The city has announced installation of new walk signals called Leading Pedestrian Interval Program at 80 intersections this year across Toronto.
This change at an intersection gives pedestrians an advanced walk signal at the start of each traffic signal change so they can enter the crosswalk earlier. This advanced walk signal allows pedestrians, in particular children and seniors, to be more visible to traffic when crossing the street.
“I am committed to doing everything possible as quickly as possible to make our streets safer,” said Mayor Tory. “I am confident these upgraded signals will make a difference for pedestrians – that’s why we have accelerated the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan so we can install more signals this year across the city.”
Research has shown that Leading Pedestrian Intervals can reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions by as much as 60%. Toronto activated 12 intersections last year. The city is doubling the number of intersections being activated this year from 40 to 80 in 2018 due to the additional $22 million allocated to the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan by City Council last month. The city’s total five-year Vision Zero investment is $109 million.
The announcement took place at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Mabelle Avenue, a newly implemented intersection featuring the Leading Pedestrian Interval Program. The intersections that are included in the program were identified based on the number of past collisions involving pedestrians and left or right-turning vehicles. So far this year, the City has activated five intersections with advanced pedestrian crossing and 75 more intersections will be activated by November.
“We are committed to implementing changes and enhancing our infrastructure to improve safety and reduce fatalities and serious injuries for all pedestrians in the city. This is just one measure that we’re taking to help make our intersections safer,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.
This program is an important part of the city’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, a long-term plan to eliminate fatalities and reduce serious injuries, with an emphasis on pedestrian, school children, older adult, cyclist and motorcyclist safety and reducing aggressive and distracted driving.
The city’s Vision Zero website includes a mapping tool that shows existing safety measures and future planned work as well as safety tips for all road users aimed at making streets safer: http://www.toronto.ca/VisionZeroTO.