Transportation

More Mischief with Downtown Trucks

By Jason Leach
Published November 06, 2009

A truck sideswipes a minivan at the corner of York and Queen Streets. It looks like the truck came out of the second turn lane into the first.

Truck/van collision at corner of York and Queen Streets
Truck/van collision at corner of York and Queen Streets

When will Hamilton ban downtown trucks and have them use our freeways like a normal city?

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By madmatt (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 13:22:55

With the Red Hill Exp,the Linc, Burlington St and 403, there is no reason for heavy transports to be using city streets unless they are making a local delivery. One of the big reasons for building the Red Hill/Linc was to provide a bypass for these vehicles so make them use it!!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 06, 2009 at 13:49:08

You don't even need to ban trucks from downtown streets. You just need to make it less convenient for them to use those streets as a shortcut across town. Convert all downtown streets to two-way, one lane each direction, with curbside parking on variable price meters calibrated to maintain 15% vacancy, and the truck problem will go away. As an added bonus, the streets will become far more pedestrian-friendly and local business-friendly.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 13:58:47

Ryan, we can't do that. That would result in an influx of new businesses along our main streets downtown. The Chamber of Commerce would never allow that.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 14:15:02

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 14:34:02

the police were already on scene and my statement above was "it looks like the truck...."

Perhaps the van was to blame, but looking at the photo it sure appears as though each vehicle was in their turning lane. Regardless, if this was two mini-vans it would be a fender-bender, but since we encourage transport trucks in our downtown core, it turns into the crumpling of the front of a van.
This was at lunch hour as well with several kids crossing the street for nearby schools and folks coming and going from the Asian shops along York.

I've long opposed the allowance of transport trucks in our downtown residential neighbourhoods and am not ashamed one bit to highlight this disastrous situation any chance that I get. I was once almost killed by a truck the flipped onto it's side half a block in front of me on Dundurn North. I was walking (no I wasn't wearing an ipod, the spec will be disappointed to know) on the sidewalk and the truck lost control and flipped onto the sidewalk. Same thing happened to my neighbour and their small child walking down York. Both were narrow misses. One of these days it won't be a narrow miss and I plan on pulling out my collection of emails to police and the city spanning several years warning of such danger.
If you want to allow your kids to play on the shoulder of a freeway, be my guest. Most of us don't.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 15:00:10

The trucks need two lanes to turn (as indicated by the wide turns stickers typically seen, although not in this case). I would guess it's probably a case of the van zipping through (but the truck should have been aware of that). In either case, the street's use as a throughfare plays a role.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 15:04:15

@JonC Not sure if you know that intersection but there are two turning lanes, if the truck can't turn inside it's own lane IT SHOULDN'T BE TRYING TO GO UP QUEEN.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 15:47:21

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By JonC (registered) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 18:50:22

Those trucks always need two lanes to turn a 90 degree angle. Look at how long they are, anyone that's ever watched one turn would observe that. The truck is allowed there as long as the law allows it. I'm not saying it makes sense, but unless the city has banned trucks on that route, that's how anyone would expect a truck to turn onto that route.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted November 06, 2009 at 20:25:58

It looks to me that the van is at fault.

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By Balance (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2009 at 00:48:22

It is absurd to use this as propaganda to eliminate trucks from the downtown core. The driver of the SUV got what they deserved for being an aggressive driver. Give the truck driver a break, they were simply trying to make a left hand turn when the SUV driver oblivious to everyone but themself snuck up beside. When I see such a vehicle I try to picture myself as the driver and give the transport truck the room it requires.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 07, 2009 at 08:17:09

Jon C - "I'm not saying it makes sense, but unless the city has banned trucks on that route, that's how anyone would expect a truck to turn onto that route."

EXACTLY. I make the turn several times per week and have no problem staying in my turning lane (for those unfamiliar with this intersection and it sounds like there are several, there are two turning lanes side by side).

The fact that a truck can't make an urban corner in downtown Hamilton makes my point even stronger. We've spent over $1 billion on freeways in Hamilton in recent years - it's time to start using them properly!

As a downtown resident who spends literally all of my time and money downtown I'll never stop crusading for a safer, pedestrian/child friendly downtown.

A new truck route master plan is being prepared right now and from what I can tell, the only change in this area is banning trucks on Dundurn from King to York. When will Hamilton stop acting like it's 1950 and tell these trucks to use our highways?? They have no need to use York/Cannon or Main other than LOCAL delivery.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2009 at 11:40:08

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 07, 2009 at 13:39:51

half of my work trips last week were on public transit. Today all of my trips were on foot.

Please find something constructive to add to the discussion.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2009 at 16:42:43

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By geoff's two cents (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2009 at 21:09:09

Jason, thanks for writing. Ryan et al, I'm truly liking this comment threshold system.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 08, 2009 at 10:01:53

Capitalist,

Your deep personal enmity toward Jason is well-established, but this latest comment is outrageous even by your standards.

It is no kind of hypocrisy to point out that public transit is currently not fast and convenient enough to meet most people's primary transportation needs, and to advocate for more high quality transit that more people will use more often, while using it wherever possible in combination with other modes (including walking, cycling and driving).

You have, on occasion, demonstrated an ability and a willingness to discuss issues with civility and respect in your RTH comments. It's deeply disappointing to see you regress back to the mean in this case.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 12:04:43

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 12:44:38

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 12:54:03

Capitalist, I"ve never said a thing about global warming.

Also, Hamilton's urban core/lower city is the 3rd most dense in Canada. Transit was the backbone that Hamilton developed around. It will work again once we give it priority instead of 5-lane truck freeways with timed lights and crap transit options.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 13:16:03

So if parking was twenty dollars a day in downtown Hamilton, how fast would the "capitalist" be changing his story about public transit?

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By Fail (anonymous) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 16:27:37

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 16:40:04

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 18:46:53

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 20:47:26

Capitalist: It would seem the Jason is correct, as the HSR was a private business for many years. It was the advent of vehicles, meaning that more people bought cars that caused ridership to decrease.

Maybe you are too young or maybe you were not even born here in Hamilton. to know its history.

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By Jonathan Dalton (registered) | Posted November 08, 2009 at 21:01:07

Speaking of downtown trucks, did anyone see the 'Keep Hamilton Rolling' sign outside of Mixed Media? Hilarious.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 09, 2009 at 08:35:02

Capitalist: "light rail in this city will be a bust."

QFT. I hope your still around in a few years when you get proved wrong about this.

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By frank (registered) | Posted November 09, 2009 at 09:16:28

Good golly Miss Molly! I agree with Jason and Ryan. Ryan's approach is great. The only problem with banning trucks downtown is that we need to bring in the material & machines to build better transit and buildings downtown. I think it's possible to use a permit system in those cases. I'm all for it. I hate the feeling of driving or walking downtown with transport trucks flying by - small delivery trucks only thank you very much. Build a stinking warehouse up in your Aerotropolis heaven and run smaller trucks into the core from there.

As far as the accident itself goes, that truck has no business turning that sharp. Also if I'm not mistaken, the stickers on the trucks say "Wide Right Turn" which makes sense. If said trucker was turning into his proper lane there (the second one or even the far right lane (Queen is 3 lanes there I believe) he wouldn't be where he is. It does look like he's trying to turn from the right hand turn lane into the first lane of traffic. Oh, and btw, that corner isn't even 90 degrees in fact it's closer to 135. Any idiot with a browser and the ability to navigate to google maps should be able to figure that out.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 09, 2009 at 09:25:45

frank said - "Any idiot with a browser and the ability to navigate to google maps should be able to figure that out."

Unless your a troll.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted November 09, 2009 at 15:18:39

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 10, 2009 at 09:29:17

Ryan, this website loses credibility when it fades out people's comments. Just what is the purpose of this??

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 10, 2009 at 09:51:35

Capitalist wrote:

this website loses credibility when it fades out people's comments.

The general consensus seems to be that the site gains credibility when it fades comments that use rude or insulting language, are needlessly inflammatory, seek to provoke an emotional reaction from others, are attempts to disrupt and derail the discussion, or abuse evidence and reasoning to defend an unjustifiable conclusion.

Just what is the purpose of this?

Please see:

  • http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1527
  • http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1530

A few notes:

  1. Comments don't start fading until the score is lower than -2.
  2. Comments never fade all the way to white, so they are always accessible.
  3. If you have a registered RTH user account, you can optionally disable comment fading.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 10, 2009 at 12:46:08

"Comments never fade all the way to white, so they are always accessible."

Then what is the point of doing this? I am more likely to read someones comments when I see that it is fading away. It heightens the curiosity of just what they wrote.

If someone wrote something that was rude or inflammatory just ignore it and move on.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 10, 2009 at 12:50:01

I am more likely to read someones comments when I see that it is fading away.

By all means, go for it. That's why it doesn't fade away completely.

If someone wrote something that was rude or inflammatory just ignore it and move on.

Comment fading makes it easier to do this, because a) readers can reply with the down arrow and b) readers can see that the community already rejects an inappropriate comment, so they don't feel obliged to challenge it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 10, 2009 at 22:43:53

Grassroots, the history of transit systems in North America ends up being another sad tale of the oil/auto lobby swaying government to their product at the expense of all others. Oil companies bought many US transit systems and dismantled them in order to create a market for private cars. I caught myself listening to 3 minutes of the 'Scott Thompson' show today on CHML and he said something to the effect of Canada having developed around the car, and not rail like Europe. I'm paraphrasing, but that was his point. Wrong. Canadian cities absolutely had tremendous rail systems that were the mode of transportation for decades. Sadly many cities followed the lead of their US counterparts and dismantled world class streetcar systems (including Hamilton) in order to use dirty diesel buses and make way for more cars. The only reason transit systems dont' turn a profit now is because the auto/oil cartel got the government to invade the free market and force bad urban design upon our cities in order to create a false market for their product. Even with trillions of tax dollar subsidies and the complete destruction of fabulous transportation systems in North American cities, the auto industry is on it's deathbed. Only now are we slowly seeing a rebuild of urban streetcar systems in North America. We've come full circle, destroyed a lot of wonderful urban neighbourhoods and made a small few folks billions of dollars along the way, but perhaps have learned our lesson....for now.....

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By Capialist (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2009 at 10:03:37

"Oil companies bought many US transit systems and dismantled them in order to create a market for private cars"

"The only reason transit systems dont' turn a profit now is because the auto/oil cartel got the government to invade the free market and force bad urban design upon our cities in order to create a false market for their product"

@Jason

Your dillusion never ceases to amaze me. What else do you believe in:
- the earth was created 5000 years ago
- unicorns, lepraucons
- 911 was a jewish plot?
- nostradamus?

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 11, 2009 at 10:59:54

NCL was a 'company' of GM, Standard Oil and several other auto/oil companies. They existed for one purpose - to purchase transit systems, dismantle electric rail and replace the streetcars with GM supplied buses.

http://sbcglobalpwp.att.net/w/i/willvdv/...

You must be from the States where anything other than the government line is considered a 'conspiracy'.

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By Go Cats (aka Capitalist) (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2009 at 15:17:37

Jason, I am not from the states. I was born and live in Hamilton.

As people became more affluent they abandoned public transit for the comfort and convienience of the automobile. The only conspiracies are floating in your head!

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 11, 2009 at 17:35:09

great rebuttal. you got me.

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