CAO at ‘wit’s end’ with truckers in South Lancaster

A "no trucks" sign has been put up at the end of a median on Andrea Avenue in South Lancaster, Ont. on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. South Glengarry CAO Bryan Brown says he's at his "wit's end" dealing with truck drivers not obeying the rules of the road on residential streets. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

LANCASTER – South Glengarry’s chief administrative officer says he’s almost at his “wit’s end” with the driving antics of some truckers on municipal streets in South Lancaster.

Bryan Brown was highlighting problems with truck traffic along Andrea Avenue and Cannon Street, off County Road 34, south of Highway 401. There’s a Tim Hortons location on Cannon Street.

The municipality put a concrete median in the street to discourage trucks from coming into the neighbourhood. While Brown says that’s made a “dramatic change” in the number of trucks, there are still some drivers that are “quite stubborn.”

“I personally have witnessed 18-wheeler drivers going south on County Road 34 and turning on to Andrea (Avenue) and going on the south side of the boulevard. They drive on the wrong side of the road.”

“It’s just a bad situation. The drivers should not be doing any of this,” the CAO said, adding that signs have also been clipped and damaged.

In one case, Brown said a driver parked his rig in the middle of Cannon Street and went in to get a coffee. “(He) just parked his 18-wheeler in the middle of the road. Just stopped and got out and walked it. Traffic can’t get by on either side.”

Brown says he tried to take matters into his own hands. “I made the mistake of trying to approach some of the drivers. Not very nice people. Not very nice at all.”

South Glengarry CAO Bryan Brown told council on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, that he’s almost at his “wit’s end” dealing with truck drivers in South Lancaster. The CAO says he tried to talk to the drivers disobeying the rules but it didn’t go over well. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

South Glengarry Planner Joanne Haley says the township may have to consider putting in no truck traffic signs on County Road 34, south of Highway 401. “Maybe we need to do signage like that in advance so they don’t even get there,” Haley suggested.

Infrastructure General Manager Ewan MacDonald says the number of trucks has “reduced drastically” in recent months, according to residents he’s spoken to.

Township council hasn’t taken any action as of last month.

“The new signs that (just) went up. No trucks. Let’s see (what happens),” Coun. Stephanie Jaworski said.

“We’ll have to watch it over a period of time and over the next few months we’ll see what kind of changes. If there’s no changes, we’ll have to decide something,” Mayor Frank Prevost said.

Trucking problems are nothing new to South Glengarry council. The municipality is trying to discourage employees of a Lancaster trucking company from parking their personal vehicles on Military Road all day, taking up spaces from potential shoppers.