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Hamilton council urged to focus on Vision Zero as it reviews truck routes

A Hamilton city councilor issued an emotional appeal as the city launches a review of its designated truck routes.
A Hamilton city councilor issued an emotional appeal as the city launches a review of its designated truck routes. Ken Mann/CHML

Ward 1 Councillor Maureen Wilson has issued an emotional appeal as the city launches a review of its designated truck routes.

Wilson has urged colleagues and staff to remember Herman Ohrt, a cyclist who was struck and killed by a cement truck in August 2018, at the intersection of King and Queen Streets.

Wilson adds that she will only support the terms of reference, for what is expected to be an 18-month review of the Truck Route Master Plan, if council ensures “that we have a city that is built for people, not trucks.”

She says that means carrying out the review and evaluating options against Hamilton’s vision “to be the best place to raise a child and age successfully.”

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Local residents, cyclists, business improvement areas and environmentalists have also appeared before a city subcommittee to demand changes to the inner city network of truck routes.

Aligned under the social media banner Truck Route Reboot Hamilton, @TruckRebootHam, they insist there’s no reason for trucks to “shortcut” on designated streets like Queen, King, Main, Cannon, and Wellington to get to Highway 403.

They argue that trucks travelling into and out of the city’s industrial core should be required to take Burlington Street/Nicola Tesla Boulevard to the QEW, in order to access the highway system.

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Downtown Councillor Jason Farr is backing their call and has convinced members of the subcommittee to add $100,000 to the budget for the review to ensure the widest possible public consultation.

That additional funding will be drawn from the city’s red-light camera reserve.

A staff report has framed the review as a balancing act between the goal of creating livable neighbourhoods and the goal of promoting economic growth through the attraction and retention of business and industry.

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