News Release
August 30, 2018

Back-to-school preparations are underway in several neighbourhoods as part of the Active and Safe Routes to School pilot project, one component of the City of Toronto Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Partnership for Healthy Cities.

“I am pleased to announce that work on the Active and Safe Routes to School pilot project is underway as families plan for children to head back to classrooms next week,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Don Valley West), Chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “It is extremely important that we promote safe travel options for children to and from school, and remind drivers to slow down as they travel through Toronto’s neighbourhoods. I want to thank the Bloomberg Philanthropies for their generous support in helping us make this a reality.”

The Active and Safe Routes to School pilot project includes road markings, sidewalk activity stenciling and installation of signage to encourage children to walk or bike to school and to help reduce vehicular speed and increase safety. The pilot project will formally launch this fall at three locations involving five schools:
• Morrish Public School
• Samuel Hearne Middle School
• Oakridge Junior Public School
• Humberwood Downs Junior Middle Academy
• Holy Child Catholic School

The pilot project is led by the City’s Transportation Services division in collaboration with Toronto Public Health, Green Communities Canada, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Police Service and Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. The main objectives are to increase student participation in walking and cycling to school and increase safety along designated walking/biking routes to school. The pilot is funded in-part by Bloomberg Philanthropies through its Partnership for Healthy Cities initiative.

“The Partnership for Healthy Cities unites mayors who are committed to helping their citizens live healthier lives and to reduce noncommunicable diseases and injuries,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ambassador Bloomberg. “The actions these mayors take can prevent millions of needless deaths and protect the health of generations to come, while at the same time making their cities stronger and more prosperous.”

The Active and Safe Routes to School pilot project is based on the five ‘Es’ of an effective road safety strategy: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Engagement and Evaluation. The pilot project is one of several Vision Zero initiatives focused on increasing back-to-school safety in Toronto’s communities, including:
• the School Safety Zones program which was launched as part of Vision Zero last September and introduces new road safety improvements within 150 metres of school frontages at 80 locations across Toronto in 2018.
• the Automated Speed Enforcement pilot project, which will run from September to December this year
• the Mobile Watch Your Speed program, which uses mobile LED signs with built-in radar to measure and display back to drivers the speed of oncoming traffic.

The Vision Zero Road Safety program is focused on eliminating fatalities and reducing serious injuries, with an emphasis on pedestrian, school children, older adult, cyclist and motorcyclist safety and reducing aggressive and distracted driving. The City’s total five-year Vision Zero investment is $109 million. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/VisionZeroTO.

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and injuries. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the WHO, as well as Vital Strategies, this initiative enables cities around the world to deliver a high-impact policy or programmatic intervention to reduce NCD risk factors in their communities. More information is available at https://partnershipforhealthycities.bloomberg.org/.  

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. 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, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.

Eric Holmes
Strategic Communications
416-392-4391