A city councilor in Toronto, Canada, is seeking support for a plan to ask the Province of Ontario to restrict trucks to one lane on Highway 401 in the Greater-Toronto Area. Howard Moscoe, says restricting trucks on the roadway as they makes their way through Canada’s most populace city, would increase safety and restrict road closures, according to the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).
However, OTA is concerned about the proposal. David Bradley, association president, said the proposal is unclear on just what the councilor had in mind. If he is calling for lanes dedicated to trucks making time-sensitive deliveries and needing to bypass congested roads, then his proposal would be welcome by OTA. On the other hand, if the proposal would require all truck traffic be funneled into one or two lanes, then the association is opposed, noting that a similar proposal has been rejected because of safety concerns.
In a letter to the City of Toronto‘s Planning and Transportation Committee, Bradley expressed OTA’s strong support for the conclusions made in a report by City of Toronto staff that “it is not feasible or practical to implement such a proposal on Highway 401 through the City of Toronto at this time”. The staff report eloquently makes the case that this proposal is a solution for which there is no problem, according to OTA.
“I could envisage situations where a truck express lane may be of benefit, but I do not think the proponents of the truck only lanes on Highway 401 are thinking about those situations," Bradley wrote in the letter. "Forcing trucks to stay in one lane could have significant adverse safety consequences. One could easily foresee a wall of trucks, that would make entering or exiting the highway a dangerous if not impossible task. Moreover, slower car traffic would gravitate toward the remaining lanes, creating problems with traffic flows in those lanes. Congestion would increase, not decrease.
“I would therefore urge the Committee to carefully consider the points made in this excellent staff analysis and accept the report as written. The solution to congestion problems in Toronto will require strategic investment in roads. Like it or not, Toronto is the epicenter the world’s largest trading partnership. Maintaining the wealth associated with that enviable position takes investment in road and highway infrastructure. Investment in municipal transit is also essential. Traffic congestion is not caused by trucks, it is caused by cars, especially the single commuter."