Readers of the Manotick Messenger might have noted that on April 21, I wrote in these pages about the issue of trucks in Manotick. I have an update on my office’s progress on this file which I am happy to share with the community.
As readers know, my team has already succeeded in redirecting some trucks that previously transited through the village along Manotick Main to instead take a road along First Line and Century Road. As I mentioned in my previous article, this is not a full solution; not by a long shot. But it was a first step toward providing some relief.
I have previously discussed how City staff have been unwilling to consider any serious changes to the City’s truck route network (such as removing Manotick Main and Bridge Street from the network) unless structured as part of a comprehensive truck review, and that staff have been unwilling to conduct such a review unless a new bridge is built with Quebec.
It is on this point that I have good news for the community: staff have indicated some willingness to move from this point, acknowledging that the trigger of a bridge to Quebec had little bearing on the truck routes in the south end of our City. Staff are now willing to consider more localized changes to the truck route.
While this may seem like a modest change, it opens the door up for developing a plan to get the trucks out of Manotick. The fate of heavy truck traffic in the village no longer hinges on the absurd standard of a bridge being built with Quebec; it is instead something that staff are willing to consider on its own merits.
To that end, I am advancing an inquiry at the Transportation Committee later in June which asks staff specifically what would need to be done to remove Manotick Main Street and Bridge Street from the City’s truck route network. This will, in effect, commit staff to providing a roadmap, a plan, to get the trucks out of the village.
Once my inquiry is returned with an answer from staff, I will have a clear target to work toward with City staff to remove trucks from the network. That is to say, the fight evolves from designing the policy that will remove trucks from Manotick toward securing the funding for that policy.
Alongside this, I am still working behind the scenes to persuade my Council colleagues and the Mayor of the importance of this file. I am also still advancing more comprehensive truck route review options so that we have a multi-tiered approach toward arriving at a solution. Put simply, all options are on the table, and I am exploring them concurrently to create the greatest chance for success.
Some have reached out to my office frustrated that progress has not been faster. I share that frustration. I believe it is also important to note that I have made more progress on this file in a matter of a few months than has been made in over a decade. This progress may not be as fast as I would like, but these efforts are nonetheless moving us ever closer toward a solution for our village.
To me and my office, it is issue number one. I will not stop working on it until heavy trucks tucks are out of Manotick.