Canada's biggest city ponders truck ban during rush hour

| Thursday, February 02, 2006

The City Council in Toronto, Ontario, is considering whether to ban truck deliveries at peak traffic times in the busy downtown core.

Toronto is not only a big city, but it is an old city, with narrow streets and alleyways.

City Councilor Michael Walker was expected this week to propose that the city tow away trucks blocking traffic for deliveries from 7 to 10 a.m., and 3 to 6 p.m.

The Ontario Trucking Association and the Owner-Operators’ Business Association of Canada, two associations that don’t always see eye-to-eye on trucking issues because their constituency differs within the industry, issued separate statements against the proposed Toronto truck ban.

“Delivery schedules are not established by the trucking industry,” David Bradley, president of OTA, said in a media statement. “Our customers – in this case the businesses located in the downtown core – dictate when and where our trucks pick up and deliver goods.”

Bradley said few businesses have staff around the clock to ship and receive goods.

OBAC Executive Director Joanne Ritchie told Land Line she echoes the OTA statement on this issue.

“The trucks are on demand,” she said. “They’re only there because that’s what the customer wants.”

Both Bradley and Ritchie said they would welcome off-peak delivery times if customers wanted to move in that direction, but they would not support the proposed truck ban.

Bradley added that cars are the major contributors to the congestion problems in downtown Toronto, and until the city does more to get more people car-pooling and using public transit, the issue will not get solved.

– David Tanner, staff writer