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Toronto’s Plan for Narrower Lanes May Be Risky: OTA

Posted: December 2, 2014

TORONTO – The City of Toronto is considering narrowing some street lanes to slow down drivers and make the streets safer, but the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) cautions that lane width might increase the risk of collisions.

“[We are] very concerned that, by reducing lane widths, the margin of error between all road users is decreased, increasing risk of contact and collisions,” the OTA stated.

The city’s plan considers shrinking the width of lanes on select roads to as narrow as three meters. The lanes will be narrowed by adding bike lanes or widening sidewalks, so lanes are between three and 4.3 metres wide.

City officials have said wide lanes promote increased vehicle speed and speed can be reduced by narrowing lanes as well as create more infrastructure capacity for cyclists and pedestrians.

If you were to hop out of your truck and measure it, you’d find that the typical truck is 2.6 meters wide, not counting extended mirrors. The narrower lanes would give a commercial vehicle little room to play with or turn in.

And if you’ve ever driven in Toronto, you probably know that some of the narrowed lanes are already in place on streets such as Danforth and University Avenues.

The changes will be implemented over the next few years as part of road restoration projects across the city. Reports claim that in areas with scarce bicycle and pedestrian traffic, lanes will be narrowed by adding a median.

The OTA has requested a meeting with the City of Toronto to better understand the city’s plan and voice truckers’ concerns.

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