No Truck With Trucks

By Jason Leach
Published June 03, 2005

This story didn't make CH news last night or today's Spec (probably because nobody was hurt or killed), so allow me to fill you in on the latest truck mishap in my neighbourhood.

Yesterday afternoon, a transport coming up York Blvd. at Locke St. was either cut off or had someone slam the brakes in front of him. In the driver's attempt to avoid a collision, the truck lost its entire load of steel.

This is a very busy area for walkers, cyclists and families like mine out with our young ones, heading to Dundurn Park, Victoria Park or the Bayfront. Luckily, nobody was hurt or killed.

Hamilton has just spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to build new highways (the Lincoln Alexander Expressway (Linc), new Hwy 6, and the Red Hill Expressway). There is absolutely no reason trucks from the bayfront industrial area should be allowed to use Main St., York Blvd., Queen St., Dundurn St., and King St. to shortcut their way to the 403.

I fear that in typical Hamilton fashion we are going to sit back until somebody's child is killed in one of these accidents.

I have only lived in this neighbourhood for 22 months and this is the second crash like this I've seen. Who knows how many more happen throughout the downtown that we never hear about, since the news obviously doesn't cover them.

Last summer, I was walking down Dundurn St, to the Staircase Cafe when a transport carrying huge steel pipes the entire length of its trailer tipped over and all the pipes came crashing down on the sidewalk just past the Staircase. I watched in horror and couldn't help but realize how close I was to death had I been two blocks further ahead.

This is a public safety issue and one of the biggest obstacles to the redevelopment of our downtown/inner city. Trucks should be forced to use Burlington St. and Industrial Dr. to the QEW/Red Hill/Linc if they want to access the westbound 403. In the meantime, they should be told to take the Skyway back to the 403.

I'm willing to bet that not much time is saved by coming down Burlington St to Wellington/Cannon/Queen or Dundurn to King West as thousands of vehicles do everyday. Highway driving is much quicker and safer for these huge trucks. For Hwy 6 north or QEW Toronto, the same Skyway route is more than sufficient.

Trips to Nanticoke may be the toughest for now, since Victoria/Wellington/Upper James makes sense. Nevertheless, I'd like to see the city begin planning for when Red Hill opens so that becomes their truck route to Hwy 6 immediately when that new highway opens.

This a public safety issue, but it's also one small way of bringing some real benefits to downtown residents who see absolutely no benefit from Red Hill.

Getting all these trucks off our downtown streets would be a huge boost to our quality of life. My wife and I have to rearrange the pictures hanging in our home every couple of weeks due to the constant shaking day and night from these trucks roaring down York St.

And speed is a problem on York/Cannon and Main/King. As yesterday proved, whenever there is an accident, it has all the potential for deady results with thousands of pounds of steel flying onto local sidewalks and front lawns.

We need to make this a priority in our city before one of us gets killed.

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 dg (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2012 at 16:20:59

The reason for the high volume of commercial traffic on York street is largely due to the fact that trucks are not allowed to drive in the downtown core...they gotta drive somewhere. right?

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