Editorial Archive

City of Toronto launches MoveTO action plan to help manage congestion and build a more resilient and safer transportation system

10/29/20 6:00 PM

Today (October 29), Mayor John Tory launched MoveTO – a City staff action plan to help manage congestion and build a more resilient, modern and safe transportation system.

The plan, which will be considered at the Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting on Thursday, November 5, proposes five key measures that will help make the City’s transportation system more resilient in response to the effects of COVID-19 on Toronto’s overall transportation network.

The five key proposed actions that can launch starting next year include:
> ‘Smart’ traffic signals – automatically adjusted signal timing based on actual traffic demand. Staff are proposing 500 locations over the next five years.
> ‘Intelligent’ intersections – helps to improve safety at intersections for pedestrians and cyclists. Staff are proposing 100 locations over the next two years.
> Advanced Transit Signal Priority (ATSP) – detects buses running behind schedule and extends green times when necessary. Staff are proposing the first 100 priority locations be installed over the next two years and eventually grow to approximately 500 signals along key TTC corridors across the city.
> Continue and grow the Construction Hub Pilot Program – a program that helps manage traffic and reduce congestion caused by construction around work zones, improves communication with the local community, and keeps people safe. The next step is a focus on working with developers to do more to reduce the amount of time the right-of-way is closed to construction.
> Transportation Demand Management Strategy – a set of measures to help avoid congestion at specific times, locations, and on certain modes of transportation. Staff propose building on the existing Smart Commute program with local employers to provide additional supports for commuters, while developing strategies to address more localized instances of congestion.

As the report states, these five recommended strategies aim to reduce travel times and improve travel reliability for vehicles, improve safety and optimize movement for pedestrians and cyclists at intersections, improve transit operations, coordinate construction activities to minimize impacts to the transportation network and improve safety, and help employers to reduce travel demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

The MoveTO plan builds on the work the City of Toronto has done to positively impact congestion, while also considering safer streets, improved equity, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to Toronto’s larger transportation network. Some of these strategies include the recently approved Freight and Goods Movement Strategy, the upcoming Traffic Agents program and the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan.

The full interim MoveTO report is available online: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-157804.pdf.

Quotes:

“MoveTO will keep Toronto moving now and into the future. This plan will help the city better manage traffic congestion in Toronto and deploy smart, common sense approaches that will help pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers. We are implementing this plan as fast as possible to make sure we have a modern and safe transportation system that responds and adapts to traffic in real time. These are realistic solutions that I know will make life better for everyone as they move around our city whether they are walking, cycling, riding transit, or driving.”
- Mayor John Tory

“Moving traffic efficiently and safely keeps pedestrians safe, prevents collisions and keeps goods moving. These are priorities in a growing city. Current systems are timed and programed using decades of vehicle, pedestrian and cycling data that may no longer represent our reality. We have an opportunity to invest in improvements and technologies that make our transportation systems more adaptable while also making roads in Toronto safer for people.”
- Councillor James Pasternak (York Centre), Chair of Infrastructure and Environment Committee

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City of Toronto News Release issued on October 29, 2020

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