Runaway Truck Tire Highlights Choice: 20-Minute City or Safe Streets

By Jason Leach
Published June 27, 2013

Nothing says nice noon-hour walk through the downtown of a major city like getting nailed by a runaway truck tire.

Police say a large tractor trailer carrying a full load of gravel was eastbound on Main at Walnut Street when the right rear tires came off.

The driver tried to pin the free wheeling tires to the curb. Despite his efforts, the tires continued rolling eastbound to the intersection of Victoria where one tire hit a pedestrian in the leg.

Thank goodness we're a 20-minute city.

I've been saying for years that someone is going to get hurt or killed because of our decision to let transport trucks blast through the city on downtown main streets.

I've asked before and I'll keep asking: when will Hamilton ban through trucks from downtown and have them use our ring freeway system 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 JM (registered) | Posted June 27, 2013 at 13:12:53

....still the best place to raise a child?

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2013 at 08:55:54 in reply to Comment 89778

The best place to raze a child.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 27, 2013 at 13:30:05 in reply to Comment 89778

As long as you don't live in 'Code Red'. We're apparently willing to sacrifice our entire central city so folks whipping through town don't ever have to hit the brakes. 80 seconds of their time is clearly more valuable than the health and economic success of our oldest neighbourhoods.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted June 27, 2013 at 14:58:53

Whoever is doing maintenance on that truck isn't very good at keeping the tires attached, but the alignment was perfect. It's 550 metres from Walnut to Victoria.

On a more serious note, last night at the Complete Streets meeting at FRWY, Steve Molloy spoke about the tension between the concepts of "truck traffic" and "goods movement", arguing that what local residents perceive as undesirable "truck traffic" is necessary to meet local needs for delivery of goods to homes and businesses.

It would be fascinating to know whether this "large tractor trailer" full of gravel was travelling to or from any destination near Main and Walnut. From personal observation I would say that it is overwhelmingly more likely that it had come from the 403 and was heading to a destination considerably further east.

A truck route plan that nudged trucks towards using controlled access highways for as much of their route as possible would reduce the risk of such pedestrian injuries.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 27, 2013 at 21:23:00 in reply to Comment 89786

these guys still don't get it. First of all, most of the transports downtown are just passing through. And the places they are coming to/from are along the 403 and QEW/Burlington St. In other words, right on our ring freeway.

Secondly, I personally don't have a problem with trucks anywhere. But we don't need 5-lane freeways allowing stuff like this to happen. We get 'goods movement'. But it doesn't need to move at 60km an hour, 3 feet from pedestrians.

Here is Roncesvalles Village in Toronto:

I guarantee you this transport never picks up enough speed to send tires flying 500+ meters. Our streets should be designed for the highest and best use - the use that will reap millions of dollars in investment, new taxes, new residents, vibrant neighbourhood etc..... If transports still want to use those streets as their shortcut, more power to them. I bet they won't. Once we turn Cannon, Main and King into normal downtown streets, the trucks will happily use our half-billion $ freeway network.

And even if they don't, we'll still have safe, vibrant streets like Roncey.

Comment edited by jason on 2013-06-27 21:24:42

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By lol all over again (anonymous) | Posted July 01, 2013 at 22:35:49

Any idea where the truck was coming from or going to? Did the driver really avoid the use of highways to cut through the city?

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By brain fairy (anonymous) | Posted July 03, 2013 at 08:18:20 in reply to Comment 89859

Most of the trucks you see on the roads are doing exactly that. The point isn't the destination of this particular truck, it's the fact that we tolerate an increase in proibability of truck related accidents by creating shortcuts through our neighbourhoods. Stop being obtuse.

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By sob all over again (anonymous) | Posted July 02, 2013 at 09:49:19 in reply to Comment 89859

Any idea how fast a truck has to be going for it's tires to break off and roll over half a kilometre?

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By lucy (anonymous) | Posted July 02, 2013 at 18:41:45

the child that the tire hit in hes leg is a cancer survivor i know hwe mother and he stil having troble with the leg they need to band the trucks from dovwtown they should have a route for trucks ... hamilton is realy the best place to raise children ..

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