John Tory reveals plan to ease congestion in 10 Toronto 'hotspots'

Mayor John Tory announced new measures the city plans to implement this year to alleviate congestion in Toronto.

The city will study problematic intersections to come up with ways to get traffic moving

The city is planning to tackle the problem of congestion in 10 "hotspots" in Toronto. (City of Toronto )

The city is planning to take new measures to alleviate traffic congestion in Toronto, Mayor John Tory announced on Wednesday. 

The plan is made up of a series of initiatives, including identifying "hotspot" intersections, upgrading the city's traffic signal system and developing a road safety plan to reduce traffic fatalities.

"We have to keep people moving," Tory said at a downtown news conference. "But we also have to keep them safe."

One of the measures being introduced within the first six months of 2016, Tory says, are signals that will respond to traffic volume at 20 intersections across the city.

"The technology behind our stoplights in the city of Toronto belongs in a traffic museum," Tory said in an interview with CBC News.

For the public, the signals will mean "more green lights when the lights should be green and fewer red lights when the lights shouldn't be red," Tory said.

Tory said the city has used third-party "vehicular probe data" to figure out where the 10 most congested spots in the city are.

The mayor made the announcement at the Yonge and Sheppard intersection, one of the "hotspots" identified through the data.

The other intersections are:

  • Yonge Street and Finch Avenue
  • Finch Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue
  • Black Creek Drive and Lawrence Avenue West
  • Eglinton Avenue West and Martin Grove Road
  • Mount Pleasant Road and St. Clair Avenue East
  • Bloor Street and Parliament Street
  • Eastern Avenue and Carlaw Avenue
  • O'Connor Drive and Don Mills Road
  • Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East

The city will now study the problem intersections to come up with ways to get them moving better, including turn restrictions, engineering and traffic signal re-timing. 

The results for five of the intersections are expected by the end of June.

Meanwhile, a pilot project for new smart traffic signal technology is also starting up. Tory says the new system is ready to be installed at 20 test intersections, and should be ready to bring in on a larger scale in a couple of months, based on the results.

The city also promises to develop a plan to deal with competing demands for curb space, which could include creating more taxi stands and courier zones for businesses. 

The mayor said he hopes to have the initiatives underway in the first couple of months of this year, and see results from all of them by the end of the year. 


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