Farvolden: New thinking needed to improve freight and goods movement

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Dr. Judy Farvolden

Dr. Judy Farvolden, Executive Director of the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute, was quoted in “Delivery trucks are common sights in downtown Toronto. But a new city report offers some alternatives. Everyone is getting everything delivered these days. But that can cause chaos on city streets, and Toronto officials are trying to change that” in the Toronto Star, October 9, 2020.

“The pandemic has made clear roads and sidewalks are a valuable and scarce public resource with competing users,” states author David Rider.

In the article, Farvolden comments on the City of Toronto’s “Freight and Goods Movement Strategy” saying that she is “impressed with the strategy. It’s a collection of good ideas.” She cautions that implementing new ways of doing things takes time and the cooperation of many groups of road users.

Farvolden deputed to the City of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee on October 6 on the release of the strategy, which aims to enhance freight and goods movement operations throughout the City of Toronto. Delivery time windows will be looked at, as will the types of permitted delivery vehicles. Innovations such as “urban consolidation centres” are also proposed.

The strategy acknowledges multiple stakeholders including multiple levels of government, the goods movement industry, interest groups and the public. It identifies a total of 24 strategies for action in the short, medium, and longer term.

Judy Farvolden, executive director of the University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute, said in an interview: “I’m impressed with the strategy. It’s a collection of good ideas. It will take a while to unfold.

“We’re thinking about how to do things differently so it’s more environmental, causes less congestion and still gets people what they need and want,” she added.

“It’s new thinking to us, to think of that road space as public realm with many, many demands on it. Many bodies have to work together to get the best use out of it.”

Read “Delivery trucks are common sights in downtown Toronto. But a new city report offers some alternatives. Everyone is getting everything delivered these days. But that can cause chaos on city streets, and Toronto officials are trying to change that,” Toronto Star, October 9, 2020.


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