The City of Thunder Bay should look to other options before proceeding with a ban on heavy trucks on Dawson Road, says Stephen Laskowski, president of OTA.
In an interview with tbnewswatch.com, Laskowski, suggested that rather than solving a problem, the city’s plan will only move the problem somewhere else.
The city proposes to require transport trucks passing through the city to use only Highway 11-17 or Highway 61.
“If the issue is traffic and the speed of traffic, then that becomes an issue of compliance. And obviously, the Ontario Trucking Association wants to see all commercial motor vehicles following the speed limit,” Laskowski said.
He said the city should instead consider establishing Community Safety Zones in areas of concern, “which would allow it to use photo radar to enforce speed limits.”
It’s been estimated that approximately 1,000 heavy trucks travel on Dawson Road daily.
“This issue has been on the table for 20 years,” Laskowski noted. “It’s always come back to the OTA about trucks and the speed of trucks…If that’s the case, there are other options on the table. How is moving those trucks in a different direction slowing them down? I don’t understand that.”
When asked to what extent the trucking industry is concerned about extending the travel time through Thunder Bay, he said time is “critical.”
“A truck driver can only work a certain number of hours in a day before he has to shut down that vehicle. Adding 20 minutes, if that indeed is the case, to the run, then obviously that’s an issue of concern.”
Laskowski said that in measuring public safety, all factors need to be taken into account.
“If we are going to resolve this issue, and there are negative consequences for our industry with regards to hours of service and costs, one would hope at least we’re solving a problem.”
He said he has yet to see how the city’s plan achieves that.