congestion

Toronto's Congestion Management Plan

Traffic congestion is a major issue in Ward 25 and across the City of Toronto. According to C.D. Howe, congestion and gridlock could be costing our City up to $11 billion a year in lost productivity. I've repeatedly pushed to advance the Congestion Management Plan (CMP) to better manage gridlock by reducing delays and improving safety through innovations in policy, operations, and technology.
 
Since adopting the CMP in 2013, the City has undertaken several new projects to manage unusual traffic flows due to events, construction, or weather-related road closures. In 2017, the City partnered with the University of Toronto to pilot drones used to monitor diverted traffic during major planned events and adapt traffic signal cycles accordingly. For Ward 25 residents commuting to downtown, City staff are now in the process of designing a comprehensive strategy to facilitate traffic on the Bayview Avenue Extension during closures of the Don Valley Parkway and potential Lower Don River flooding events. 
 
Transportation staff are working to improve traffic signal systems throughout the City. Last year alone, 46 CCTV traffic monitoring cameras were installed, with another 120 planned for 2019 and 2020. Our state-of-the-art Traffic Operations Centre uses these cameras to monitor traffic conditions in real-time and adjust signs and signals. Another 129 detection devices were installed to efficiently operate traffic control signals this year. The City is currently implementing a full Traffic Signal Coordination plan to improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle emissions.
 
The City has made significant strides forward in their collection of big data to inform traffic operations. The City's Big Data Innovation Team incorporates this data in their Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), which will be used to inform directional signs throughout the City. The Team is also currently working to develop Open Data Portal access to the City's real-time traffic signal control timings.
 
Though City staff are working to implement a number of new projects in addition to those listed above, traffic congestion remains a pressing issue in the City of Toronto. I've moved a number of motions at Community Council to improve traffic flow on our local streets and welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have.

Smart-er Congestion Management in Ward 25

Ten intersections on Yonge Street between York Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue will be outfitted with new, "smart signal" technology in 2018. Transportation Services is aiming for the system to become fully operational in the Spring. As Chair of Transportation, I launched this initiative in November at the very first installation site at Yonge Street and Yonge Boulevard in Ward 25.
 
These new smart signals will replace the 25-year old signal technology used across the City of Toronto. Our current traffic light technology employs fixed signal timing plans to accommodate predicted volumes of traffic, while the new smart signals will automatically monitor traffic flow and adjust signal cycles without human intervention. Smart signals can automatically make large-scale adaptations in response to unusual traffic conditions caused by weather, events, or accidents. They can also synchronize automatically and will be able to re-assign "green-time" over large stretches of Yonge Street to accommodate a high volume of vehicles travelling in the same direction.
 
The success of this project will be assessed based on the reduction of overall delay for travellers across the connected network of signalized intersections on Yonge Street. Transportation staff hope that the signals will also limit driver frustration caused by waiting at a red signal when there are no vehicles travelling in the other direction. Staff have undertaken significant preparatory data collection and will be comparing vehicle delay, stops, and travel time before and after the network is installed.
 
I am hopeful that this technology will help to alleviate some of the pressures of irregular congestion on Ward 25's busiest roadways.

As Chair of Transportation, I was happy to launch Toronto's first smart traffic signals in Ward 25 on Yonge Street.

As Chair of Transportation, I was happy to launch Toronto's first smart traffic signals in Ward 25 on Yonge Street.