Saskatchewan

Regina residents pushing city council to halt semi-truck traffic on 9th Avenue N until road is re-built

The Trucking Association of Sask. says this will add to time and gas needed by truckers.

The Trucking Association of Sask. says this will add to time and gas needed by truckers

Regina resident Mark McFie said 9th Avenue N between the Bypass and Courtney St. isn't meant for heavy truck traffic. He said it has no shoulders and is not wide enough. (Rob Kruk/SRC)

Mark McFie says he has to keep his windows shut in the middle of summer because of the semi-truck noise behind his house. 

He's part of a group of residents asking the City of Regina to ban heavy truck traffic on the narrow road — however, the ban is not because of the noise. Instead, it's the safety, McFie is concerned about. 

"The way it is and the speed limits that you have and there's no shoulders, somebody is going to get seriously hurt or killed on this road," McFie said. "We've heard near misses … It's an accident waiting to happen."

McFie is asking the city council to ban heavy truck traffic until the road is redone with a middle median, shoulders on both sides and the road is built to handle the new traffic from the Regina bypass. 

Regina resident Mark McFie said the road should be doubled and have a shoulder for the heavy trucks that are using it. (Rob Kruk/SRC)

The Saskatchewan Trucking Association said in a statement that it firmly opposes having 9th Avenue N banned as a commercial truck route.

"Removing commercial truck access on this portion of 9th Avenue North will increase travel time, increase carbon emissions, increase fuel consumption and increase overall operational costs for many businesses reliant on essential goods," the statement said. 

The statement said trucks going to Loblaws have been using that route, but closing it would add about 32 kilometres round trip. It also said since the city closed Dewdney Avenue to commercial trucks, 9th Avenue N is the "only logical option" to access the northwest part of Regina. 

Off-ramp came as a surprise

The Saskatchewan Trucking Association said 9th Avenue N is an important trucking route and closing it would mean more driving time for drivers and more gas being used. (Rob Kruk/SRC)

McFie said before the bypass, trucks had been using other routes to get to where they needed to go.

"So they know how to get around it. They're using it as a shortcut and they're using all of us as an excuse to keep them on," McFie said. 

McFie said all the current traffic came as a surprise because when the bypass was originally being planned at a public forum meeting, the design didn't have an off-ramp onto 9th Avenue N.

"We were deceived," McFie said. "We never once were told that it was going to be a heavy truck route. So we were never, ever aware of that until they opened the bypass."

As a result of it not initially planned to be hooked up to the bypass, the road design wasn't where he thought it should be, McFie said.

McFie said he contacted the Minister of Highways and Infrastructure Greg Ottenbreit, Regina mayor Michael Fougere, his local city councillor and his local MLA, Laura Ross. He said Ross did stop by to see the trucks in the backyard, and agreed it was unsafe. 

We already know in this province and I have seen, you know, what kind of damage trucks can do when they hit vehicles.- Mark McFie

"You can bring the trucks back there, as far as I'm concerned," he said. "But you need to build that road properly."

McFie said he wants the road doubled with a median and a berm put up for residents. 

Notice of motion introduced

At the Regina city council meeting on Oct. 6, Ward 9 Councillor Jason Mancinelli introduced a notice of motion to discuss the change at city council. 

Mancinelli's safety adjustment said the new transportation patterns brought by the Regina bypass have endangered safety locally because of the high speeds, nearby housing and design of roads. 

Regina resident Mark McFie said there have been near misses on the road where vehicles have come close to colliding. He said there should be a berm to prevent residents from hearing noise but is mainly concerned about safety. (Rob Kruk/SRC)

The notice of motion also says the cost to fix the roads will exceed $10 million and the funding stream and availability will be decades away. It also said the Government of Saskatchewan has provided a solution that "greatly reduces the danger of the current situation," however, the details were not included in the notice. 

With Mancinelli's notice of motion, a discussion will be held at the Oct. 26 city council meeting. McFie said the local residents have been discussing who will be there to speak on behalf of the neighbourhood. 

"We already know in this province and I have seen, you know, what kind of damage trucks can do when they hit vehicles," McFie said. "We don't want to see that happen."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now