John Tory continues to focus on traffic initiatives, as the City looks at the 2018 budget.
This week, the budget is being discussed at Executive Committee before heading to Council next week.
The City is looking to invest over $9 million to fight traffic on Toronto roads, including $1.6 million to hire 16 traffic wardens, $477,000 for two additional quick clear squad shifts dedicated to fixing problems causing temporary lane blockages on the Gardiner and the DVP, and $2.7 million to buy more smart traffic signals to monitor the flow of traffic in real-time.
“These are the kinds of common sense approaches to traffic and congestion management that Toronto residents expect of City Hall,” said Mayor Tory in a statement. “We’re making steady progress to get Toronto moving and the 2018 budget continues to do just that.”
Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure Jaye Robinson said that people across the city have made it clear that traffic is one of the most important issues over the last three years.
“The 2018 budget builds upon work we have done each and every year on the City’s congestion plan to get Toronto moving,” Robinson said.
We owe it to drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders to make sure the city moves in the best way possible, as quickly as possible. pic.twitter.com/qpA2LGOy30
— John Tory (@JohnTory) February 6, 2018
Tory introduced the idea of traffic wardens in the fall of 2017. Following his announcements on new steps to fight Toronto’s heavy traffic, Tory revealed his plans to have full-time traffic wardens in the city.
The wardens would be at major intersections in Toronto to reduce gridlock, and at the time, the Mayor hoped they would be in place as soon as 2018.
This traffic wardens initiative builds on the success of a pilot project conducted in July and October of 2016, which had paid-duty police officers at the city’s most congested hotspots.
According to the City of Toronto, when officers were actively engaged in managing vehicles and pedestrians, they found a minimum of a 90% reduction in intersection blockage by vehicles and a 70% reduction in intersection blockage by pedestrians.
“Over the last two months, we’ve scrutinized the budget, had a chance to drill down into the numbers and have listened to residents on what they’d like to see us prioritize and fund,” said Councillor Gary Crawford. “I am proud that we are able to hold the line on taxes while investing in City services and adding new services.”