News   Nov 11, 2019
 302     0 
News   Nov 11, 2019
 840     3 
News   Nov 11, 2019
 1.7K     2 

Road Safety & Vision Zero Plan

Northern Light

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
4,541
Reaction score
4,218
Location
Toronto/EY
There are still a few too many stops along the streetcar routes, despite the last rationalization.
No question, a quick look at Carlton/Gerrard and I would cut 5 stops (4, bi-directional, 2 unidirectional) from Broadview to Main.

That still leaves a couple of close ones, but they are either major streets or a on substantial hill.

I think other routes would show similar problems. In one instance of the above stops are only 180M apart. Removing one would still leave the stops under 400m apart.
 

Neutrino

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Messages
1,182
Reaction score
857
In the latest Vision Zero update to Infrastructure and Environment Ctte, I spied something I've been supportive for ages, moving ahead:

TTC staff will be carrying out a detailed, system-wide stop rationalization review over the next year and will report back to the TTC Board.

Fulll Report here:

Agenda Item History - 2019.IE8.8

Additional items include 3 previously recommended speed limit reductions in Scarborough; a 'no' to motorcycle filter lanes as inconsistent with the HTA
Where's the part about the stop rationalization? Can't seem to find it at that link.
 

Northern Light

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
4,541
Reaction score
4,218
Location
Toronto/EY

W. K. Lis

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Messages
15,383
Reaction score
4,326
Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
Points to research here in Ontario about driver's license, insurance, collisions, and hit-and-runs. There has been a LOT of hit-and-runs lately.

Weak State Law Protects Unlicensed Drivers Who Kill

From link.

The unlicensed driver who hit and killed a 10-year-old boy riding his bike in Brooklyn on Saturday will spend no more than a month behind bars because of a lax state law that fails to adequately punish unlicensed drivers who kill — but more so because of a car culture that prioritizes driving over the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, experts say.

State law regarding driving without a license is lenient — and does not even set aside a higher penalty for unlicensed drivers who kill, said attorney Steve Vaccaro, who works exclusively in vehicular crimes.

“It’s part of our giant blindspot for the dangers of driving. It speaks to how we have forgotten how driving is a privilege and not a right,” said Vaccaro.

The call for higher penalties for unlicensed drivers comes days after police say Victor Mejia, 29, slammed into 10-year-old Dalerjon Shahobiddinov as the boy was riding his bike in the crosswalk on Foster Avenue at Seton Street in Kensington. Shahobiddinov was rushed to Maimonides Hospital, where he died — becoming the 24th biker killed on the streets of New York City this year.

Cops arrested Mejia for driving without a license, failure to yield and failure to exercise due care — misdemeanor charges that come with a maximum of 30 days in jail.

Mejia is getting off easy since this is his first offense for driving without a license (in fact, authorities say, Mejia had never even applied to get one). Not having that piece of plastic means that not only did Mejia not take a written test, he never had the required hours of supervised driving and never passed an official state road test before getting behind the wheel of his 2002 Ford SUV.

The law confounds lawyers like Vaccaro and other safe-street advocates because it fails to punish drivers without a valid license who kill any more than it does for just driving without a license.

“It’s clearly a big hole in the law that does not correspond with the dangers of unlicensed driving — clearly this was the case with (Mejia). He should not have been on the road and he was, and he knew he shouldn’t be on the road and he killed someone, maybe as a result of never having any training, never having to read a manual or take a test,” said StreetsPAC Executive Director Eric McClure.

In fact, if Mejia actually had a license, and had it been suspended a total of 10 times, he could have been charged with a felony — regardless if his car even touched anyone or not.

Besides having 10 suspensions, drivers can also get slapped with the higher felony charge under three other scenarios: if they have three suspensions on three separate occasions in addition to driving under the influence, driving under a permanent revocation of the license, and driving with a conditional license and under the influence.

But none of the scenarios includes hurting or killing another person — a mystery if lawmakers and law enforcement actually want to make streets safer and keep reckless drivers off the road, said Vaccaro.

“The court system and law environment does not recognize that bad driving produces crashes with injuries,” he said. “One incident should be equal to 10 incidents of driving with a suspended or not valid license where you didn’t hurt anyone.”

The outrage over Shahobiddinov’s death is similar to when Philip Monfoletto ran over 13-year-old Kevin Flores, killing him in Brooklyn in 2018. Monfoletto’s license had been suspended a total of nine times before that — just one shy of getting charged with a felony, for which the maximum sentence is four years in jail.

But because Monfoletto had nine, he was sentenced to 60 days in prison and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to the top charge in December, according to court records.

And even though he luckily did not kill anyone — yet — safe-street advocates were also baffled by how the city firefighter, Brauley De La Rosa, who had been arrested for driving recklessly with a suspended license was able to get right back on the road and continue to drive recklessly. (Answer: He paid the outstanding tickets that led to the suspended license.)

But clearly even the threat of jail time and not having a license is not enough to keep some recidivists off the road, which is why the Council needs to finally pass the Reckless Driver Accountability Act — which would impound the vehicles belonging to drivers who rack five or more speed camera violations in a single year, said Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives.

“De La Rosa continues to drive recklessly while endangering school children and cyclists throughout our city, despite being ticketed, arrested and having his license suspended. De la Rosa belongs to the small minority of drivers for whom a slap on the wrist is insufficient. He needs help to become a safer driver, and if he refuses that help then he should not be allowed to operate a multi-ton vehicle on city streets,” said Conner.

Some state lawmakers want to close this nonsensical loophole by increasing the penalties for unlicensed drivers who kill. Under legislation proposed by Queens State Senator Michael Gianaris, drivers could face up to seven in prison if they kill someone while driving with a suspended license.

The higher penalties would only be applicable to drivers whose licenses are suspended because of prior driving infractions, like another crash where they were proven to be at fault, or speeding or going through a red light, not for merely failing to pay a parking ticket or child support, according to Gianaris’s office.

The distinction between punishing drivers who actively choose to get behind the wheel knowing they shouldn’t and others who may lose their license for non-driving infractions is the key to improving the current law and getting reckless drivers off the road, said Amy Cohen of Families For Safe Streets.

“It is horrific that drivers who lose their license because of previous dangerous driving choose to get behind the wheel anyway and then kill someone. This is not an accident. These reckless drivers need to be held accountable. If current laws do not permit that, then we need to change the law to do so,” said Cohen.

The Senate unanimously passed the Gianaris bill last April, but it now sits in the Assembly’s codes committee — which must pass it soon to make streets safer, said the lawmaker.

“Too many deaths and serious injuries occur at the hands of dangerous drivers. We need to prevent these needless tragedies by building safer streets and providing the tools to keep dangerous drivers off the road,” Gianaris said.

But codes committee chair, Brooklyn Assembly Member Joe Lentol, said some legislators were cautious to hike the penalties for unlicensed drivers since many undocumented immigrants are unable to get a license at all, making them yet another target for police and immigration authorities.

But now that Gov. Cuomo signed into law the Green Light bill, which allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license, Lentol said he and his colleagues are eager to revisit the legislation this year — despite previously telling the Post that the law wouldn’t be “fair” because “accidents happen.”

“I believe this is a good bill that we need,” Lentol told Streetsblog on Tuesday. “We certainly want to ensure the safety of all pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Other Assembly members, including myself, were concerned with the disproportionate impact that this bill would have on undocumented immigrants. Now that the law would apply more fairly to everyone, I look forward to taking a deeper dive into the bill next session.”
 

W. K. Lis

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Messages
15,383
Reaction score
4,326
Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
Police say the driver of the vehicle that struck a fuel truck and then a GO bus before 5 a.m. this morning was a 13-year-old. Passenger taken to hospital with serious injuries.

http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases/45534
The arterial streets in that area of Dufferin & Finch are designed for the "safety" of speeders going OVER the posted speed limit. Not really that "safe".
 

W. K. Lis

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Messages
15,383
Reaction score
4,326
Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
SPEED CAMERAS WORK: City Writes More Tickets — But Drivers are Getting the Message

From link.

Thousands more reckless drivers are getting caught speeding near schools thanks to the additional speed cameras that started going up in school zones this summer, according to (New York) city data.
`
But the preliminary numbers also suggest that drivers are learning their lessons after getting slapped with tickets — proof that the safety measure works and will save lives, according to a Brooklyn state pol whose bill gave the city the green light to install roughly 600 more cameras than the 140 in operation since 2014.

“Speed cameras work. Period. They change driver behavior and cause people to slow down, protecting New Yorkers from injury and death in traffic collisions,” State Senator Andrew Gounardes said in a statement to Streetsblog on Monday.

Software engineer by day and data analyst and safe-street advocate by night, Jehiah Czebotar, created an easy-to-read chart that shows just how many more drivers have been issued speeding in school zone tickets since the early summer expansion of the speed-camera program, when the number of school-zone camera systems allowed in the city increased from 140 to 750.

“It’s incredible how fast some vehicles are getting speed camera violations” said Czebotar, whose analysis is pulled from the city’s own Open Parking and Camera Violations data.

On July 11, the expansion of the life-saving school-zone camera program went into effect with the city starting the process of installing 40 more cameras each month through 2019, increasing to 60 camera systems per month to reach the maximum by next June. And like clockwork, Czebotar’s chart shows a spike that very week in July, when drivers racked up roughly 25,000 violations per day — a whopping 560-percent increase from the day before, despite just a 28-percent increase in the number of camera systems.
On July 10, just one day before the expansion, drivers received 2,612 violations; on July 11, they got 17,264; and on July 12, they got 26,091. But by the first day of school on Sept. 5, drivers were already slowing down, receiving a few hundred fewer tickets than they did months prior with just 14,702 violations, according to the city’s data.

In August — the first full month that at least 180 cameras were active — drivers racked up 384,464 violations. By September, the number of tickets had dropped to 277,297, even as more cameras were coming on line.

The increase in tickets since July in due not only to the additional cameras, but also to their increased range. Previously, the 140 cameras were only active during school hours and were placed only within a quarter mile from the school door. Now, the cameras operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, including summer, and can be placed anywhere within a quarter-mile radius of the school.

The $50 tickets kick in whenever a camera catches a driver going more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Czebotar believes drivers are getting the message.

“Data unambiguously show drivers are slowing down,” he said. “Data show [the new cameras] have an impact and are changing driver behavior.”

And since June, more than 9,000 drivers have racked up six or more speeding tickets, according to Czebotar.

At the rate of ticket-writing in August, the cameras generated $19,223,200 (if none of the tickets was dismissed). But the school-zone cameras are not just about the cash — the faster a vehicle is moving, the more likely it is to kill someone.

And the cameras have already proven they deter people from speeding. According to a 2018 report from Department of Transportation, speeding during school hours at certain locations dropped 63 percent and injuries dropped 17 percent since 2014.

“Speed cameras have proven to be an effective tool for reducing speeding and ensuring that drivers operate their vehicles at safe speeds, which in turn reduces the likelihood of collisions,” NYPD Transportation Chief Thomas Chan said in July.

Czebotar says he has not yet calculated the most recent rate of recidivism with the additional cameras online, but the city previously calculated from 2014 to 2016 that 19 percent of plates were repeat violators.
 

W. K. Lis

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Messages
15,383
Reaction score
4,326
Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
SPEED CAMERAS WORK, PART II: Drivers Causing Fewer Collisions As Program Expands, Data Shows

From link.

Tens of thousands more reckless drivers are getting caught for speeding near schools, but they are also causing thousands fewer crashes — thanks not just to dozens of additional speed camera systems that have been deployed since this summer, but the expanded hours that the systems are operating.

On July 11, the (New York City) Department of Transportation started expanding the life-saving school-zone camera program by installing 40 cameras across the city each month so the total number will rise from 140 to 750 camera systems by next June. But far more important, data show, was the expansion of the hours that the systems could operate — now from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. instead of just during school hours.
As a result, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of speeding tickets that have been issued — and drivers are clearly responding by slowing down: the number of crashes has been dropping as more cameras are turned on.

From July 11 through Oct. 11, there were 53,325 motor vehicle collisions throughout the five boroughs — 6,188, or 10.4 percent, fewer than the same time period in 2018.

At $50 a ticket for going more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, the city could rake in millions of dollars per month. But the speed cameras aren’t about the money — they’re about saving lives, and they’ve been doing just that, said a state lawmaker from Brooklyn whose bill gave the city the green light to install the additional 610 camera systems.

“Speed cameras work. Period. They change driver behavior and cause people to slow down, protecting New Yorkers from injury and death in traffic collisions,” State Senator Andrew Gounardes told Streetsblog.

Such a dramatic decrease in crashes is unprecedented in the so-called Vision Zero era. Indeed, total crashes in 2015 were 8.5 percent higher than the previous year. And in 2016, crashes again increased, this time by 4.3 percent, according to city data.

But more speed cameras have bucked that trend: During the first week of school in 2017, there were 5,432 crashes citywide. In 2018, there were slightly less with 5,362. But this year, after the expansion of the speed-camera program, there were 3,994 across the five boroughs — 26 percent fewer than 2017 and 25 percent fewer than last year.

And get this: when the school-zone cameras were turned off for roughly one month by the state legislature in July, 2018, there were 20,630 crashes during the period. But this summer, during the exact same period — when the cameras were not only back on, but starting to expand — there were 2,048 fewer crashes, a decline of almost 10 percent.

This was the program that the now-repudiated Senate Republicans declined to pass last year before they were thrown from power.
 

Neutrino

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Messages
1,182
Reaction score
857
Wow I hope the passengers were ok, that old lady seemed to get it pretty bad
 

DSC

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
10,438
Reaction score
5,212
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
This is an example of how Toronto tends to do the easy and 'visual' things but refuses to actually do the (slightly) more difficult things needed to make Vision Zero a success. This is on Lower Sherbourne Street - which is an area with lots of pedestrians and all the 'Local' streets are 30 km/hr maximum - as all are in the TEYCC area.

If the City were actually serious about 'slowing down' they would reduce the speed limits!

DSCN7802.JPG
 

Steve X

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
1,497
Reaction score
760
This is an example of how Toronto tends to do the easy and 'visual' things but refuses to actually do the (slightly) more difficult things needed to make Vision Zero a success. This is on Lower Sherbourne Street - which is an area with lots of pedestrians and all the 'Local' streets are 30 km/hr maximum - as all are in the TEYCC area.

If the City were actually serious about 'slowing down' they would reduce the speed limits!

View attachment 210513
It doesn't not work. They can lower it to 20km/h or even 15 km/h, people will still drive at 50 km/h if the the road is suitable for driving at that conditions.
 

DSC

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
10,438
Reaction score
5,212
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
It doesn't not work. They can lower it to 20km/h or even 15 km/h, people will still drive at 50 km/h if the the road is suitable for driving at that conditions.
You can reduce speeds, enforce speed limits and also make changes to the road layout to slow drivers. To say that "if people can drive faster they will" is true but there need to be consequences - for the speeders not the pedestrians and cyclists they kill.
 

pman

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,565
Reaction score
1,080
I think SteveX’s point is that the probability of being fined for speeding in Toronto is minuscule, and the fines aren’t all that high. Net-net, putting up a sign with a number is unlikely to do much to regulate speeds if nothing else changes. So I agree with you - we need to make significant changes to many road layouts and strictly enforce speed limits, probably with a large network of speed cameras. Otherwise, it’s all just window dressing.
 

Top