Self-centred drivers have short-sighted views

The Journal has a feature article today about a survey they organized which shows rush-hour drivers want heavy trucks banned from bridges during rush-hour. The article doesn’t include any interviews with truck drivers or transport companies or anyone else who might provide a balanced perspective.

Had they done so, they might have come up with this simple argument: Truck drivers don’t like rush hour any more than office workers do. They try to arrange their schedules, whenever possible, to avoid high-traffic situations which slow them down and eat into their productivity. When they travel during rush-hour it’s because they don’t have a choice.

The survey, with 71% in favour of creating such a restriction, is also misleading. All drivers want less rush hour traffic. If they could, they’d have everyone but them banned from the road. But if you explain the economic consequences of unnecessary regulation of truck traffic (like higher retail prices), you might start seeing those numbers change.

6 thoughts on “Self-centred drivers have short-sighted views

  1. Francis Vachon

    I saw a sign displayed in a window of a building located on a heavy traffic artery in Quebec City.

    “You are not stuck in the traffic. You ARE the traffic”.

    Funny and true :)

    Reply
  2. blork

    On the other hand, it’s a little bit crazy to make cross-country truck traffic drive right through the middle of a big city. I think we’re the only large city on earth that doesn’t have some kind of “ring road” that lets trucks and other passers-through skirt around the central core.

    If they’d just finish the damn highway 30 on the south shore the problem would be solved.

    Reply
  3. blork

    Good point, and I don’t know. But probably more than you’d think.

    Another spin on the story (“drivers want trucks banned during rush hour”) is “trucks and passers-through want alternative to avoid rush hour traffic jams.”

    Reply
  4. princess iveylocks

    Um, Londontown (ON) doesn’t have a “ring road” either, but whether we’re a large city or not is debatable. Many people (rightly) feel we are a mythical construct stemming from lingering post-colonial angst.

    Anyway, living in London has taught me one important lesson: people don’t walk anywhere when huge construction/utility/delivery/garbage trucks are rattling through the urban streets, spewing soot all over the sidewalks. They drive. And sit in traffic, fuming, for hours, because by God these roads were not intended to handle this many cars, and I damn well have the right to drive my Hummer seven blocks, because God knows I’ve earned it, living in this grimy, polluted, cesspool of filth day in, day out…

    Reply
  5. Andrew Dawson

    I thought that this story was strange too. I work in a wear house and unload/load trucks through out the day.

    Also the idea of a “ring road” or a “beltway” is a bad idea ecologicaly & economicaly, in that this will only produce sprawl, encourage long haul trucking and we don’t need an economic doughnut. In North America what we have isn’t a lack of road space, but more like a lack of controling that road space through means such as tolling or congestion charging(think about a cover charge at a club, but in this case one for a city if you choose to take your car).

    Instead building Autoroute-30 it would be more cost effective and environmentally friendly to restore rail lines on the south shore and run commuter trains and freight trains.

    A good example of what to do would be to follow what the Swiss did with a concept called “Rolling Highway” where trucks drive directly on to a train(as with a ferry) and could bypass entire areas.

    http://www.nationalcorridors.org/df/df12112006b.jpg
    http://www.swissworld.org/en/switzerland/swiss_specials/swiss_trains/rolling_highway/

    In transit, Andrew

    Reply

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