Truck trouble in Hammond

Residents of the Hammond neighbourhood in Maple Ridge say roads are too narrow.

Shelley Mason lives on the corner of Ditton and Princess Street in Hammond and is concerned about trucks.

Shelley Mason lives on the corner of Ditton and Princess Street in Hammond and is concerned about trucks.

Semi trucks are rumbling down narrow streets in Hammond, driving right up to lawns as they swing wide to navigate intersections and taking up both lanes as they go.

It’s a situation Dan Mason calls “an accident waiting to happen.”

Wharf Street is just wide enough for two Smart cars to pass safely, but even Ford F450 with dual wheels will take up the road.

When a semi comes down Wharf St., a driver has to pull over, Mason said.

“They are narrow streets with no sidewalks and there’s ditches,” he added. “There’s nowhere for anyone to go.”

Barges are bringing loads to a site just underneath the Golden Ears Bridge, at the end of Wharf St., and from there they are shipped out on semi-trailers. They generally go down Wharf, turn at Princess, then again at Ditton – all residential streets.

“It’s all day, every day, even during the Christmas break,” said Mason.

At the corner of Wharf and Princess, snow reveals tire tracks in the ditch.

“I’ve been pushed off the road several times while I’m out walking my dog,” said Mason. “We’ve got a ton of kids in this neighbourhood, and a lot of walkers.”

He said the truck loads are sometimes massive, with six-foot pipes, steel and lumber.

“The house shakes when they go by.”

Another beef he has is engine brakes, which are loud enough to wake up him and his wife Shelley in the morning.

Generally, engine brakes are banned in residential areas, but there is no signage in Hammond.

The city bylaws department said truckers cannot be ticketed for using engine brakes in Hammond.

“At this point in time, there are no designated truck routes,” said Robin MacNair, city manager of bylaws and licencing.

She said the truckers are taking the most direct route out of the area, and there is no other option for them.

Other residents of the area also see it as a problem, and Mary Mondeux remarked that the heavy trucks are damaging the roads in addition to creating traffic problems.

Shelley Mason said the trucks don’t belong in the neighbourhood.

“I didn’t buy a house in an industrial park.”