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Public feedback wanted for Windsor truck route study

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The City of Windsor is moving into the third phase of its truck route study in an ongoing effort to help modernize and update the truck route network to adapt to changing city requirements.

City officials said the study will recommend an updated truck route network that better meets the needs of both residents and stakeholders. This is to ensure goods can be moved efficiently and safely to support economic activity and provide essential and valuable services, while also minimizing or managing the negative externalities of goods movement to provide a good quality of life for the community.

“We haven't done an update on our truck road study in a number of years,” said Shawna Boakes, Windsor’s executive director of operations.

Phase three involves public consultations which are scheduled to take place next week.

“What we want to look at is the development in the area. Has anything changed? Are there missing links? Are there links that shouldn't be there? Basically just update it to today's environment in the city,” she said.

Boakes added, “We’re looking for their thoughts on where the trucks are right now versus where they should be, where they could be. Some of the information that we can pass along is why we have certain routes in different places by you know, we're definitely looking for their input as well.”

Two draft network options are being proposed with option one applying to all trucks over 4,500 kg or more gross weight with select limited hours routes, such as only during the daytime hours.

Option two proposes a dual-tier network:

  • Primary routes for all trucks over 4,500 kg (as per the current by-law)
  • Secondary routes restricted to smaller trucks (for example, a maximum of four axles) which would help reduce "cut-through" trips by larger trucks, while still guiding access for smaller vehicles

“One [option] is just a straight up truck route, and that's where any and all trucks could be,” Boakes told CTV News Windsor. “The other option is looking at some limitations. It could be time limited, it could be axle limited. Those are the kinds of things that we're playing around with in those options.”

She continued, “We do have to allow for trucks to get to where they're going. You know, we can't shut down existing businesses by not allowing them to through there, but at least if we can keep the trucks close enough to a major truck route and then they can just peel off for their final destinations, that's what we really want to look at.”

Ford City BIA Chair, Shane Potvin said having transport trucks taken off Drouillard Road has been a long advocated for concern.

“This is a pretty important topic for us here specifically,” Potvin said. “This has been on our minds for 10 plus years.”

Potvin noted, “If we can reduce it to just the traffic of trucks that need to get to where they're going, which will unfortunately always be the case. That's a win for us.”

The study is being conducted by Arcadis, an experienced company in goods movement and truck route studies across Ontario.

The first public drop-in consultation event will take place on April 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at John Muir Library, located at 363 Mill St. in Windsor.

The second event will take place on April 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the WFCU Centre (Michigan/Superior/Huron room), located at 8787 McHugh St.

The truck route study started in July 2023 and is expected to be finished later this spring.

An online questionnaire is also available for the public to provide feedback.

— With files from AM800 News

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