News From City Hall: November 2017

Responsive Traffic Signal Technology

City of Toronto has launched a year-long pilot to test two new smart traffic signal systems to monitor traffic flow in real time and determine which works best for the city. This technology makes decisions on traffic light timings based on camera detection or radar that measures queue lengths on the approach to the intersection and relays that data to the signal.

Unlike standard traffic signals that are fixed to a set timing cycle for morning and afternoon rush hours and off-peak times, the new signals will be able to adjust traffic signals independently to respond to real-time traffic patterns at any time of the day. They can also communicate and synchronize with other smart signals in the vicinity to alleviate congestion.

One of the two pilots is being conducted to the south of Ward 23 on Yonge Street between Yonge Blvd. and Castlefield Ave. The second will be conducted on Sheppard Avenue east in Scarborough.

City Prepared for Snow Removal

As we get set for the winter season, a quick reminder of when and how snow clearing happens in the city. When the snow stops and the roads have accumulated eight centimeters of snow on local roads (five cm for main roads), plowing will begin. Plowing on the local roads is usually completed between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling. During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311. The City will open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so.

Windrow clearing will commence on local roads at the same time as roadway plowing and only when a windrow height exceeds 25 cm. Clearing will be completed within 2 hours of roadway plowing. Please note that windrows created by sidewalk plows are not part of the windrow removal program.

The City will clear snow from high volume pedestrian walkways after 2cm of snow in December, January, February & March. Low volume pedestrian routes (collector roads, local roads) will be cleared after 8 cm has fallen.

You can track the progress of snow removal operations online.

Highlights from City Council

In November, Toronto City Council passed a number of motions including: Integrating public transit fares – asking the TTC and Metrolinx to accelerate their plans for full and affordable fare integration, including a single fare for rides in Toronto.

Bike lanes on Bloor Street – approving maintaining the eastbound and westbound cycle tracks (separated bike lanes) on Bloor Street West between Shaw Street and Avenue Road as a permanent installation.

Parks and recreation facilities – adopting a master plan for the City’s parks and recreation facilities that lays out the plan for decision-making and investment over the next 20 years. John also moved a motion asking staff to have additional focus on areas of high growth.

Child care in Toronto – recommendations include making agreements with non-profit and public-sector partners to fund the retrofit, expansion or development of child-care spaces that are not in schools. The City’s 10-year vision for the licensed child-care system for children under age four aims to add 30,000 new spaces by 2026 and increases affordability.

Implementing police force transformation – providing direction on the Toronto Police Service’s implementation of the Transformational Task Force’s recommendations to modernize police activity.