Eastern Canada and the United States, Hassan said to the Journal.
The city is accepting feedback on the strategy until September 16. It is likely the city will hold a public information session in the fall before bringing the proposal before city council next spring.
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