Idling trucks have residents fuming
Container truck traffic on Deltaport Way is frustrating one local resident who says they are sometimes backed up from the port all the way to Highway 17.
A week ago Richard Swanston counted as many as 84 container semis idling on the road, and a further 25 to 35 stacked at the gates to the port. And it's not just the congestion, but the fact the drivers leave their engines running, that really bothers him.
"This community was promised through the environmental review process that there would be some control of truck traffic using the Deltaport," he said.
Swanston said it may be time to look at alternatives to truck traffic, such as short sea shipping barges.
The issue of periodic truck gridlock on Deltaport Way and the spillover onto Highway 17 has been discussed in municipal council before.
"We have talked to the port about this," said Coun. Jeannie Kanakos. "They're supposed to have a reservation system that works. And if we've got trucks backing up something's wrong with the reservation system."
Kanakos said it's not acceptable for so many trucks to be idling diesel fuel which creates airborne particulates harmful to human health.
"The volume of traffic that we need to handle through the facility, as it grows, is for the most part being managed on a day shift," explained Peter Xotta, vice president of planning and operations at Port Metro Vancouver.
Unlike the railway and shipyard, which operate 24 hours a day, trucking is typically a daytime operation with a limited delivery window of 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Xotta said the port is looking at extending that window in the near future for the estimated 2,000 trucks in the fleet.
In February the port announced a three year action plan called Smart Fleet to improve the reliability and efficiency of the trucking supply chain through the use of GPS technology.
Although there are regulations on port property preventing excessive truck idling, Xotta said they can't enforce in provincial or local roads.
"Most of the road out to Deltaport, even on the causeway, is actually provincial jurisdiction," he said.