The competition over access to currently limited road space for inner-cities vehicle users, pedestrians, and cyclists will continue over the coming years. As these debates are settled, however, safety issues must remain of paramount importance.
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) today raised safety concerns with City of Toronto officials regarding a plan that would consider shrinking the overall width of lanes on some roads to as low as three meters.
In public statements city officials have indicated they believe wide lanes promote increased vehicle speed, and speed can be reduced by narrowing lanes as well as create more infrastructure capacity for cyclists and pedestrians.
OTA understands modern policy dynamics of better utilizing road infrastructure for cyclists, but the association is cautioning the city on potential policies that will increase the risks of heavy vehicle collisions with cyclists and other road users. ( See below for OTA’s video on the subject of cyclist-commercial vehicle safety).
The typical width of a commercial truck is 2.6 metres – this measurement excludes the extended mirrors on commercial vehicles (highway traffic act provisions allow mirrors to extend up to 30 centimetres on each side of the vehicle). According to reports, the City of Toronto is considering a default width for curb lanes at 3.2 or4.3 metres depending on the type of road and whether there is a dedicated space for cyclists. Through-lanes may be reduced to 3 or 3.2 metres, based on the size of the road.
OTA is very concerned that, by reducing lane widths, the margin of error between all road users is decreased, increasing risk of contact and collisions. OTA has requested a meeting with the City of Toronto to better understand their plan and convey our industry’s concerns.
For more information or get involved in this issue contact [email protected]