Truck ban on Petrolia Line inches closer

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Lambton County wants to know what you think about keeping commercial trucks off Petrolia Line.

For years, municipal politicians have complained about the number of transports carrying everything from oil to grain to gravel rolling through the downtown. They’re concerned about pedestrian safety and the state of the local roads which they say deteriorate more quickly with the heavy traffic. A recent study shows one transport passing on a roadway is the equivalent to 16,000 cars using it.

Petrolia officials have tried to divert traffic themselves, meeting with officials from Suncor’s ethanol plant where many of the trucks are destined. But the problem has persisted.

At one point, the county did consider banning truck traffic on Petrolia Line, but the issue was dropped abruptly.

Town council has continued to push for ban with Mayor John McCharles just recently raising the issue at a Lambton County Committee meeting asking if the issue had “fallen off the table.”

Now, Jason Cole, director of public works, says the county is considering banning commercial vehicles from Oil Heritage Line to Mandaumin Road.

“There are concerns that trucks using the road as a transportation corridor are no longer compatible with the pedestrian and local traffic accessing community services, retail areas and residential homes,” says Cole.

And he’s now looking to hear what people think of the idea.

The county has outlined the proposal in an advertisement in The Independent and Cole is hoping to hear from residents, truck drivers and effected businesses about what they think of the plan.

“We’re asking people to review and comment on it,” says Cole adding there won’t be a public meeting. The county will accept letters, emails, and phone calls about the possible truck ban. “We sent notices to specific agency and companies that use those roadways and some of the agencies helping to manage this.

“I’m sure I’ll hear concerns from truckers who want to get into town but those who are delivering to town or picking up will still be able to use the downtown.”

Cole says the county has been trying to divert trucks from Petrolia Line for some time now using signs, without much luck. With the construction now, the transports have been forced to find alternative routes. And that may help, says Cole.

The proposed bylaw would have fines attached to it and Cole says the county will “work through it with the OPP and the town to determine exactly options for enforcement are available and how those would be managed.

“We do have other sections of roadways that have these restrictions on them like Lakeshore Road. We have managed them with the OPP’s help in the past.”

You have until Dec. 14 to submit your comments to Cole including by email at Jason.cole@county-lambton.on.ca.

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