Vision Zero – City of Toronto Road Safety Plan
Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe. After a few years of effort, Toronto is refocusing its efforts through Vision Zero 2.0. The following table shows the differences between the traditional approach to road safety and Vision Zero.
Traditional Approach to Road Safety
Vision Zero Approach
Traffic fatalities are inevitable
Traffic fatalities are preventable
Crashes are caused by non-compliant road users
Humans make mistakes. The roadway system should be designed and operated so those mistakes are not deadly
Try to reduce all collisions
Prevent collisions that result in serious injuries and fatalities. No serious injury or loss of life is acceptable
Individual road users are responsible for their own safety
Safety is a shared responsibility between those who design, operate, maintain and use the road
Reactive to historical crashes
Proactive and systemic prioritization
The City has a Vision Zero dashboard which reports installed safety measures made since 2016, along with the number of fatalities and seriously injured road users since 2011. It also has a Vision Zero map which shows the location of these safety measures and of collisions.
In part, Vision Zero requires a mindset change, not only by traffic engineers but by all road users. Please use roads safely. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination.
Concurrently, but apart from Vision Zero, Toronto Police are concentrating on what they call the Big Four: Speeding, Aggressive Driving, Impaired Driving and Distracted Driving.
Review the Vision Zero Program 2021-06-29 City of Toronto Vision Zero Program prepared by Transportation Services/South and West Asian Consultative Committee for information on how we can achieve vision zero, emphasis areas, 2020 accomplishments, how/where the accidents are happening, the problem with speed, high-risk mid block crossings, geometric safety improvements, left-turn collisions, and safe vehicles.
Upper Avenue Road Traffic Study
At Councillor Colle’s request, City Council approved a “Study of Traffic Calming Measures for Upper Avenue Road Area” in the fall of 2019. During the last few months, SAHRA, UACA and some SAHRA volunteers met twice with the traffic engineer leading the study.
The formal study area runs from Highway 401 in the north to Brooke Avenue and from Yonge Boulevard in the east to Clyde Avenue. The study will take into account inputs well beyond these geographical boundaries, such as new residential and commercial developments on Yonge Street, Lawrence Avenue and Avenue Road. The objective of the traffic study is to provide solutions that will lower the speed and volume of traffic as well as enhance the safety of “vulnerable” road users (pedestrians and cyclists).
Reduced traffic caused by the pandemic has meant that the City cannot gather representative traffic volume data and this has delayed the study. Once “normal” traffic volumes return, the data will be gathered and then analysed. This will be a key input into the proposed solutions.
In the meantime, the traffic engineer mentioned that he would be interested in anecdotal information which might have an impact on the study. If you have any information that you would like to pass along, please let us know at [email protected]. There will be public meetings with the traffic engineer at a later time. In the meantime, you can visit the City’s Traffic Calming website for general information.
Request for a Study of Traffic Calming Measures for Upper Avenue Road Councillor Mike Colle has submitted a Motion for City Council consideration on October 29, 2019 requesting that “Transportation Services undertake a study of the Upper Avenue Road area bounded by the 401 to the north, Brooke Avenue to the south, Clyde Avenue on the west to Elm Road on the east, to help calm and control traffic in the area resulting from significant traffic volume caused by the 401 access ramps at Avenue Road, which result in constant overflow of Highway 401 traffic onto local residential streets; such study should look at measures that would help slow down traffic and enhance pedestrian safety in the area.
All-Way Stop Control at Harley and Joicey
The intersection of Harley and Joicey Avenues was set up with Stop Signs on Joicey but no Stop Signs on Harley. After several years of near-hits and some actual hits, a new ALL-WAY STOP on all four corners was put in place by the City in July. This was a culmination of long-time efforts by nearby residents – both drivers and pedestrians – to eliminate driver uncertainty, reduce speeds , and improve safety at this intersection .
Fresh complaints by affected residents starting in Nov 2017 resulted in site studies by City Transportation in Summer 2018 and February 2019 . In April, over 30 residents met on site with Councillor Mike Colle and City Transportation to voice concerns. With support from Transportation, Councillor Colle introduced a motion at North York Community Council in May for Harley-Joicey ALL-WAY Stops . This was approved and the new ALL-WAY signs were installed by mid-July.
SAHRA would like to thank area resident Michelle Magee for organizing the April gathering, all residents who turned out and wrote letters, and Councillor Colle and City Transportation Manager Shawn Dartsch for moving this forward successfully.
A celebration of the new ALL-WAY STOP was held near the intersection on Monday evening, Sept 16, attended by residents and Councillor Colle and staff with SAHRA supplying a special cake and coffee.
“Please Slow Down” Lawn Signs
An image and further information on the “Please Slow Down” lawn signs is available at the following link: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-safety/vision-zero/educational-campaigns/fall-safety-campaign/.
They are available for pick up at the Constituency Office. Please email [email protected] or call the office directly at 416-338-0008 ahead of time to make arrangements for pick up.
Faded “NO PARKING” signs
Transportation Services, City of Toronto has corrected a number of faded “NO PARKING” signs, north and south of Wilson. 19 signs were reported by SAHRA in July-Aug as unduly faded … 14 of these (74%) have been fixed as of Sept 11. Still outstanding are 5: NW & SW corners of Felbrigg and Esgore; 90 Felbrigg Avenue and “NO STANDING” signs along Wilson Ave – 1 at the front of Armour Hts Public School (AHPS) and 1 in front of the AHPS west parking lot. SAHRA is following up with the City on these .
If you wish to report a faded sign directly, e-mail [email protected] , identifying the location and relevant sign symbols / wording (including prohibited parking hours). You will receive a prompt reply with the Reference Number for each location/job, the expected timeline for investigation/correction and a link that allows you to track the status of each request.
Toronto’s Vision Zero
The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan is a comprehensive action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. With over 50 safety measures across six emphasis area, the Plan prioritizes the safety of our mos vulnerable road users, through a range of initiatives. The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan is a bold pledge to improve safety across our city using a data-driven and targeted approach, focusing on the locations where improvements are most needed. The Plan addresses safety for the most vulnerable users of our transportation system – pedestrians, school children, older adults and cyclists. Based on factors that contribute to serious injury and fatality crashes, the plan will also focus on aggressive and distracted driving and safety for motorcyclists. The City is committed to Vision Zero and accepts its fundamental message: fatalities and serious injuries on our roads are preventable, and we must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to ZERO.
A link to the City’s Vision Zero Overview: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-safety/vision-zero/vision-zero-plan-overview/
The Toronto’s Vision Zero Map is an interactive tool that displays information on historical collisions (fatalities and seriously inbjured) and safety measures that have been implemented under the City of Toronto’s Vision Zero program. The map wa sbuilt to provide a transparent view into the historical locations of collisions in the city side by side with the suite of safety measures that are being deployed through the Vision Zero program.
A link to the Road Safety Map: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-safety/vision-zero/safety-measures-and-mapping/
Construction – Avenue Road Bridge
Go the page Development/Avenue Road Bridge for information on the reconstruction.
Construction Work Notice – Dufferin/Bridgeland/Yorkdale
WSP Canada Inc. (Brennan Paving and Construction) has been selected by the Ministry of Transportation for Dufferin St. Bridge work and associated Hwy 401/Dufferin Street/Yorkdale Road reconfigurations. The work is scheduled over two construction seasons, in 2018 and 2019. There will be temporary impacts to the travelling public as lanes will be reduced at certain times. There will be full closures of Dufferin on 4 occasions; one weekend closure of Bridgeland; and two weekend closures of Yorkdale Road. Temporary traffic signal systems will be installed for various stages of the work. For information about the upcoming work or road closures, contact MTO through the 511 Traveller Information website (https://511on.ca/) or visit http://401ebc.ca.
Traffic Calming – Elm Rd
As of Sept, 2018 the speed humps have been installed on Elm between Felbrigg and Joicey.
Residents in the Elm/Dunblaine area have expressed concern dating back to Oct, 2014 with speeding between Haddington and Joicey, sliding stops at Dunblaine and concerns re safety as there are no sidewalks. A Transportation Services request was initiated by the Councillor. 24-hour speed and volume studies were conducted on Elm Road between Joicey Blvd and Felbrigg Avenue on Oct 16 and Dec 14, 2016. The results of the vehicle speed studies confirmed that operating speeds, the speeds at which 85% of the motorists are travelling at or below, was 43 km/h and the average vehicle speeds were at or below 36 km/h.
The Report to Action dated March 29, 2017 stated that the results of the assessment indicated that the minimum requirements of the traffic calming warrant have not been achieved and they recommended to DENY the installation of speed humps on Elm Road between Joicey Blvd and Felbrigg Avenue.
The North York Community Council chose to reject the DENY recommendation and instead directed Transportation Services to poll eligible households on Elm Rd between Joicey Blvd and Felbrigg Ave to (1) determine whether residents support the installation of traffic calming and to report back to the NYCC on the results (2) to develop a Traffic Calming Speed Hump plan (3) and investigate the feasibility of reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h.
Elm Road is a major secondary street running north from Lawrence up to a junction at Ridley Blvd. Sidewalks exist on both west and east sides from Lawrence to Brooke / no sidewalks exist north of Brooke up to Ridley Blvd. Many commuters turn onto Elm Road at Lawrence to avoid the traffic on Avenue Road, taking the route all the way up to Ridley and then returning to Avenue Road to access the 401. The posted speed limit is 40 km/h, which is in keeping with the other inner streets in the area. Elm Rd is used by many SAHRA residents/there are other streets with similar situations of speed and volume with no sidewalks.
SAHRA is not convinced that installing Speed Humps and/or reducing the speed limit in the specific blocks from Joicey to Felbrigg is an appropriate solution, for that area itself as well as for the Neighbourhood. We have the following questions/concerns:
- If speed humps are to be considered for this 3-block area, would other inner streets which are also being used as alternate routes for Yonge, Yonge Blvd and Avenue Road also be appropriate for speed humps?
- Shouldn’t the study cover Ridley Blvd down to Brooke Avenue, as these streets also do not have sidewalks?
- What criteria would call for a 30 km/h speed limit in the specific section from Felbrigg to Joicey whereas 40km/h is the speed limit for the inner streets in this area? It is not a school area.
- What is the possible success rate of adherence to a 30 km/h speed limit between Felbrigg to Joicey when Lawrence up to Felbrigg (including the Brooke to Felbrigg block which has no sidewalks) and the Joicey to Ridley block (which has no sidewalks) are at 40 km/h?
- SAHRA feels that the speed calming measures that are adopted would need to be applied to the entire stretch of no-sidewalks area from Brooke Ave to Ridley Ave.
- Has the use of Speed Limit Flashing Signs been considered, rather than Speed Humps?
- Has the possibility of installing sidewalks from Brooke Ave to Ridley Ave been considered? If Elm Rd is a secondary north/south route for traffic diverting off Avenue Road, perhaps the appropriate safety measure is to install sidewalks. Perhaps a very expensive and likely controversial solution.
- There have been many reviews/articles on the pros/cons/success rate of Speed Humps. Is this really the best approach for 3 blocks within the entire Elm Rd stretch from Lawrence to Ridley? Some articles:
We asked Transportation Services and the North York Community Council in our Nov 14th letter (attached) to consider these questions/concerns when they consider the best way to deal with the safety concerns on the Brooke to Ridley section of Elm Rd.
Transportation Services polled 94 eligible houses on Elm Rd between Felbrigg and Joicey. 57 ballots were returned with 43 in favour, 11 opposed and 3 spoiled. The Transportaion Report was published and heard on Feb 21, 2018 by the North York Community Council.
Elm Rd Speed Humps Traffic Report
Toronto Paramedic Services and the Toronto Fire Dept were opposed to the installation. The Warrant criteria for Traffic Calming was NOT met. But the Polling results are and in favour and that provides the direction for the staff recommendations. The Recommendations were approved by NYCC to:
- Authorize the installation of traffic calming on Elm Rd, between Joicey Blvd and Felbrigg Ave (2 speed humps are to be installed at a cost of $8,000).
- Authorize the speed limit reduction from 40 km/h to 30 km/h on Elm Road, between Joicey Blvd and Felbrigg Ave, when the speed humps are installed.
Reimagining Yonge Study Proposes Major Changes in North York
Major upgrades may be coming to the stretch of Yonge Street from Sheppard Avenue north to the Finch Hydro Corridor as the Reimagining Yonge Street study is closing in on a preferred option for the revamp of the major artery. At last week’s Design Review Panel, City officials presented their findings and put forth a proposal to reduce Yonge from six to four lanes between Sheppard and Finch, while adding bike lanes, a landscaped median, wider sidewalks, and cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
This proposal was NOT accepted in 2018 by City Council.