Harding Street residents say transport trucks violate noise bylaw

Residents on a truck route from the Irving Pulp and Paper mill are angry with city hall for continuing to let the noise rattle their homes and disturb their sleep.

West Saint John residents are upset their road is part of the designated route for trucks leaving the city

Residential Harding Street in west Saint John is a major designated truck route. (CBC)

Residents on a truck route from the Irving Pulp and Paper mill are angry with city hall for continuing to let the noise rattle their homes and disturb their sleep.

One resident of Harding Street in west Saint John says people on his street are not being treated like other taxpayers in the area.

"I sleep with earplugs," said Geoff Keating, who made a presentation to council this week.

Harding is an all-residential street but part of a designated route for trucks, including those from the nearby Irving mill, to reach Route 100 and get out of the city.

Decades ago, the truck route ran along Harding Street to Fairville Boulevard, up to Manawagonish Road and over to Ocean Westway, before exiting onto the highway, according to Keating's report.

When the Harbour Bridge opened in the 1960s, Manawagonish Road residents were spared having their windows shaken by trucks, but Harding Street wasn't so lucky, he said.

"They're going to run trucks down Harding Street forever," he said.- Geoff   Keating

He bought his apartment in the 1980s, unaware of the noise problem. Now he feels he's stuck.

"Didn't know Harding Street was the way it was," he told council. "Moved in [and] had a big surprise."

Coun. Blake Armstrong said at some unspecified point in time, the designated route included driving down Ready Street instead, just one street over from Harding.

Ready street provides a less cumbersome path to the highway, Armstrong said.

Residents on that street have also complained of noise and have called for an overhaul of the city's truck routes.

Long-term plans suggested 

The councillor suggested city staff investigate to see if the route could revert back to Ready Street, which because Harding only allows traffic one way, returning trucks have to use anyway.

Keating wasn't too optimistic about the suggestion.

"They're going to run trucks down Harding Street forever," he said.

"I realize not much can be done."

Simms Corner a possibility

Long-term plans suggested by both Keating and council called for reworking Simms Corner and allowing trucks to drive directly onto NB-100 East.

Keating also asked council to add signs to the area and to paint a crosswalk through Simms Corner to help pedestrians.

While council agreed no immediate solution was available to act on Monday night, staff will investigate whether any short, medium or long-term plans can help alleviate the disturbances.

City staff will report back to council at the end of April.