seniors safety

A Road Safety Plan for Toronto

At the beginning of the last term, one of the first things I did in my new capacity as Chair of Public Works was to call for a comprehensive, city wide road safety plan.

In 2015, we had 65 road fatalities, of which 39 were pedestrians and 4 were cyclists. In addition, over 70 percent of the pedestrians were seniors, our most vulnerable road users. So far in 2016, the numbers have not improved – 20 pedestrians have died on our streets and 80 percent of them have been over the age of 65.

It’s time to take action on road safety, and I’m pleased to share that our first-ever Road Safety Plan (RSP) is complete after over a year of extensive data collection and consultation with key advocacy and community groups.

This data-driven, made-for Toronto plan recommends 40 different programs to address five key pillars:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Seniors
  • School zones
  • Aggressive and Distracted Driving

As part of the plan, we’ll be creating 25 pedestrian safety corridors in areas of the city identified through geospatial and trending analysis as “hot spots” for collisions. This will involve implementing advance green lights for pedestrians, adding or enhancing line markings and implementing turning restrictions at certain times of the day.

City staff will also be conducting 14 safety audits of intersections and corridors with high numbers of collisions to determine which countermeasures would be most effective at that specific location.

From the very beginning, my goal has been to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Earlier this year, I also put forward a motion directing staff to develop a Seniors Strategy as part of the RSP. Seniors are a growing demographic in our community, and we need a targeted strategy to tactically improve their safety on our streets.

You can read the full staff report on the RSP, along with 10 appendices, here.

Many thanks to Mayor John Tory and Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services, for joining me for the launch of the city’s proposed Road Safety Plan.

Many thanks to Mayor John Tory and Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services, for joining me for the launch of the city’s proposed Road Safety Plan.

A Road Safety Seniors Strategy

All Torontonians should be able to move around our city safely. The data reveals, however, that our older residents are disproportionately vulnerable when it comes to collisions on Toronto’s streets.

Adults over the age of 55 encompass 26 percent of the city’s population, but in 2015 made up 73 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

It’s clear that the population structure of our city is shifting. In the last 40 years, the number of older adults living in Toronto increased by over 200,000, a number that will only grow in the coming years.

With that in mind, I directed staff at the last Public Works & Infrastructure Committee meeting to develop a targeted Seniors Strategy as part of the upcoming Road Safety Strategic Plan. This strategy will build on the city’s existing initiatives related to seniors’ safety and draw from best practices in other jurisdictions.

The goal is to develop a set of targeted measures that will thoughtfully and tactically improve the safety of our older residents as they navigate our city.

Building a Road Safety Seniors Strategy is a prime opportunity for Toronto to demonstrate leadership in attending and adapting to the needs of our aging population.

For more information, click here to read my motion.