Transport truck ban not advised on busy Saint John streets
A request to ban transport trucks from some of Saint John's busiest streets isn't getting much traction.
Coun. Bill Farren said in August that he wants the existing truck routes through city streets to be closed as soon as the One Mile House interchange opens in November.
But a new report to Saint John common council says those routes should not be declared off-limits to trucks in the short-term.
The report — prepared by the traffic engineer, deputy commissioner, and commissioner with the city's transportation department — suggests the city isn't ready to force trucks off the existing routes until it completes a city-wide strategic plan for transportation.
No date is set for the study.
I'm just hoping that when they change it the breathing of the children will get better.- Norma White, Crown Street resident
The transportation officials expect the new overpass and throughway exit will draw most trucks away from city streets, including Crown Street and City Road.
"Staff and the Traffic Unit of the Saint John Police Force will work together to communicate to all local trucking companies when the [One Mile House] interchange is to be opened, reminding them of the improved access to the east side industrial area via the interchange and required use of designated truck routes," the report stated.
Neighbours complain about noise, fumes
The interim measures are unlikely to satisfy Coun. Farren.
"Everyone should know what truck routes will be eliminated from what streets to ease the traffic, and what it means to taxpayers, as to what pressure will be taken off the city's infrastructure by eliminating the same truck routes," he said.
Norma White, a Crown Street resident, said that decision can't come soon enough. She said the thunder of heavy trucks passing by her townhouse is almost constant, but she is mainly worried about the fumes emitted when the trucks idle at a nearby traffic light.
"I'm just hoping that when they change it, the breathing of the children will get better," she said.
Sherry LaPierre, a neighbour, said she also won't miss the trucks.
"There's quite a few accidents on that road," she said. "Kids cross but they don't always use the crosswalk."
The truck route report will be discussed at the next council meeting Monday night.
The One Mile House highway interchange involves a series of overpasses that will lead to the Bayside Drive industrial area. It was meant to divert increased truck traffic expected from a second oil refinery.
Irving Oil Ltd. cancelled its plans to build the refinery, but the interchange still went ahead.
Provincial transportation officials have said the final price tag on the One Mile House project in Saint John is $74-million — approximately 70 per cent more than originally planned.