Tow away Brink's, Canada Post trucks clogging traffic, says John Tory

John Tory says as mayor he would start towing vehicles making deliveries in Toronto during rush hour, including Canada Post trucks.

Mayoral candidate says deliveries on major arteries are 'inconvenient and frustrating'

John Tory says as mayor he would start towing vehicles making deliveries in Toronto during rush hour, including Canada Post trucks.

Tory has identified congestion as a major hurdle for Toronto, and says he is looking at all its contributing factors. Delivery trucks and construction were his focus on Thursday morning, revealing more details of his plan to ease gridlock in the city.

Tory says he recognizes "business is business," but it's unfair to the rest of the city that a delivery be made during rush hour, blocking the traffic for the rest of the city. He says the best way to combat this is to enforce the existing laws.

He says he would start with Canada Post trucks making deliveries, and then an armoured Brink's truck.

"It just takes a few vehicles to be towed away to get the attention of these companies," the candidate said. "You tow away a truck full of money and people get the message."

Tory would not introduce new ideas to keep tow trucks from clogging the lanes. The city, he says, already has both the tools and ideas to help solve the problem. "Look at the laws and enforce the laws," he says about towing delivery vehicles. 

He says council came up with a plan to only allow delivery times outside of rush hour, and to create special parking spots for deliveries that weren't on major arteries. But it has not acted on these.

"This is an example of the city not following through on its own good ideas," he says. "It just hasn't really been done."

24-7 construction work

He says construction is another problem. He says this is a matter of better coordination. He would personally take charge of organizing construction by launching and chairing a construction coordination committee.

He identifies around the clock work on street construction as a way to get projects and upgrades done faster, vowing "more work on a 24-hour basis using shift work."

He also says the city currently "tears up every street in the same area", creating traffic hot spots in certain areas. 

"This is a source of great frustration," he says. "We need to start taking action to get this city moving and I intend to do that."

'Cheap talk'

Tory rival Olivia Chow says she's heard this before. "Months into the election, John Tory's rhetoric on congestion is still very similar to Rob Ford's," she explains in a statement released after the Tory announcement.

Chow points out neither candidate has a plan for cycling in Toronto, even though bike ridership is skyrocketing.

Meanwhile the mayor lashed out at Tory, calling his announcement "more cheap talk."

"Hitting people who drive cars with higher fines and towing their vehicles is not the solution to Toronto’s gridlock problems. Creating new committees to study traffic is also not the answer," says Ford.

"This doesn’t sound like a man who understands gridlock."