Puslinch seeks more information about truck trips originating in Guelph

PUSLINCH – Puslinch council is not satisfied with the City of Guelph’s response to a letter the mayor sent in September regarding truck trips originating in Guelph and other transportation items.

In the Sept. 3 letter, Puslinch Mayor James Seeley identified a few concerns, including:

– truck traffic entering the township from Victoria Road south of Clair Road;

– changes to Guelph’s road network that mean more traffic heading to Aberfoyle (as it relates to the Gordon Street centre lane plan);

– potential future increases from the Clair Maltby Secondary Plan if traffic is not directed to the Hanlon Expressway;

– consideration for extension of the truck prohibition on Gordon Road south of Clair Road to Maltby Road;

– interest in participating in Guelph’s Transportation Master Plan; and

– requesting additional police enforcement of heavy truck restrictions south of Clair Road towards Puslinch.

Terry Gayman, general manager/city engineer for the City of Guelph’s Engineering and Transportation Services, responded by saying required truck prohibition signs are in place on Victoria Road and city staff have reached out to Guelph Police Services for enforcement resources.

He also said the centre turn lane on Gordon Street would be located between Edinburgh Road and Lowes Road and is not expected to impact traffic volumes in Puslinch.

“The city also notes, the MTO continues to develop future plans to improve the Hanlon Expressway, which could alleviate some of the north-south traffic from Gordon Street, thereby reducing traffic flows towards Aberfoyle,” Gayman wrote.

He continued to say that the Clare-Maltby Secondary Plan: Transportation Master Plan study was completed in 2009 and projects 660 vehicles per hour (conservative projection) in the afternoon peak time on Gordon Street/Brock Road by 2031.

He also said the City of Guelph is currently working on the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) to develop a network analysis of problems and opportunities based on transportation model projections.

“During the engagement window, the city’s project staff are available to meet for further discussion with township staff, should there be a desire for input into the TMP,” Gayman wrote.

Councillor John Sepulis asked for Guelph staff to come to Puslinch council to give an overview of their plans.

“So at least we have it available for our residents to look at,” Sepulis said.

However, Seeley cut in before staff could answer and said the city didn’t address his request that they extend the restriction on heavy truck traffic on Gordon Road south of Clair Road to Maltby Road.

“I looked at the sign the other day,” Seeley said. “It’s 8pm to 6am north of Clair Road and I was hoping they would at least discuss it to move that out to Maltby Road.”

He talked to a Guelph councillor who said the city has identified that Gordon Street has a lot of traffic and it is looking at Victoria Road as an alternative route.

“I tried to reiterate that that’s not acceptable,” Seeley said. “It’s not a road that’s meant for more traffic; we’re trying to actually mitigate some concerns over there.

“And I have a feeling that wasn’t being received as well as I had hoped.”

Councillor Matthew Bulmer was also concerned about the “vagueness” surrounding the response around Gordon Street and what he heard about Victoria Road.

“That’s not going to help people get to the Hanlon to direct them to come east and expect them to go west to get back to the Hanlon,” he said.

“I don’t think that’s going to work.”

Seeley asked that Puslinch council make a delegation at a City of Guelph council meeting to make sure Guelph council is aware of the township’s concerns.

“Would you rather start at the staff level and have staff talk to staff or should we make a delegation because this truck issue wasn’t addressed and just if you Google, it there’s talk from different councillors about putting traffic through Victoria Road and I think we need to educate them a little bit,” Seeley said.

Sepulis said a council delegation is a last resort.

“In other words, let staff try to resolve it at a staff level and if that doesn’t work, it gets pushed up the ladder so to speak,” he said.

CAO Glenn Schwendinger said he agrees with Sepulis and staff should talk to staff first.

“If it doesn’t work out then go to the councillor request a delegation,” he said.

“As opposed to directly going as a delegation and getting the council’s involvement and using up all of council’s time, maybe what we could do is send the letter as staff outlining what concerns were not addressed, send it to their staff, but then also CC council for their information.

“That way they’re at least aware that the discussions are ongoing and they can follow-up from their own internal process as well.”

Councillor Jessica Goyda said she is disappointed Guelph hadn’t addressed the truck prohibition on Gordon.

“It seemed like in their letter they were saying that the Clare Maltby Transportation Plan had been completed and kind of gave the vibe that the doors been kind of closed on that already,” she said.

“So that was a little concerning, but in any case, their letter does indicate that staff are available to meet and they’ve also talked about this engagement window for the Transportation Master Plan so I think it would be good to formalize some kind of meeting between staff at least to start.

“And hopefully that could be prior to them doing their work on their Master Transportation Plan and then failing all else I would agree maybe a delegation would be in order.”

It was the traffic estimates that concerned councillor Sara Bailey. She asked whether the projected traffic volumes matched with the county or township projections for the same area.

Bulmer suggested council reach out to its contacts with City of Guelph council and make sure they’re aware that staff from the city and the township will be discussing the issue.

Puslinch staff will reach out to the City of Guelph for a meeting and report back to council. Staff will also request that a City of Guelph staff member attend a Puslinch council meeting for an overview of the project.