What are the Issues?
Click on the link below each issue to read the full Note.
Traffic Safety: The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan
Overall, traffic collisions in Toronto have been stable for over a decade, but Toronto has seen an increase in traffic-related fatalities – most notably involving pedestrians, cyclists and older adults. From 2011 to 2016, there was an increasing trend in the annual number of fatalities with the highest number of traffic fatalities being 77 in 2016.
The City is committed to Vision Zero and accepts its fundamental message: fatalities and serious injuries on roads are preventable, and the City must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero through policies and actions defined in the 2016 Road Safety Plan. The RSP is a comprehensive five year (2017-2021) action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. It gives consideration for all road users, but places particular emphasis on vulnerable road users. It also follows a widely accepted, holistic approach to improving road safety which includes engineering, education, enforcement, engagement, evaluation and technology measures.
Cycling in Toronto
Cycling is one of the fastest growing transportation modes in Toronto. According to the 2016 Census, 2.7 percent of Torontonians bike to work (city-wide average), up from 1.7 percent in 2006, with some downtown neighbourhoods in the range of 15 to 30 percent. Cycling provides a number of benefits, including easing congestion on the streets and transit, a cleaner environment, and the health benefits that active transportation provides.
The Ten-Year Cycling Network Plan guides the City’s investment in connecting, growing, and renewing cycling infrastructure across Toronto from 2016 to 2025. Expanding and enhancing cycling infrastructure is an important pillar of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which focuses on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. Since the approval of the Ten-Year Cycling Network Plan in 2016, approximately 5 percent of the proposed kilometres of cycling infrastructure has been installed.
Toronto has a respectable cycling network, but needs to accelerate implementation to catch up to more bicycle-friendly cities in North America and the world.
Toronto’s Congestion Management Plan
Toronto’s growing population, thriving economy and rapid development is placing increased demands on the City’s road network resulting in more congestion. While peak-hour congestion cannot be eliminated due to the increasing number of people living, working, and doing business in Toronto, there are ways to mitigate its impacts. Strategies to reduce the impacts of congestion on the City’s road networks involve optimizing the existing transportation system so that it is more efficient, making the road network safer to reduce critical injuries, reducing the impacts of congestion on the environment, distributing reliable traffic information to the public, and responding quickly to traffic incidents.
Review of Vehicle-for-Hire By-law
In 2016, the City of Toronto significantly reformed taxicab regulations and created new regulations for private transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to legally operate in Toronto. There are now 15,000 taxi and limo drivers and 60,000 private transportation company drivers providing 160,000 trips a day in Toronto.
Issues have emerged as the industry grows and the new regulations are implemented. These include how to provide passengers accessible vehicles-for-hire, collection of data on the impact of the industry on the City’s economy and traffic, and measures to increase public safety.
Transit Network Expansion
The City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Metrolinx are working together to bring more transit to communities across the city with connections to the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
There are a number of transit expansion projects underway, each in different phases of planning, approval, design and construction. Collectively, these projects are building on Toronto and the region’s rapid transit network.