18 Wheels

I just saw a Boston Globe arti­cle in which cycling advo­ca­cy groups are demand­ing that 18-wheel trucks be banned from the city after yet anoth­er cyclist fatal­i­ty caused by a turn­ing truck.

I think this is a great idea, but cycling safe­ty shouldn’t be the only moti­va­tion. I have always been annoyed at how waste­ful and ridicu­lous it is to have enor­mous diesel semis roar­ing through com­pact city streets to cov­er rel­a­tive­ly short dis­tances with small amounts of car­go. Star­bucks uses 53′ trail­ers to deliv­er cof­fee and cups to their stores, for exam­ple. Real­ly, you couldn’t do that with a light­weight van?

I’m sure that with all the con­struc­tion in town, an absolute ban is not fea­si­ble, but there’s no rea­son we couldn’t head the direc­tion of more pro­gres­sive cities like Oslo and Paris by requir­ing that deliv­ery vehi­cles get small­er, lighter, and more elec­tric.

2 Comments

  1. Adrian October 19, 2016

    Mov­ing toward that seems like a wise goal.

    After one of the bike fatal­i­ties by an 18 wheel­er a cou­ple years ago, I made the mis­take of read­ing the com­ments. The truck was a deliv­ery vehi­cle and it was turn­ing into a tiny street and had moved into the left lane to make a right turn because 18 wheel­ers can’t make tight turns. It then turned right and a cyclist ran into the side. Not a sin­gle com­ment men­tioned that the truck was turn­ing right from the left lane, which is not legal. It also wouldn’t have hap­pened if it was a small­er deliv­ery vehi­cle.

  2. 94Mable August 2, 2017

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