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Road Safety & Vision Zero Plan

salsa

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Since making our streets safe is not a priority under the current administration, a local resident decided to take action himself. All it took was a little chalk and some leaves. While I do question the legality of having random citizens making changes to roadways, this example shows how a simple interventions can do a lot for everyone's safety.


"We revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings."

"There are actually 3 stop signs at the intersections, but over 100 feet from each other. No one ever knew where to stop... until we painted the stop lines. For the first time ever, drivers were stopping."


DP5VA38U8AA5abA.jpg


The intersection is Regal Road & Springmount

https://twitter.com/lloydalter/status/936279299304443904
 

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AlvinofDiaspar

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"Senior safety zones" - as if seniors don't venture out of these areas much or live in other parts of the city too.
Given the distance to the next stop light, I am not sure if they can venture out of these areas at all. And I am not sure how a generic logogram of a person communicates it's a senior we're talking about. Not even a cane.

AoD
 

lenaitch

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Since making our streets safe is not a priority under the current administration, a local resident decided to take action himself. All it took was a little chalk and some leaves. While I do question the legality of having random citizens making changes to roadways, this example shows how a simple interventions can do a lot for everyone's safety.


"We revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings."

"There are actually 3 stop signs at the intersections, but over 100 feet from each other. No one ever knew where to stop... until we painted the stop lines. For the first time ever, drivers were stopping."


View attachment 129025

The intersection is Regal Road & Springmount
I love it. I'm not sure about the wisdom of a 'parkette' within the confines of an intersection (why can't we just call it a boulevard), and a later photoshopped image showed some redundant sidewalks, but good on them. Vigilante road safety!
 

pman

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Yet another thing Toronto’s political class refuses to learn from the world outside North America is that to get serious about pedestrian safety, cities have to:

1. Reconstruct roads and sidewalks to incorporate physical features (including but not limited to speed bumps) to force drivers to slow down and provide refuge for pedestrians crossing the street;
2. Actually enforce traffic laws through zero-tolerance enforcement with speed cameras; and
3. Ban right turns on reds.

But Toronto, so all we get is stupid and useless. Tory’s idea of safety is to keep himself safe from the wrath of Ford Nation by useless talk and only supporting measures that won’t change driver behaviour. Even the TTC is in on the act - it has opposed speed bumps to slow traffic on Glen Road in North Rosedale because of the bus route, even though Glen has a well-documented speeding problem. Of course the 328 bus along Darling Point Road in Sydney manages to deal with speed bumps just fine.
 

Northern Light

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What I find disappointing is both the lack of ambition on 'low hanging fruit' (the changes that are relatively inexpensive, and non-controversial)...while at the same time wasting time on signs for 'senior safety zones' that have no legal force, nor practical effect and just add more visual clutter.

My list of to-dos:

1) Eliminate all channelized right-hand turns

This doesn't reduce lanes, makes crossing distances shorter, naturally and intuitively reduces driver speed at intersections and improves pedestrian visibility to drivers. Its not dirt cheap, but its not overly expensive either.

They could all be removed systematically over 4 years.

2) Wherever possible eliminate highway on/off ramps (By which I mean, make them begin and end at intersections rather than w/free-flow acceleration/deceleration lanes that pedestrians must cross.

Again, not really controversial w/most drivers. Some will be more challenging than others in terms of retaining adequate queue capacity for cars, but go for the easy ones first, and start w/those the City has control of (DVP and Gardiner).

Prioritize the DVP/Eglinton interchange, and remaining problems zones under the elevated Gardiner downtown, then Islington and Kipling.

After that, see what you can work out w/the MTO for the 401, 404, and 427.

3) Add bike lanes on fat-lane roads where there is sufficient room w/o cutting car lanes and where some parking could even be retained (example Donlands)

4) Systematically complete Zebra stripes at EVERY traffic light and/or crosswalk in the City.

5) Systematically complete sidewalks on BOTH sides of every major road, and every road which has a bus route.

6) Systematically complete sidewalks throughout all industrial areas wherever feasible.

Once the above is done then we get to choices which may inspire some controversy in some neighbourhoods.

To help soften that, you need higher non-auto modal share.

To do that, you need to approve the damn pilot for expanded carsharing that council has stalled at least twice, in addition to making it possible for more riders to choose the TTC by tackling overcrowding.

7) Finally, before getting to tough choices in suburban areas where they may be less popular, make them where there is clear support from the local community and minimal blowback.

(ie. bike lanes/pedestrian zones on University campuses, including UTSC, and York-Keele, incrementally extending the Bloor bike lanes (just sneak in another block or three), and adding bike lanes on Coxwell north of Upper Gerrard.

All of that could be accomplished in the space of 3-5 years within existing budgets.

It would also set the stage for bigger moves like bike lanes along the length of Yonge, Eglinton and Danforth.

While I favour an ambitious program to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, even if it does anger a few of my fellow drivers, so much could be accomplished with no red flags in front of bulls and without
wads of new cash.

That we haven't got that far is genuinely tragic.
 

Juan_Lennon416

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Since making our streets safe is not a priority under the current administration, a local resident decided to take action himself. All it took was a little chalk and some leaves. While I do question the legality of having random citizens making changes to roadways, this example shows how a simple interventions can do a lot for everyone's safety.


"We revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings."

"There are actually 3 stop signs at the intersections, but over 100 feet from each other. No one ever knew where to stop... until we painted the stop lines. For the first time ever, drivers were stopping."


View attachment 129025

The intersection is Regal Road & Springmount

https://twitter.com/lloydalter/status/936279299304443904

There are many cases where it is the bureaucrats who have been there forever that don't see safe streets as a priority. Former Councillor Raymond Cho wanted stop signs where they were badly needed but the Transportation Department did not find that the interaction warranted them.
 
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EastYorkTTCFan

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Is there any mention of if the pedestrian was crossing where or when they shouldn't? I understand that we should prevent as many as we can but if Pedestrians are going to do stupid things like cross at red lights or run across a busy road and expect that cars will stop for them then we will still have a problem. It's like with railroad crossing you will always have the people that think they can beat the train across it when the light starts flashing and barriers drop.
 

pman

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There are many cases where it is the bureaucrats who have been there forever that don't see safe streets as a priority. Former Councillor Raymond Cho wanted stop signs where they were badly needed but the Transportation Department did not find that the interaction warranted them.
It was the same with the Glen Road stop signs in spite of a traffic study that showed over half the cars doing 10k+ over the limit. Traffic refused stop signs for years until KWT invested a lot of effort to force the issue. In the end the local RA had to pay for its own data collection to make the case.
 

W. K. Lis

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On the topic of Vision Zero, from this link...

Are American Cities Making Progress on Traffic Safety?


Changes in traffic fatalities in selected cities with Vision Zero policies (rolling three-year averages indexed to 2010-12). The black line is the national trend.

Back in December we posted a chart of annual changes in traffic fatalities in six American cities that have adopted “Vision Zero” goals. There was no real discernible pattern, suggesting cities have yet to make much progress in reducing traffic deaths.

With data for 2017 now available, we updated the chart and added a few more cities. In several places, traffic fatalities fell much more sharply last year than in the nation as a whole. Does that mean Vision Zero policies are working? Well, it’s still too soon to tell.

Traffic deaths, especially in smaller cities like Portland, are subject to sizable year-to-year variation. A change in any given year doesn’t say much — only sustained reductions over a period of several years would indicate that Vision Zero policies are making an impact.

In Boston, traffic deaths fell in 2017 despite what advocates characterize as a lackluster commitment to traffic safety policies from Mayor Marty Walsh.

Stacy Thompson, executive director of Boston’s Livable Streets Alliance, said the decline in Boston was good news, but she hesitates to draw conclusions.

“It’s much like any public health trend,” she said. “This is a promising shift, but we need three to five more years of downward trends and analysis to fully understand if this is working.”

New York and San Francisco are the only two cities we tracked that have maintained a multi-year downward trend.

Like Thompson, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Brian Weidenmeier hesitates to draw conclusions.

“It’s an encouraging sign that 10 fewer people died on our roads,” he said, “But we need to make sure it’s a sustained effort.”

Most of the 2017 reduction in fatalities in San Francisco was among car occupants. There was one fewer bike fatality and the pedestrian death rate was largely unchanged, Weidenmeier said.

“Now is not the time to be less vigilant when it comes to investing in the kind of infrastructure improvements San Francisco needs to see,” he said.

One thing an exercise like this makes clear is the need for better traffic safety data. Fatalities are obviously the worst possible outcome and it makes sense to track them, but as a gauge of year-to-year traffic safety trends, the sample size is too small to reveal much, especially in smaller cities.

A better metric is to combine fatalities and severe injuries, which is less subject to random fluctuations.

Some cities do track progress this way, including Seattle. On the city’s open data website, you can look up the changes in fatalities and severe injuries indexed to population.

Unfortunately there’s often a significant lag before data on injury severity is finalized. And many cities don’t make it easy to get the information that is available. To get a better understanding of whether cities are making progress on their Vision Zero goals, the public will need better access to that data.
 

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