Mayor John Tory and Councillor Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, outlined 45 new measures that will be introduced this year targeted at eliminating fatalities and reducing serious injuries with an emphasis on pedestrians, school children, older adults, cyclists, aggressive and distracted driving, and motorcyclists. These measures are part of the City’s $54 million in funding the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan and overall traffic safety measures this year.
“The number of pedestrians and cyclists injured and killed by vehicles in our city last year is both alarming and unacceptable. We must do more to prevent these deaths and protect our residents across the city,” said Mayor Tory. “I am committed to making sure all those who use our roads – pedestrians, cyclists and drivers – can get where they need to go as efficiently and safely as possible.”
“The safety of Toronto’s streets is my top priority for 2017. We’re committed to eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries on our streets and have significant work planned over the next several months to make our roads safer for all who use them, with a special emphasis on seniors, our most vulnerable road users,” said Councillor Robinson.
Among the initiatives that the City is introducing immediately include:
• creation of Seniors Safety Zones to be implemented at 12 high-priority locations, with increased pedestrian walk-times, enhanced signage and enhanced pavement markings
• implementation of red light cameras at 76 new locations
• accessible pedestrian signal installations at 20 additional locations
• geometric safety engineering improvements at 13 locations
• road safety audits at 14 high-risk collision locations
• expansion of the school Watch Your Speed Program at 20 additional locations
• speed reductions along 32 additional corridors
• expansion of the mobile Watch Your Speed Program – including 12 additional pole-mounted speed display units in the city’s central core, and
• implementation of increased pedestrian walk times at 50 additional signalized intersections.
More information about the specific measures being implemented and locations is available in a backgrounder available at http://bit.ly/2i9v2HM.
The City has also introduced a new graphic identifier which highlights the City’s support for the principles of Vision Zero, an international road-traffic safety initiative that aims to achieve a road network with no fatalities or serious injuries. The identifier will be used on City-produced materials that promote road safety.
The City has also created a website that provides information about the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, a mapping tool showing safety measures in place and future planned work as well as safety tips for all road users aimed at making our streets safer. The website is available at http://www.toronto.ca/VisionZeroTO.
In 2016, Transportation Services staff accelerated safety changes including:
• installation of 400 speed-limit signs along 14 roads where speed limits have been reduced by 10 km per hour
• installation of zebra markings at 317 intersections to enhance pedestrian safety
• enhancement of 320 signalized intersections with reflective material to improve visibility during power failures
• activation of 56 accessible pedestrian signals to assist people with disabilities to cross at signalized intersections
• equipping 37 signalized intersections with longer pedestrian crossing times to allow more time for pedestrians to safely cross the street
• physical changes at 14 intersections, including curb radius reductions and intersection re-alignments, to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and help reduce aggressive driving
• installation of permanent “Watch Your Speed” signs at five additional locations to alert motorists of their speeds in school zones.
In 2016, there were 77 fatalities in Toronto, including 43 pedestrian deaths – up from 38 pedestrian fatalities in 2015.
The City’s Road Safety Plan, approved by Toronto City Council in 2016, contains a series of measures and strategies aimed at reducing deaths and serious injuries on Toronto streets as well as improving safety for all road users.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada’s 150th birthday with “TO Canada with Love,” a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.