In 2016, I introduced Toronto's first-ever comprehensive Vision Zero Road Safety Plan (RSP) as the former Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure. The RSP is a five-year (2017-2021) action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto's streets.
After City Council unanimously adopted the RSP in July 2016, I moved a motion to accelerate the enhancement of pavement markings and the roll-out of Pedestrian Safety Corridors. Throughout 2017 and 2018, I moved multiple motions to expedite the implementation of RSP initiatives such as Automated Speed Enforcement, the "Watch Your Speed" program, and awareness campaigns for school children, older adults, and cyclists. In my tenure as Chair, City Council voted to accelerate the Road Safety program with additional dedicated funding on five occasions.
Last week, City Council voted to adopt Vision Zero 2.0, an update to the RSP. The Vision Zero 2.0 staff report builds on the work we have completed to date and identifies new, accelerated measures to make Toronto's roads safer for all road users. In response to several tragic events on Toronto's roadways this spring, I successfully moved a motion directing staff to conduct a campaign to prevent impaired driving as part of the Vision Zero 2.0 public education program in collaboration with organizations such as MADD Canada and Arrive Alive.
Since 2016, the City has made significant progress rolling-out the countermeasures specified in the RSP. As of December 2018, the City has:
Installed Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) at over 80 signalized intersections;
Created 50 Pedestrian Safety Corridors;
Implemented 100 School Safety Zones; and
Constructed over 18.3 kilometres of new sidewalks.
The updated Vision Zero RSP includes several new, targeted initiatives to complement the measures already in place. The major focus actions include: prioritizing speed management, implementing road design improvements, improving mid-block crossings, and educating and engaging the public.
Vision Zero is an international road safety standard that was developed in Sweden more than twenty years ago and has since been adopted by cities around the world including New York City, San Francisco, Paris, and Vancouver.
The RSP supports ongoing city initiatives to address traffic congestion, reduce environmental impacts, and promote community safety, such as TransformTO – Climate Action Strategy, the Resilience Strategy, the Cycling Network 10-Year Plan, and the guideline for Reducing Health Risks from Traffic-Related Air Pollution (TRAP) in Toronto.
I will continue working with local residents and stakeholders to implement Vision Zero 2.0 in Ward 15 – Don Valley West. As always, thank you for your continued support and engagement on these important issues.
I have long advocated for the accelerated installation of School Safety Zones. It was a pleasure to join the Principal, Vice Principal, and Chair of the Parent Council on-site while Northlea Public School's Safety Zone was installed last month! I am looking forward to adding this safety measure to other schools across Ward 15.