June 18, 2020
Mayor & Council
City of Thunder Bay
Dear Mayor Mauro & Members of City Council:
DESIGNATED TRUCK ROUTE BY-LAW 73/2020
Under the City’s Procedural By-law, the Chamber of Commerce is not eligible to make a further deputation on the above By-law during the June 22, 2020 Council meeting. As it has been one-year since our original presentation on the By-law, it may be helpful to remind you of our long-standing concerns with the Designated Truck Route.
Local businesses and economies around the world are facing unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the hundreds of businesses that will be impacted by the implementation of this By-law have been forced to close or significantly adjust their operations in recent months and are now facing uncertain futures due to increased costs and reduced revenues.
It is through this lens of financial insecurity in our business community, that I outline the Chamber’s on-going concerns with the proposed By-law:
• Increased fuel & maintenance costs, time, distance and carbon outputs for business deliveries;
• Weight restricted streets proposed on Red River Road, Strand Ave, Regina Ave, and Picadilly Ave are unnecessary and add complexity that is not supportive of business success;
• Weight restrictions on Arthur Street reduce access to numerous truck dependent businesses, will increase operating costs, and may result in reduced business revenues and job losses;
• Safety implications of adding 500 – 1,000 trucks per day (55% of which travel between 8am and 6pm) to Thunder Bay Expressway and Kakabeka Falls;
• The By-law as written will apply to transport trucks but also to cube vans, 5 tonne trucks and may be applicable to RVs and other trailers;
• Lack of evidence identifying problems with current policy using COTB collision data; and,
• Lack of clarity regarding implementation and enforcement.
The minor amendments that have been included in proposed By-law 73/2020 do not address our continued concerns; rather, the addition of exemptions for some deliveries but not all serves only to add further complexity for business to comply and for the police to enforce this By-law.
Based on these numerous concerns and in light of our significant economic challenges, the Chamber of Commerce is vigorously opposed to By-law 73/2020. We ask you to vote against this proposal.