News / Toronto

Toronto's new 'pedestrian toolkit' aims for safer streets

The public works committee will consider complete street guidelines next week.

At last week’s budget debate, council voted to defer $4 million of funding for North York’s pedestrian and cycling plan. Mayor John Tory said he had concerns the project would reduce lanes of traffic at Yonge and Sheppard (pictured above).

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At last week’s budget debate, council voted to defer $4 million of funding for North York’s pedestrian and cycling plan. Mayor John Tory said he had concerns the project would reduce lanes of traffic at Yonge and Sheppard (pictured above).

The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation has released a toolkit empowering people to make streets in their neighbourhoods safer.

Focused specifically on improving safety near schools, the guide advises people how to identify problem areas, who to contact about them and how to make change. It comes complete with email templates for inviting local councillors to a meeting, a sample traffic-calming petition and a list of local organizations campaigning for safer streets.

Next week, the city’s public works committee will consider new guidelines for complete streets, which give more consideration to vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists, as well as seniors, children, and people with disabilities.

In an email, Coun. Jaye Robinson, the committee chair, said “the guidelines will help ensure a consistent practice as we design and re-design streets across our city.”

Through a spokesperson, John Tory added that he is “committed to ensuring Toronto’s streets are safe for all road users – pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.” He notes that the city is spending $54 million this year on Vision Zero.

The city has been criticized for not putting enough resources behind its road safety priorities. At last week’s budget debate, for example, council voted to defer $4 million of funding for North York’s pedestrian and cycling plan.

Tory said he had concerns the project had not been approved by committee and would reduce lanes of traffic at Yonge and Sheppard.

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