There’s no doubt that traffic is top of mind for Toronto residents. Congestion costs our city almost $11 billion-a-year in lost productivity.
Getting Torontonians moving was one of my top priorities in the first year of Council’s new term and it remains so going forward.
For that reason, I was pleased to help announce the next phase of the city’s congestion management strategy earlier this month.
In 2015, we launched a number of initiatives to combat gridlock, including:
- A zero tolerance policy on illegal parking during rush hour on key corridors
- Improved traffic signal coordination
- Enhanced road closure reporting
- Increased fees for road closures related to private development
On this last initiative, I led the charge last spring to clamp down on private construction by increasing fees for street occupation. Those fees have now increased from $5.77 per square metre per month to between $26.35 and $105.41 per square metre per month.
This year the city is building on 2015’s successes and mobilizing state-of-the-art technology and innovation to combat gridlock. This second phase involves:
- Developing a comprehensive curbside management strategy to better manage competing demands on our curb space
- Upgrading the city’s “smart” traffic signal system so that it can better adapt to real-time traffic volumes
- Developing and implementing action plans for 10 congestion ‘hot-spots’ across Toronto
- Expanding the existing Smart Commute program, which helps employers encourage different commuting options for their staff
An essential component of the 2016 plan involves the use of Big Data, or vehicular probe data, which I helped bring forward last winter.
You can read my motion here.
Big Data has enabled staff to identify the city’s most congested intersections and corridors and will aid in the development – and implementation – of context-specific, evidence-based action plans to improve traffic flow.
You can read more about 2016’s congestion management initiatives here.
For an update on the city’s long-term Congestion Management Plan, click here.