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Eight Compelling Reasons a Truck Route in this Area is Inappropriate.
Subject: City of Hamilton TRMP – Comments and Feedback
Dear City Staff and Elected Representatives,
We recently became aware of proposed changes to rural truck routes as part of the City of Hamilton TRMP. We understand that this is a community-wide planning effort and that there may also be issues in other neighbourhoods that the City is evaluating. However, the potential impacts of this draft plan will certainly affect my neighbourhood on the northwest corner of the City northeast of Highway 6. One such proposed change involves designating Concession 11E and Milburough Line as a truck route. We live in the area affected by the proposed route and we want to be clear that we are strongly opposed to such a change for the following reasons:
1. Road Conditions
Milburough Line is a narrow, serpentine road with large rocks, narrow or non-existent shoulders featuring large heritage trees and has a ‘corduroy’ sub-surface construction to facilitate wetland migration. Milburough Line also has a grade-level crossing of the CN Railroad with only flashing light warnings. Concession 11E is characterized by large hills, narrow shoulders, horse farms and narrow bridges. Both roads have multiple blind spots and follow a rolling ground line creating hidden dips and sharp curves that reduce sight lines and make the roads unsafe for regular truck traffic. The corner of Concession 11E and Milburough Line is very problematic given the inadequate turning radius for large trucks.
We fear for the safety of children waiting for buses, cyclists (Milburough Line is a heavily used bike route), walkers (who must walk in the roadway itself), runners, dog walkers and people accessing postal boxes across the road from homes. There are many horse farms in the area necessitating animal transportation as well as a greenhouse and roadside fruit/vegetable/plant stands. Lawson Park, a retreat for weekly, monthly, or seasonal campers, operates from May to October and is situated at the creek on Concession 11E. Campers frequently enter and exit the park with limited visibility.
This area features multiple watershed/habitat migration routes and large old growth heritage trees. Potential impacts exist for the Freelton Esker Wetland Complex, The Mountsberg East Wetlands and the Carlisle North Forest. Excessive salt on the roads will impact local species at risk. Escarpment outcroppings will require blasting to straighten the road on Milburough Line. The spring thaw on Milburough Line results in frequent flooding and speaks to the inadequate road substructure.
The proposal is apparently designed to move existing truck traffic from Carlisle Road to Concession 11E and Milburough Line. Carlisle Road should have never been made a truck route. But alleviating that wrong by pushing traffic to an unsuitable rural location is simply bad policy. Two wrongs never make a right. Noise/truck decibel levels/air brakes all devastate the natural character of these beautiful Hamilton & Halton rural roads. In our view, neither the City as a whole, nor neighbouring communities, would see any benefit from disrupting this neighbourhood by designating a truck route through it.
Existing and potential Archeologically significant aboriginal sites along the proposed route need to be respected. Their existence makes large road construction projects inappropriate.
It is unfortunate that the community has not been provided with comprehensive data that reflects current truck traffic nor projected truck traffic. The draft report provides no apparent justification (new truck-intensive development plans, or existing development) for imposing costly and dangerous new truck traffic on a pristine rural community. Limited information, provided after the recent meeting, projects an average of two truck trips per hour which cannot justify designating a corridor as suitable for such a major traffic change. Designation of a truck route as proposed along Concession 11E and Milburough Line could be seen as encouraging major land use changes from rural residential and agriculture to heavy truck traffic uses not contemplated in City, or neighbouring community, master plans. Suitable truck routes already exist to accommodate truck traffic on this far edge of the City.
Alterations of the roads to make them suitable for truck traffic will cost millions of dollars. If the estimation of truck traffic (noted above) is accurate, it makes one wonder why the City of Hamilton, currently struggling with a massive infrastructure deficit, would spend so heavily to fundamentally alter the character of two pristine rural roads for the sake of 2 trucks every hour? To date, it does not appear that an effective cost/benefit analysis has been conducted or that information has not been shared with the community. It will indeed cost millions of dollars to remediate these two roads, widen bridges, remove heritage trees, blast huge boulders, rebuild road substructure and widen 5 kms of road. Not to mention the land expropriation that would be required to straighten Milburough Line. All this for what amounts to 2 truck trips an hour? It makes no economic sense.
8. The Future
This has the potential to be ‘the thin edge of the wedge’. Once this route is established, what stops the City from pushing more truck traffic down this route? The answer: Absolutely nothing. Which is why it must be stopped now.
Please log my opposition to this proposal and provide me confirmation of this email.