Orillia lifts 40-year truck ban on major street

by Abdul Latheef

Orillia

ORILLIA, Ont. – The City of Orillia has lifted a 40-year heavy truck ban on a major street, thanks to an initiative by a longtime resident.

“City staff presented a report to our council earlier this week, which recommended that the heavy truck restriction on West Street North between Coldwater Road and Fittons Road be removed,” said Ian Sugden, general manager of development services and engineering.

He said the council endorsed the recommendation, and the restriction will be removed soon.

“The road is designed and intended to carry large vehicles,” Sugden said in an email Thursday.

The decision came six months after real estate appraiser Wayne Scanlon wrote a letter to the council, saying removing the restrictions will improve city traffic and reduce pollution.

Scanlon told Today’s Trucking on Thursday that the Covid-19 outbreak slowed the process, but he is grateful to the city for accepting his proposal.

“Trucks will save big time,” he said of the benefits of opening the road, adding that the saving will be mostly on wear and tear because drivers will face fewer traffic stops on West Street North.

As for time, he said, the saving would be just under 10 minutes.

He said the reasons for imposing the ban four decades ago don’t exist anymore.

“To my recollection, at that time the main issue was heavy trucks, many of which were often gasoline and underpowered, would slow traffic down significantly going up the West Street North hill,” Scanlon wrote in his letter.

“Modern trucks are now turbo-diesel powered, and have significant horsepower under the hood, and generally do not hold back traffic in a significant manner.”

West Street North will open to trucks once the signs are removed.

Orillia, with a population of 31,000, is 130 kilometers north of Toronto.

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