#JohnTory; #City’sVisionZeroRoadSafetyplan; #GaryCrawford, #JayeRobinson; #Toronto, #Ontario
Toronto, Jun 15 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Mayor John Tory, alongside Chair of Public Works Jaye Robinson and Budget Chief Gary Crawford, announced this morning that he would pledge an additional $13 million from the from the City’s 2017 budget surplus for the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety plan this year, media reports said.
Tory said that reportedly the motion would be moved at next week’s Executive Committee.
The City had invested $21 million on Vision Zero initiatives in 2018 year and $87 million on Vision Zero over five years. The addition of $13-million from this year’s surplus will bring the total five-year investment in Vision Zero to $100-million.
“I have been horrified by the deaths of pedestrians and cyclists in Toronto. Over the past few days, we have once again seen how dangerous and deadly our streets can be,” said Mayor Tory. “I will be directing as much as possible from the City’s budget surplus to further accelerate and intensify the rollout of our road safety measures on our streets.”
With $13 million more committed to the Vision Zero plan this year, the City can undertake the road safety measures including speeding up road redesign initiatives; doubling the number of leading pedestrian intervals from 40 to 80 being installed this year; installation of zebra markings at up to 200 additional intersections; speed hump installations backlog to be cleared; bike lanes along our 10 main cycling corridors including painting green lanes through intersection sand to be enhanced to alert drivers of a bike lane running right through the intersection.
These five actions would be prioritized on the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety plan that City staff are delivering in 2018.
The staff would be directed by Tory to utilize accelerated funding, for as many safety measures as possible.
Tory would, on a regular basis, be meeting with staff to ensure this work is being directed in the right direction.
“This week, I also had several meetings with city staff and delivered a clear and unequivocal message: do everything possible as quickly as possible to make our streets safer,” said Mayor Tory.
“I am devastated every time we hear someone has been killed or injured on our streets,” said Councillor Robinson. “We are focused on doing everything we can to protect pedestrians, school children, older adults and cyclists. That’s why this year we accelerated the senior safety zone program and the school zone program. But we know more must be done and that’s why I fully support the acceleration of Vision Zero.”
Last year under the Vision Zero plan the city had launched the school safety zones and senior safety zones; almost 100 signalized intersections installed with longer pedestrian crossing times; 74 new red-light cameras installed; and 28 intersections underwent physical changes, to reduce the distance that pedestrians have to cross the road and help reduce aggressive driving.
“We know that we have a healthy surplus from 2017 largely the result of higher than anticipated revenue from the City’s land transfer tax,” said Councillor Crawford. “We will be able to put the surplus into reserve funds and invest in further road safety improvements. This is the right thing to do and I will be urging all my council colleagues to support this.”