|Calgary’s roving tow trucks keep the Deerfoot congestion-free|
|News - Collision Repair|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 14:47|
By Dave Robson
Calgary, Alberta -- July 13, 2012 -- On any given day there’s an accident on the Deerfoot, but rush hour in Calgary is getting a bit less painful thanks to smart management of tow trucks. For the past year, the city has contracted City Wide Towing to patrol their busiest highways during rush hour to clear problems as they happen.
“The program’s designed to reduce congestion, and there’s some evidence that the program reduces secondary collisions, which of course improves roadside safety,” says Pat Grisak, Calgary’s Traffic Engineering Operations Manager.
Launched in February of 2010 and dubbed the ‘roving tow truck service’, the program has tow trucks patrolling Deerfoot Trail and sections of Calgary’s other major thoroughfares: Crowchild Trail, Memorial Drive and Glenmore Trail. The trucks remove stalled or inoperable vehicles as they come across them, ensuring a quick response time. Highways are patrolled by five trucks—two for the Deerfoot, one for each of the other highways. They average seven tows per day.
Trucks move the vehicles to a safe area, like a residential street or parking lot. The city foots the bill; after that, the commuter can then make his or her own arrangements. Cost to the city hasn’t been a big issue for government-spending conscious Calgarians.
“I appreciate the government’s desire to provide a free service to it’s citizens in their time of distress, even if the cost is slightly higher than leaving the payment up to the individuals,” says Curtis Guenard, a student at Mount Royal. “It’s a positive policy that just makes you feel good.”
Tow truck drivers also act as eyes for the Roads Operations Centre, reporting what the cameras miss. If a camera spots a collision, it can take over fifty minutes to be removed. If a patrolling tow truck spots a collision, the road is cleared in about five minutes.
The program has proven popular with commuters. “If it can get the traffic going again, it’s a good thing,” says Willie MacLeod, a directional driller from southern Alberta. “If you’re on the north side, and the only number you can get a hold of is on the south, then you’re waiting for an hour, and traffic’s waiting with you. Those flashing yellow lights don’t move cars like flashing red and blue ones do.”
Should other cities think about this type of arrangement? “Absolutely,” says Grisak. “It’s been very positive for Calgary.”
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 14:49|
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