THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association has welcomed a decision by Thunder Bay city council not to adopt the proposed Designated Truck Route bylaw in its current form.
The council voted 7-5 on Monday night to reject the bylaw amid stiff opposition from businesses.
Councillors had ratified the plan in March following approval of the concept in January.
The city was looking to close much of Arthur Street and Dawson Road (Highway 102) to anything above 15,000 kilograms, squeezing more trucks onto the east-west Harbour Expressway that runs between the two routes.
The association and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce had fiercely criticized the plan, saying it will hit businesses hard.
“We are pleased with the council’s latest decision not to proceed with the bylaw as crafted,” said Geoff Wood, OTA senior vice-president.
“It simply left too many unanswered questions. Many aspects would have been extremely restrictive in preventing drivers from using long-established trade routes and accessing important goods and services including retail, grocery, parking, restaurants and hotel accommodations.”
The association, which has been opposed to the route from the outset, noted that Monday’s vote on the bylaw does not reverse the intent to establish a DTR.
The organization says it remains concerned that insufficient research has been conducted to determine the full safety impact of creating such a route.
The plan had been debated on and off by the council for more than 10 years.
It was not immediately clear how the council wants to proceed in the wake of the latest vote.