Sean Burak, a long-time cyclist,has thought it is scary enough to share the road with huge transport trucks, but did not think he would have to share the bike lane with them as well. He had swerved and avoided an eighteen-wheeled truck turning on Cannon Street, even when he was standing in a two-way track dedicated to bikes.
Burak also owns a bike shop in downtown Hamilton and he usually rides to work. He has claimed that trucking in Hamilton is cause for concern as trucks entering the cycle lanes when turning from Wellington Street to Cannon has become “a daily occurrence.”
The cyclist has become worried, and therefore recorded the happenings as a form of visual evidence to present to a committee in Hamilton City Hall. Added to a collection of evidence they will highlight the need to consult the master plan for truck routes. Concerned individuals and residents are advocating for the city to disallow transport trucks from using residential areas as a shortcut to get to the highway. However, from the perspective of the truck drivers, finding the fastest route between destinations is a priority.
Trucks bound for Niagara can simply head east from Burlington Street to QEW, but those who are westward cannot avoid passing through residential areas. Truck divers therefore need to use streets such as Wellington, Cannon, King, and Main in order to get to Highway 403.
Despite this argument, an activist from Environment Hamilton named Beatrice Ekoko reasons that people live and perform their everyday lives within those streets. Volunteers took to counting large vehicles trucking in Hamilton that pass by the residential streets. Wellington sees 18-wheeler trucks every 1.5 minutes during the busiest hours. Others have reported a large transport truck passes through Cannon close to Catharine Street every three minutes during the morning rush hour.
Ekoko also quoted the studies from the University of Toronto that suggests industrial and transport trucks are one of the biggest reasons for poor neighbourhood air quality, which she uses to justify Environment Hamilton’s desire to recreating the route for trucks.
A report from the city takes the issue of recreating the truck routes as a conflict of interest when promoting the quality of livable communities.