Road Safety

Toronto's Road Safety Plan

In 2015, as the Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, I introduced Toronto's Road Safety Plan – a comprehensive, city-wide strategy to develop and deliver international road safety programs.
 
The plan takes a data-based, strategic approach and includes more than 50 countermeasures across six emphasis areas – pedestrians, school children, older adults, cyclists, motorcyclists and aggressive driving and distraction.
 
Vision Zero was adopted unanimously by City Council in July 2016 as a five year plan, spanning from 2017-2021. Since its approval, I've been pushing to be as aggressive as possible in rolling out the targeted safety measures. We accelerated the program in 2016, 2017 and continue to do so in 2018.
 
At the May City Council, I moved a motion to lift the moratorium on the creation of new Community Safety Zones. Approximately 286 schools will be fitted with Community Safety Zones by the end of 2018. This is a critical step forward in the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, to help reduce aggressive driving and speeding in areas within the City that have higher concentrations of school children.
 
I'm pleased to report that Ward 25 will now have access to its very own mobile Watch Your Speed (WYSP) driver feedback signs! The signs will be installed on temporary basis at the request of local residents. The speed display signs contain a radar device with an LED display that reminds drivers to obey the posted speed limit. You can request a WYSP sign to be installed in your local neighbourhood through the online request portal.
 
Pedestrian Safety Corridors
 
As part of an ongoing program to increase pedestrian walk times city-wide, walk times were increased at numerous locations across the City. This initiative gives pedestrians more time to cross streets to better accommodate older residents and pedestrians with special needs.

Similar to the leading pedestrian signals installed at Lawrence Avenue and Mount Pleasant in Ward 25, we are doubling the number of leading pedestrian signals intersections being activated this year from 40 to 80 in 2018. Leading pedestrian signals allow pedestrians an advanced walk signal at the start of each traffic signal change so they can enter the crosswalk earlier. Leading pedestrian intervals can reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions by 60% at treated intersections.
 
We've also made changes to pedestrian signals, making them more accessible by the relocation and/or addition of pedestrian pushbutton poles, the addition of audible pedestrian pushbuttons, and the addition of depressed curbs and tactile plates at the pedestrian crossings
 
Senior Safety Zones
 
Senior Safety Zones were created to curb aggressive driving in neighborhoods where there has been a history of fatal and serious injury collisions affecting older residents. By the end of this year we will have installed 74 Senior Safety Zones with designated Senior Safety Zone signs, “Watch Your Speed” driver signs, increased pedestrian walk times, and enhanced pavement markings. 
 
School Safety Zones
 
On the first day back-to-school in 2017, I was pleased to launch Vision Zero's School Safety Zones. By the end of 2018, we will have 128 School Safety Zones installed.
 
School Safety Zones feature lower speed limits, improved street lighting, leading pedestrian intervals, mid-block crossings, increased enforcement, improved pavement makings, flashing signage, and "Watch Your Speed" driver feedback signs.. The “Watch Your Speed” signs have reduced the number of vehicles travelling over the speed limit by up to 34% in school zones.

Moving Forward

As the Chair of Public Works, I successfully passed a motion directing City staff to accelerate the implementation of all road safety measures to prioritize the safety of the City's most vulnerable road users.
 
We are focused on doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable road users - pedestrians, school children, older adults and cyclists. More must be done and I am focused on getting it done.

Work underway to support back-to-school safety as part of Toronto's Vision Zero Road Safety Plan

I am pleased to announce that work on the Active and Safe Routes to School project is underway as families plan for children to head back to classrooms next week.

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 would also like to thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for their generous support in helping us make this a reality.

Work underway to support back-to-school safety as part of Toronto's Vision Zero Road Safety Plan-1.jpg
Work underway to support back-to-school safety as part of Toronto's Vision Zero Road Safety Plan-2.jpg

Whoa! Slow Down Lawn Sign Campaign

"Whoa! Slow Down" signs are available to remind motorists to drive carefully as they travel through local neighbourhoods and to watch for the City's most vulnerable road users - older adults (orange signs) and school children (blue signs).
 
To request a sign for your lawn, please contact my office at councillor_robinson@toronto.ca or by phone at 416-395-6408.

Community Safety Zones in School Zones

At the May City Council meeting, I moved a motion to lift the 18 year-old moratorium on the creation of new Community Safety Zones.
 
The Highway Traffic Act permits the designation of a portion of a highway within 150 metres from the entrance or exit from a school as a School Safety Zone. By creating Community Safety Zones, the City of Toronto can further extend safety measures beyond the prescribed 150 metre frontage of schools in School Safety Zones.
 
The creation of new Community Safety Zones will designate the extended frontages of the 754 kindergarten to grade 8 schools within the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board as Community Safety Zones. I also moved a motion at the most recent Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that all eligible Public and Catholic French Language School Boards are included in this initiative.
 
Additionally, I requested that the General Manager of Transportation Services report on ways to accelerate the roll out and implementation of Community Safety Zones as quickly as possible.
 
The implementation strategy calls for the consideration of a number of safety improvements in Community Safety Zones, including:

  • New school ahead signs with flashing beacons;
  • "School" pavement stencils;
  • "Watch Your Speed" driver feedback signs;
  • Zebra markings at pedestrian crosswalks;
  • Elevated crosswalks;
  • Painted lane width reductions and curb radius reductions;
  • Flexible in-road warning signs; and
  • Bollards.

Following approval at City Council, roughly 250-300 schools will have designated Community Safety Zones by Q4 of 2018. We must be more aggressive in making Toronto's roads safer for our school-aged children, our most vulnerable road users

The Vision Zero Challenge

At the end of May, I was pleased to bring opening remarks at the official launch of the Vision Zero Challenge -  the City's latest joint measure to help improve road safety.

The Vision Zero Challenge is an 8-week competition where participants will work to develop innovative and data driven solutions to make Toronto’s streets safer for everyone, today and in the future.

The Challenge calls on civic innovators, transit users, data scientists, designers, urban and transportation aficionados, citizens, academics and advocates to answer one question:

How might we use data, design and technology to make all Toronto road users, especially seniors, newcomers and school children, safer immediately, and enable predictive and high priority interventions in the future?


I want to wish the best of luck to all teams and individuals competing in The Vision Zero Challenge. Your passion and efforts to discover how data, design and technology can be used to make all road users safer is the next step toward enhancing Toronto's Road Safety Plan. I look forward to seeing the innovative and life-saving solutions that will be developed through the Challenge!

School Safety Zones

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At the beginning of this term, I spearheaded the development of Toronto’s first-ever comprehensive and city-wide Road Safety Plan. The City has now embarked on a five year commitment to make real changes to our roads to make them safer for everyone.

On the first day of school, I unveiled the City’s latest measure to improve road safety – our School Safety Zones. By the end of the year, we will have 22 School Safety Zones in place, with another 20 in 2018 and each year after that.

The School Safety Zones feature:

  • New school zone safety signs with flashing beacons
  • School zone pavement markings
  • “Watch Your Speed” driver feedback signs
  • Zebra markings at school crosswalks

Staff are also extending the coverage of enhanced pavement markings up to 250m away from schools in support of active and safe routes to school.

The prioritization of school zones are based on consultation with the Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Boards, local Councillors and the police and takes into consideration the number of collisions in the area and the area’s walkability index. The list of schools will be provided to the Toronto Police Services in order to increase enforcement.

As you know, we are now in the Fall season when the days are shorter and it gets darker earlier. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when collisions increase. For this reason, since approval of the Toronto’s Road Safety Plan, we’ve also:

  • Accelerated the implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Corridor program. By the end of the year, there will be 46 of these corridors which include a variety of measures to reduce safety risks for pedestrians.
  • Rolled out Senior Safety Zones, which include increased walk times at traffic signals, improved pedestrian markings and better signage.

To stay up to date, check out our website toronto.ca/VisionZeroTO.