As part of its presentation to yesterday's Public Works Committee meeting on the Truck Route Master Plan Study, the Strathcona Community Council included a letter by a tractor trailer operator explaining why he uses Dundurn Street North and offering some insights into the truck route proposal.
I travel from the industrial area in Hamilton to Brantford and back and have found Dundurn to be convenient, but not necessary. Here's why.
Heading south on Dundurn from York is a fairly easy turn. I could go south on Queen instead, but I never have as I envisioned it to be a difficult turn. Today I tested Queen and was surprised to find it a much easier turn than Dundurn. I won't be using Dundurn anymore.
Actually, turning south on Queen isn't even essential anymore, because of the Red Hill Expressway. It takes exactly the same amount of time to take the Red Hill and Linc to access the 403 to Brantford.
Leaving the 403 off ramps to Main to turn left on Dundurn is not worth the trouble. It is difficult to fight cars and bicycles while cutting across lanes to get there. You also need one and a half lanes to make the left turn. It's hard to make car drivers understand this.
Continuing north on Dundurn, the right turn to York is nearly impossible without striking curbs while using a 53" trailer. Also, there is no reason for a truck to head north in the narrow lanes of Dundurn North. There is nothing there that a trucker could want. No industry, nothing, just Dundurn Castle.
Every trucker takes Main and turns left at Victoria or the Linc/Red Hill instead to head back to the industrial area.
The only remaining question is in regards to trucks leaving the small industrial area in the Dundurn South neighbourhood near the Spectator and Beer Store. Northbound trucks will need to continue to turn left on King to access the 403 unless an alternative is offered, and I'm sure there are alternatives.
We already can't drive along King from Victoria to Bay. That's OK. We adapt. That is the life of a trucker, we know that.
Bottom line: There is never any reason for a truck to travel on Dundurn north between King and York in either direction. We truck drivers are professionals who can adapt to any route and we are paid to do so. These days we have GPS that can get us out of any difficult situation. The Dundurn North neighbourhood is a jewel in the lower city. Let's keep it that way.
Mr. Wells' observations - that truckers drive through the city because it's more convenient and that they would choose the city's ring highway if it were less convenient - are a welcome contribution to the debate that strongly support the arguments we have been making on RTH with regards to trucks using city streets as a shortcut.
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