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.

  • Adrian

    Adrian () [Reply]

    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.

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