When frustrated motorists leave major arterial streets to avoid congestion, it creates safety concerns on our residential ones. John has continued to work on local initiatives designed to create safer conditions for pedestrians, an important part of getting more people walking to where they need to go, and ultimately reducing the number of cars on our busy roads.
1) “Watch Your Speed” Signs Review
In the fall of 2014 John initiated, with City staff, a pilot program in Ward 23 bringing radar speed display boards to a number of our community’s busiest school zones. Early data collected during the one year pilot was quite encouraging. This data will go to Council in early 2016. John will continue to work with staff to establish a way to bring these boards to our community on a more permanent basis in 2016. See more on this story here.
2) Sidewalk networks
John continues to work with transportation staff and parent councils at local schools, including St. Edward, McKee and Churchill, establishing priority areas for sidewalk improvements to fill out our network. The City has also begun the long delayed sidewalk improvements on Yonge Street where pedestrian safety had been compromised by deteriorating concrete.
3) Please Slow Down signs
New yellow “Please Slow Down” signs have been popping up in neighbourhoods in recent months. This City Transportation department initiative reminds drivers to be mindful of children, especially heading to and from school. John was a strong advocate of this program distributing free signs to local residents and to local schools for distribution by parents. More on this initiative can be found here.
4) Red light cameras
Red light cameras make police enforcement more effective and improve overall driver and pedestrian safety. Over the past 7 years, implantation of 77 cameras city wide resulted in a 37% reduction in injury at these locations. In 2015, 79 new locations were approved by Council. John also met with the Deputy City Manager and GM, Transportation Services looking to increase the number of these cameras in Ward 23 to address congestion related concerns.
5) Speed limit reductions
I am happy to speak with local resident groups interested in reducing speed limits on streets should they collectively feel that a change would be a benefit to their neighbourhood. Over the past several years we have reduced speed limits on five local streets and continue to look at others. If you and your neighbours feel that a speed limit reduction would be helpful on your street, please contact my office.
The Toronto Police Service also plays an important role in improving pedestrian safety, however, it is important for residents to know that by policy, City Councillors do not direct police deployment. TPS reports directly to the Toronto Police Services Board. John and his team relay concerns to TPS 32 Division at the request of residents, but reports can also be made directly by dialing the non-emergency number at 416-808-3200.