WINNIPEG, Man. — The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) is opposed to a proposal by the city of Winnipeg, to shut down Plessis Road as a designated truck route.
According to the MTA, the proposal by Transcona Councillor Russ Wyatt to close Plessis Road as a truck route will penalize the trucking industry in more ways than one. The MTA also objects to Wyatt’s claim that Plessis Road is a short-cut. Instead, the Plessis Road meets the city’s criteria for classification as a truck route, in the MTA’s opinion.
Since the trucking industry has made significant strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this closure would create more emissions, rather than reduce them, states the MTA. “To reduce our greenhouse gas emissions means that our industry must conduct its business in the most efficient and productive manner reasonable, and minimize kilometres travelled,” said MTA general manager, Bob Dolyniuk. “The elimination of Plessis Road as a truck route will cause the exact opposite.”
If adopted, the MTA manager predicts that the city’s plan would be costly to both the citizens of Winnipeg, and to the trucking industry, since the city has expended $10 million in the last two years developing Plessis Road as a double-divided regional street and truck route. “To spend that amount of money on a street and then re-designate to a non-truck route street, is a complete waste of taxpayers’ dollars.”
The MTA charges that this new transportation plan will inflict a minimum of $1 million per year of additional and unnecessary cost to the trucking industry (based on identified trips by the city of Winnipeg and truck operating costs identified by Transport Canada), all of which would be subsequently passed on to the shipping community, and ultimately the businesses and residents of Winnipeg. Additionally, the MTA references a city transportation report that calculated the number of trucks that travel Plessis Road in a typical 12-hour weekday, to be 428 trucks, compared to busier truck routes that carry as many as 3,480 trucks.
As Winnipeg puts itself forward as a multi-modal transportation hub, the MTA argues that such a hub requires an efficient truck route system. An efficient truck route system must allow reasonable access to all areas of the City, and must also allow the efficient movement of trucks from one area of the city to others, according to Dolyniuk. “This is a role that Plessis Road provides in the city of Winnipeg’s Truck Route System, and this should not change.”
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