congestion management

City rolls out real-time travel time info on highways

The roll out of the city’s congestion management plan continues!

The city just launched a pilot project where real-time travel information will be displayed on electronic signs on our highways and arterial roads to provide motorists with better information as they travel around the city.

The 11 signs, located on the Gardiner, DVP and Lake Shore Boulevard, will display the travel time to various points along these routes. Seven more signs will be installed as part of the project this year.

This project is part of the city’s five-year plan to tackle congestion and improve traffic flow, which also includes signal retiming and synchronization as well as curb lane management and the installation of traffic cameras to improve real time traffic management.

Traffic Signal Synchronization

As part of a five-year plan to improve traffic flow on Toronto streets, the City will be revaluating and coordinating approximately 1,000 traffic signals across the city. The project involves connecting traffic signals to the city’s Traffic Management Centre to allow for better timing and synchronization.

The plan also includes upgrades to Toronto’s traffic signal management system by the end of this year; installation of 100 traffic cameras on arterial roads to better detect problems; 13 additional message signs on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway and better management of the use of curb lanes.

In 2014, city staff will review and retime 15 signals along Yonge Street between the 401 and Eglinton as well as ten signals along Leslie Street between the 401 and Eglinton. These upgrades are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. To report problems related to signal coordination, you can dial 311 or visit www.toronto.ca/311 to reach the city’s 24-hour help line!

Progress on Congestion and Gridlock

Earlier this month, I took the reins of my first Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting as Chair.

Congestion and girdlock remain my number one priority and it was front and centre on Public Works’ agenda.

The Committee voted to move forward with a pilot project to reduce congestion by speeding up city-led construction projects. Among other things, the pilot will explore extending work hours, shifting to overnight work and using incentive-based contracts.

The Committee also took an advanced look at some of the congestion-cutting initiatives lined up for 2015, including the roll-out of 80 additional arterial cameras, a pilot of the latest “smart signal” technology and signal synchronizations on 12 major corridors.

I spearheaded two motions to help get the city moving.

The first asks for a report on using portable cameras at construction sites, allowing us to monitor and respond to construction-related gridlock in real time.

The second asks for a report on how we can better share traffic-related information between the city’s key players, like the TTC and the Transportation Services Division. I also asked city staff to explore using “Big Data” to understand, evaluate and respond to congestion.

You can see copies of my motions here and here. You can also read up on the city’s plan to speed up public-sector construction projects here.