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Road Safety & Vision Zero Plan

afransen

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A lot of people ignore them, and just cross according to the road vehicle lights. I arrived at a cross-ride a couple days ago with a bicycle beg button for the cycle light. There were some cyclists already there when I got there so I assumed they hit the button until the car traffic went green and the bike signal stayed red. They rode across and I advanced to hit the button, immediately making the bike signal green. I have to wonder what the point of it all is.
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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I think I saw somewhere that most of the pedestrian signals in Toronto are set to automatically change with the green light except when an advance green is active and that the buttons are there to activate the audio signals for the deaf. Note this is for the ones that have been updated some of the older crossings that don't have the audio cues for the deaf still need to be activated to be used. Generally, it's the ones with the smaller box and a small button in it as opposed to the larger ones that have an arrow on a large button on them.
 

crs1026

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I think I saw somewhere that most of the pedestrian signals in Toronto are set to automatically change with the green light except when an advance green is active and that the buttons are there to activate the audio signals for the deaf. Note this is for the ones that have been updated some of the older crossings that don't have the audio cues for the deaf still need to be activated to be used. Generally, it's the ones with the smaller box and a small button in it as opposed to the larger ones that have an arrow on a large button on them.
I know of at least one newish installation where the Walk light does not illuminate on a green unless the button is pushed - it's an intersection with a low-volume side street where the duration of the green for the smaller street is very short - likely only triggers upon sensing a car waiting, and assumes that there will only be one or two cars needing to enter the intersection. The intent seems to be to not force a pedestrian-length green (thus holding up the main street) unless there is actually a pedestrian needing the time.
The frustrating part is, if one reaches the button mid-green, it will not grant a Walk and hold the cycle. One has to let the cycle complete, then the main street cycles thru its time, and only then will one receive a Walk cycle. A lot of people press the button, get frustrated (or assume the button has no effect), and chance it.

- Paul
 

W. K. Lis

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When I first seen the countdown pedestrian signal lights, it told me if I had so much time to get to the other side. Then the powers-that-be made it the law the pedestrians are FORBIDDEN to start crossing once the countdown begins. Not a benefit for the pedestrian but for the motorists.

 

Northern Light

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crs1026

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I know this will be an unpopular position to take, but here goes. I happen to be involved in one of the streets affected. It is a back street with a measured traffic count that is among the lowest in the area.

The heart of the argument is the assertion that local streets without sidewalks are a risky place to walk or to navigate as a disabled person, and sidewalks are the only solution that can change that. Sounds good? It just isn't true.

Data on the TPS Portal shows that between 2006 and recently, 677 pedestrians were struck on Etobicoke streets. 653 of these incidents happened on major roads, not local roads. Of the 24 incidents on local roads, 21 happened on streets that already have sidewalks.

Depending on where you read, somewhere between 25% and 40 % of Etobicoke back streets lack sidewalks....yet these supposedly "unsafe" zones have triggered exactly 3 pedestrian injuries since 2006. If you don't believe me, check the TPS data yourself.

The risk factor for local roads is vehicle speed, not separation of pedestrians. Speed control can be achieved much better by creating pinch points, implementing speed bumps, and enforcement. Sidewalks are the highest-cost solution. I'm told that there are studies showing that sidewalks actually induce higher speeds because drivers perceive the road to be speed-capable. Local experience tends to support that.

The community opposition that will be tabled at Council includes letters of concern from disabled residents who state that local streets are not the barrier to mobility that they are claimed to be - whereas the poor condition of sidewalks and crossings on major streets cause more problems.

One would think that (as last year's Missing Sidewalks motion mandated) the City would prioritise sidewalk construction towards priority and high risk areas. They have not done this. One of the streets planned for next year's sidewalk installation - Clueson Court - is a cul-de-sac with only 11 houses. Meanwhile, because sidewalk installation is timed around road and sewer reconstruction, much busier streets that were rebuilt just prior to the Missing Sidewalks motion will wait another 50-60 years for sidewalks....meaning the sidewalk network will always be patchwork and lacking connectivity in priority areas.

I'm not opposing sidewalks where they are wanted, or on busier roads. If people on other streets request sidewalks, then by all means take the money away from the streets that oppose and spend it where is is wanted. Nor am I downplaying the alarming frequency with which pedestrians are injured in this city. The point is - those injuries are happening on the larger streets, most frequently mid-block where there are insufficient measures to cross the street...... and at intersections. Adding sidewalks on local streets will not address that.

The City recently closed a bike and pedestrian bridge over Mimico Creek at Van Dusen Blvd. It is heavily used by cyclists and pedestrians because it parallels Bloor Street, and is a much safer route. Thanks to the closure, cyclists are forced into riding on Bloor in an area lacking bike lanes. The City is not expediting repairs due to funding issues. Here's where the money to fix the bridge could be found. and applied to a more pressing problem that represents a higher risk exposure. Or, spend the money on making Bloor safer.

A common sight on local roads in the area is a basketball net - pointed at the road. By a very large margin, residents consider their streets sufficiently safe that they let their kids shoot hoops and play road hockey on the road. Please explain how sidewalks will make road hockey safer? As I understand it, the concept of woonerf argues for sharing quiet roads, not separating uses of roadways.

Vision Zero is a highly dogmatic program that is being rolled out on rhetoric, not through use of facts and good planning. As unpopular as it may be to say so, the opposition to sidewalks on local streets is fact based and reflects the knowledge and experience of residents. There is a petition signed by 31 of 37 households on South Kingslea Drive objecting to the sidewalk installation. There is broad support on surrounding streets also. This level of opposition will arise just about everywhere the City tries to insert sidewalks onto local roads that never had sidewalks. There will be many more motions like this as the City moves on to other bits of road reconstruction. If Vision Zero is to succeed, it's a good time to drop back and punt the local sidewalks idea. There are bigger priorities.

- Paul
 
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W. K. Lis

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I know this will be an unpopular position to take, but here goes. I happen to be involved in one of the streets affected. It is a back street with a measured traffic count that is among the lowest in the area.

The heart of the argument is the assertion that local streets without sidewalks are a risky place to walk or to navigate as a disabled person, and sidewalks are the only solution that can change that. Sounds good? It just isn't true.

Data on the TPS Portal shows that between 2006 and recently, 677 pedestrians were struck on Etobicoke streets. 653 of these incidents happened on major roads, not local roads. Of the 24 incidents on local roads, 21 happened on streets that already have sidewalks.

Depending on where you read, somewhere between 25% and 40 % of Etobicoke back streets lack sidewalks....yet these supposedly "unsafe" zones have triggered exactly 3 pedestrian injuries since 2006. If you don't believe me, check the TPS data yourself.

The risk factor for local roads is vehicle speed, not separation of pedestrians. Speed control can be achieved much better by creating pinch points, implementing speed bumps, and enforcement. Sidewalks are the highest-cost solution. I'm told that there are studies showing that sidewalks actually induce higher speeds because drivers perceive the road to be speed-capable. Local experience tends to support that.

The community opposition that will be tabled at Council includes letters of concern from disabled residents who state that local streets are not the barrier to mobility that they are claimed to be - whereas the poor condition of sidewalks and crossings on major streets cause more problems.

One would think that (as last year's Missing Sidewalks motion mandated) the City would prioritise sidewalk construction towards priority and high risk areas. They have not done this. One of the streets planned for next year's sidewalk installation - Clueson Court - is a cul-de-sac with only 11 houses. Meanwhile, because sidewalk installation is timed around road and sewer reconstruction, much busier streets that were rebuilt just prior to the Missing Sidewalks motion will wait another 50-60 years for sidewalks....meaning the sidewalk network will always be patchwork and lacking connectivity in priority areas.

I'm not opposing sidewalks where they are wanted, or on busier roads. If people on other streets request sidewalks, then by all means take the money away from the streets that oppose and spend it where is is wanted. Nor am I downplaying the alarming frequency with which pedestrians are injured in this city. The point is - those injuries are happening on the larger streets, most frequently mid-block where there are insufficient measures to cross the street...... and at intersections. Adding sidewalks on local streets will not address that.

The City recently closed a bike and pedestrian bridge over Mimico Creek at Van Dusen Blvd. It is heavily used by cyclists and pedestrians because it parallels Bloor Street, and is a much safer route. Thanks to the closure, cyclists are forced into riding on Bloor in an area lacking bike lanes. The City is not expediting repairs due to funding issues. Here's where the money to fix the bridge could be found. and applied to a more pressing problem that represents a higher risk exposure. Or, spend the money on making Bloor safer.

A common sight on local roads in the area is a basketball net - pointed at the road. By a very large margin, residents consider their streets sufficiently safe that they let their kids shoot hoops and play road hockey on the road. Please explain how sidewalks will make road hockey safer? As I understand it, the concept of woonerf argues for sharing quiet roads, not separating uses of roadways.

Vision Zero is a highly dogmatic program that is being rolled out on rhetoric, not through use of facts and good planning. As unpopular as it may be to say so, the opposition to sidewalks on local streets is fact based and reflects the knowledge and experience of residents. There is a petition signed by 31 of 37 households on South Kingslea Drive objecting to the sidewalk installation. There is broad support on surrounding streets also. This level of opposition will arise just about everywhere the City tries to insert sidewalks onto local roads that never had sidewalks. There will be many more motions like this as the City moves on to other bits of road reconstruction. If Vision Zero is to succeed, it's a good time to drop back and punt the local sidewalks idea. There are bigger priorities.

- Paul
Disagree! If speeders are the problem, narrowing the roadway is one step to slow them down. The wide streets in the suburbs are designed to be be "safe" for speeders, not pedestrians. By narrowing the roadway In doing so, we also create room to add sidewalks.
 
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afransen

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You could do something like this (link below) for traffic calming, but there tends to still be a sidewalk in most Dutch streets. For true woonerf, you tend to have the homes much closer to the road, which is not the case in S Kingslea Dr. If you want to make it a true living street, you need to prevent or strongly discourage through traffic (cul de sacs do this, but S Kingslea Dr not so much). In practice, standards in Toronto tend to make it difficult to sufficiently traffic calm a street like this due to minimum widths.

 

W. K. Lis

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You could do something like this (link below) for traffic calming, but there tends to still be a sidewalk in most Dutch streets. For true woonerf, you tend to have the homes much closer to the road, which is not the case in S Kingslea Dr. If you want to make it a true living street, you need to prevent or strongly discourage through traffic (cul de sacs do this, but S Kingslea Dr not so much). In practice, standards in Toronto tend to make it difficult to sufficiently traffic calm a street like this due to minimum widths.

Cul-de-sacs discourages walking, by adding more distance for pedestrians.
 

Towered

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Another cyclist killed last night on Dundas by Kensington Market. Wouldn't have happened if there were protected bike lanes in place.
 

afransen

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^Depends on where it happened. Bike lanes without improved intersections still leave lots of risk for cyclists.

Cul-de-sacs discourages walking, by adding more distance for pedestrians.
Not advocating the cul-de-sacs. I would suggest more a 'filtered permeability approach to cul-de-sacs where the back of the cul-de-sac has pedestrian and cycling access.
 

EastYorkTTCFan

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When I first seen the countdown pedestrian signal lights, it told me if I had so much time to get to the other side. Then the powers-that-be made it the law the pedestrians are FORBIDDEN to start crossing once the countdown begins. Not a benefit for the pedestrian but for the motorists.
I always ember being taiught in elementary scj=hool that the flashing hand ment don't satrt crossing and to wait untill the man is lit gain. If you are in the middle of the road when it starts flashing you complete crossing the street just like when the countdown timer starts. I don't really know when this idea about the countdown being for drivers started.
 

afransen

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They are great for knowing when you are likely to hit a red light. For the adventurous, it let's you know how much you need to speed up to beat the red light camera.
 

Northern Light

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City Council agenda is out; and Councillor Grimes has a motion to quash installing sidewalks on 2 roads coming up for reconstruction.

Please consider phoning/emailing your Councillor to oppose this move.

On the upside, this did not make it on to the agenda; as that would require 2/3 support.

On the downside, its automatically referred to the next Infrastructure and Environment committee.

Which means it will come back to Council.

It actually had 15 votes to 7 (just shy of 2/3).

That means its likely to pass the next time.
 

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