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Issues & Policies

Fix the Gridlock

City Council to take action on rush hour gridlock

In response to a motion by Councillor Josh Matlow, seconded by Councillor Mike Layton, the City of Toronto's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will be considering moving forward with increased fines and enforcement to Relieve Rush Hour Congestion Due to Unlawful Stopping, Standing, and Parking.


You can see the January 4th, 2012 agenda item by clicking here. Click here to read the Globe and Mail's Marcus Gee on on Curb hogs and click here to read the Toronto Star story on our progress.


Councillors Matlow and Layton are committed to taking action on improving the mobility of Torontonians no matter whether they drive a car, take public transit, ride a bicycle or are a pedestrian.

 

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. This congestion costs the region's economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents. The long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and cycling.

 

In the meantime, council can take small, but important, measures to alleviate traffic congestion. One such measure is to provide sufficient deterrents to motorists and delivery drivers that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour. Far too often, entire lanes of major roads are blocked due to an individual pulling over to grab a coffee in the morning or a delivery vehicle choosing the afternoon rush period to drop off their goods. Drivers along arterials often use bicycle lanes as a parking lane, forcing cyclists to dangerously merge into traffic. During rush hour this creates very unsafe conditions for cyclists. While currently not permitted, it is clear that current fines and levels of enforcement are not sufficient to deter such activities.

 

This motion seeks to improve traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods by increasing the fines and level of enforcement for individuals that obstruct other motorists, public transit users and cyclists.

Synchronization of Traffic Signals

September 1st,  2011

Chair & Members

Public Works and Infrastructure Committee

Re: Request City Staff Report on Traffic Signal Synchronization

Dear Chair and Committee Members,

I am writing to request that the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee instruct Transportation Services to report back to the Committee on the possible implementation of Synchronized Traffic Signals in the City of Toronto.

Studies have shown in projects across North America and in Europe that signal retiming can provide significant direct benefits for the traveling public. One of these benefits is the reduced delay experienced by motorists. Delay savings are more apparent for motorists traveling along arterials where the signals have been coordinated.

Improved signal timing also has indirect benefits. Better coordination along major arterials minimizes the diversion of traffic to local and residential streets, improving safety and traffic conditions. Delay savings result in lower fuel consumption, which in turn can reduce emissions. Improved traffic flow also can reduce wear and tear on pavement, reducing maintenance requirements.

RECOMMENDATION

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee request that the General Manager of Transportation Services report on the cost and feasibility of implementing a Synchronized Traffic Signal system.

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow

 


NOTICE OF MOTION: Relieving Congestion by Increasing Fines and Enforcement for Motorists and Delivery Vehicles that Obstruct Traffic During Rush Hour Periods


NOTICE OF MOTION

Relieving Congestion by Increasing Fines and Enforcement for Motorists and Delivery Vehicles that Obstruct Traffic During Rush Hour Periods

Moved by:

Councillor Matlow


Seconded by:

Councillor Layton


 

SUMMARY:

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. This congestion costs the region's economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents. The long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and cycling.

In the meantime, council can take small, but important, measures to alleviate traffic congestion. One such measure is to provide sufficient deterrents to motorists and delivery drivers that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour. Far too often, entire lanes of major roads are blocked due to an individual pulling over to grab a coffee in the morning or a delivery vehicle choosing the afternoon rush period to drop off their goods. Drivers along arterials often use bicycle lanes as a parking lane, forcing cyclists to dangerously merge into traffic. During rush hour this creates very unsafe conditions for cyclists. While currently not permitted, it is clear that current fines and levels of enforcement are not sufficient to deter such activities.

This motion seeks to improve traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods by increasing the fines and level of enforcement for individuals that obstruct other motorists, public transit users and cyclists.

RECOMMENDATIONS:


1. City Council requests the City Manager to report to Public Works Committee with an implementation plan to increase fines to $500 for any motorist, including delivery vehicles, from stopping, standing, parking or otherwise obstructing traffic on arterial roads and in bicycle lanes during City designated rush hour periods

 

2. City Council request the City Manager to work with the Toronto Police Service to increase enforcement of existing by-laws prohibiting any motorist, including delivery vehicles, from stopping, standing, parking or otherwise obstructing traffic, including bicycle lanes, on arterial roads during City designated rush hour periods

 

.

 

A Strategic Plan for Seniors

A Strategic Plan for Toronto's Seniors- March 25th, 2011 Community Development and Recreation Committee

Origin

(March 11, 2011) Letter from Councillor Josh Matlow, Ward 22 St. Paul's

 

Recommendations

1. That Council request that the City Manager report back on recommended actions to be taken in the development of a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Seniors, for consideration at the May 27, 2011 Community Development and Recreation Committee Meeting.

 

2. That this strategic plan be created in consultation with other levels of government, school boards, relevant community organizations and individuals, businesses and academia to ensure that it is truly comprehensive, adequately funded, financially feasible and able to be implemented.

 

Summary

Globally, seniors are the fastest growing population. It has been projected that by 2050, there will be more older people than children for the first time in the world's history. Toronto is anticipating a 38 percent increase in seniors by 2031.

 

The City's Ombudsman's report, "A Duty to Care" identified 38,000 Torontonians currently living with dementia and this number is projected to grow to 42,000 by 2015. We know the acuity needs of our seniors are growing and service providers, families and government need to work together to find appropriate solutions for their well-being.

 

This backdrop for Toronto should be a catalyst for action. That action for change is grounded within the World Health Organization's Age-Friendly Cities initiative. The WHO initiative identifies eight critical features for cities to consider as they affect its senior citizens: outdoor space and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, education, communication and information, community and health services.

 

Many of the City's services touch upon these critical areas, as do the services provided by other orders of government, broader institutions and the community-based sector. There is a collective responsibility for us to meet the needs of our residents and nowhere is that more evident than with our seniors.

 

It is time to revisit who our seniors are, what their changing needs are and what government, along with its partner sectors impacted by seniors issues, need to do to ensure our residents are given the best advantage to succeed in their older years.

 

It is important that Toronto prepares for an impending demographic shift. We need to ensure that Toronto is a safe, navigable, affordable, accessible and enjoyable city for its older residents.

 

Background Information

(March 11, 2011) Letter from Councillor Josh Matlow on a Strategic Plan for Toronto's Seniors

 

(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-36683.pdf)

   

Free Toronto From the OMB - Motion to be debated November 8th, 2011

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and I have submitted a motion to free Toronto’s planning decisions from the purview of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) – the quasi-judicial, anti-democratic body that has final say over local planning decisions.

 

This motion will be debated at the November 8th meeting of the Planning and Growth Committee. At this meeting, there will be an opportunity for you to provide input to that committee by making a deputation or, if you cannot attend, email or letter. To sign up to make a deputation, or for further information, you can contact the clerk on the committee's website.

 

Read more: Free Toronto From the OMB - Motion to be debated November 8th, 2011

   

2011 Budget

In this section you'll find all news items relating to the 2011 City of Toronto Budget.

With the initial release of the proposed capital and operating budgets, I will share all city documents available to me pertaining to the 2011 budget with Ward 22 residents. For your information, please click here to review budget presentation and materials prepared by City staff.

At the Mayor's direction, this year's budget process is starting a little earlier and will be more condensed than Toronto residents are accustomed to. Council plans to vote on its budget on February 28th. To ensure that you are well informed and able to provide feedback about your priorities for Toronto, I will regularly update this website.

   

2011 City of Toronto Budget

Dear residents,

The City of Toronto's capital and operating budgets affect the infrastructure and services we rely on each and every day.

To ensure that you are as informed as possible regarding council's 2011 budget deliberations, I will be posting all electronic information I receive on my website for your review on this site. As always, please do not hesitate to make your opinions known to me.

I believe it is vital to our democratic process that city council, and the public at large, is enabled to have an informed and thoughtful debate on our City's budget in order to make responsible decisions that support good public policy.

For your information, please click here to review budget presentation and materials prepared by City staff.

Join the discussion about Toronto's 2011 Budget

The City of Toronto is now considering the 2011 Budget. If you want to make your views about the 2011 Budget known, you are invited to attend and make a public presentation at one of four Budget Sub-Committee meetings being held to enhance public participation in the City of Toronto's budget process.

The public meeting being held for the Toronto and East York residents will be:

East York and Toronto

Date: January 19, 2011
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: East York Civic Centre Council Chamber
850 Coxwell Ave.
(North-west corner of Coxwell Ave. and Mortimer Ave. Public transit: subway to Coxwell, then O’Connor bus #70 north on Coxwell)

I will also be posting details soon about a town hall meeting I'm currently organizing for Ward 22 residents.

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

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