WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) was represented at a D.C. conference this week, where David Bradley called for an end to the “war on trucks” in urban centres.
Bradley was speaking to delegates at the Balancing Freight Movement Needs in Liveable Urban Areas seminar, which was part of the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting.
“It is incredible that so many urban communities that are wholly dependent upon trucking to deliver the consumer goods and necessities of life can be so decidedly anti-truck,” Bradley said. He noted the movement of goods in cities is “at worst viewed as a necessary evil and at best it is taken for granted.”
“Freight transportation is often an after-thought if not for planners then certainly for politicians,” Bradley continued. “We see it in the debate over funding of transit versus roads; in the design of roads and intersections that don’t accommodate modern truck configurations; in the lack of parking for trucks; and inadequate loading/unloading facilities, both old and new.”
Bradley also took aim at several myths about freight movements within city limits, including the argument that more freight should be moved to rail, the perception that trucks are always half empty or that trucks are the main cause of congestion.
“Trucks are not going away,” he said. “So we had better start looking for real solutions.” Bradley added: “Basically, all truckers want is to be able to get into and out of cities quickly, with a minimum of disruption. They want to minimize or reduce the costs of operating in congested urban areas. With the price of fuel and the limits on a driver’s hours of service, that is critical.”
Bradley then left delegates with some recommendations, including: encouraging more off-peak deliveries; clearing traffic of incidents more quickly; and investing in infrastructure strategically to consider options such as truck-only lanes.