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In today’s paper… the story on the logging truck broadsiding a minivan is pretty frustrating and again illustrates the need for a proper industrial route that includes safety measures and traffic calming measures so that truck drivers, car and minivan drivers, pedestrians and all other road users are safe.

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I brought up this issue a few months ago but it has been bogged down in discussions with Western Forest Products.

Sending heavy industrial traffic like logging trucks but also other heavy trucks willy nilly into our most densely populated and high traffic areas simply isn’t safe.  What the heck was a logging truck doing at the corner of 2nd and Argyle?  Was it going up or down Argyle?  Across Argyle on 2nd?  I honestly don’t know but none of the possibilities make any sense.

What we need is a predictable route, only then can the City properly invest in additional safety and traffic calming measures along that route to boost public safety for all road users, pedestrians, bicyclists, and the like.   We simply don’t have the funds to invest in safety improvements to all possible routes heavy trucks might take.

The quote below from RCMP Corporal Amelia Hayden is official confirmation of the dozens of anecdotal reports I have heard and my own observations of lax observance of traffic laws by heavy truck traffic in the uptown area and other areas around the City including Compton Road, Victoria Quay and others.

“On approach to the intersection, the logging truck slowed down but failed to come to a complete stop at the stop sign…. colliding with the passenger door of the mini van”
In the initial report by the News available on their website they state:
“A family with two small boys was said to be in the minivan.”

Thankfully it appears no one was hurt. Lets not wait for someone to actually be hurt or worse before we act on this pressing issue.

I have previously been in favour of investigating the Waterfront Industrial route and it continues to be under investigation including in this year’s budget, however, as commercial, residential and city re-development continues to gather pace along the waterfront, we are creating conditions for increased potential conflict.  Funnelling all our industrial traffic through the intersection at Argyle and Harbour Road may be detrimental in terms of both safety and future economic opportunity.

I believe a proper examination of the current and future opportunities, including the waterfront industrial road, would show the best, most affordable, and safest long term solution from traffic headed to Ship Creek Road is to ensure all heavy truck traffic uses Anderson.  Anderson residents will have urgent and extremely valid concerns that the City would have to address but addressing those concerns would represent a fraction of the cost compared to the millions needed to build the waterfront route.

It is time for a proper industrial truck network in Port Alberni that confines heavy trucks to a limited number of arterial routes through the City.

For more information about all the options, check out the excellent “Truck Talk” series at the Alberni Valley news website.


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