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Gridlock

NOTICE OF MOTION: Taking Back Our Streets - Getting Toronto Moving Again

NOTICE OF MOTION: Taking Back Our Streets - Getting Toronto Moving Again

 

 

Moved by:

 

 

Councillor Matlow

 

Seconded by:

 

Councillor Filion

 

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. Estimates have put the cost of congestion to our city's economy at $6 billion a year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents.

 

Of course, the long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, affordable, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and other modes of travel. But, in the meantime, we must take every opportunity to ease congestion.

 

The practice of allowing developers to block lanes of traffic for construction negatively impacts motorists, surface transit users, pedestrians. This usage of our streets causes bottlenecks, backing up traffic several blocks on major arterial roads, and can lead to inconvenient and, in some cases, unsafe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Toronto's streets must be used more efficiently. This motion requests City Transportation staff to study the feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy a lane of traffic for construction.

 

This motion also recognizes that the long-term goal of eliminating the practice of using lanes for construction may need some interim provisions to open traffic lanes for the public as quickly as possible. At present, there is little incentive for developers to keep their construction staging area on their own property rather than impose on public space- the applicant must pay a fee upfront and then a very minimal monthly fee thereafter.

 

That's why this motion further requests staff to look at the feasibility of increasing the initial upfront fee for blocking a lane to encourage developers to look for alternate solutions that do not negatively impact residents and the feasibility of escalating monthly fees for blocking a street lane to encourage developers to use a lane for the least amount of time possible.

 

In addition, staff are requested to follow up on MM 37.40 Delivering Solutions to Gridlock - Ending Congestion Caused By Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets, which was adopted by City Council on July 16, 2013.


 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

  1. City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, on:

 

a)    The feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy the public right-of-way

b)    The feasibility of increasing the initial upfront fee to developers for occupying the public right-of-way

c)    The feasibility of charging developers escalating monthly fees for occupying the public right-of-way

d)    MM 37.40 Delivering Solutions to Gridlock - Ending Congestion Caused By Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets, which was adopted by City Council on July 16, 2013.

e)    The reports on the above recommendations be brought to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee by February 2015

 

You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here.

 

APPROVED: Supporting Improved Parking for Mopeds and Scooters

Dear Friends,

 

It is my pleasure to report that the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee agreed, this afternoon, to begin the process of returning common sense to scooter and moped parking in Toronto. Due to the motion that Councillor Berardinetti and I brought to City Council, staff have been directed to report back to the Committee with realistic options so that we can move on to finally legalize boulevard parking for scooters and mopeds. This is a necessary step on the path to achieving concrete change.

 

Thank you so much for contacting your local councillor, writing to the Committee, and even coming down to City Hall for the meeting today. Your engagement was very important to our success.

 

Our job now is to emphasize the urgency of this work to City staff. They need to come back quickly so that people will no longer have to fear receiving unreasonable $50 tickets for simply parking their scooter or moped. I'll share an additional update with you once I know when we can expect the final report to be released and voted on at the Committee.

 

Sincerely,

Josh

   

Council Approves Traffic Signal Synchronization Upgrades

In June 2013, my colleagues passed a motion to improve traffic signal synchronization at City Council. I am pleased that the Mayor and the Chair of Public Works made this a priority in response to my letter of September 2011.

 

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. 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 solution to this problem is building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system. In the meantime, we can take significant steps such as this to improve traffic flow in the short-term.

   

UPDATE: Supporting Improved Parking for Mopeds and Scooters

I am pleased to say that City Council has directed the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to consider my motion, seconded by Councillor Berardinetti, to return some common sense to the rules regulating moped and scooter parking in Toronto. This is an important step forward because, as I mentioned to you in my previous update, the committee chair decided he was not interested in considering this item at the most previous committee meeting.

 

The next Public Works meeting will be held on September 20, 2013. No matter where you live in Toronto, I encourage you to contact your local Councillor and the mayor in support of this initiative. When the committee agenda is posted in early September, I will follow up with you so that you can submit comments to the committee on the public record.

   

Easing Congestion Caused by Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. Of course, the long-term solution to this problem includes building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and cycling. But, in the meantime, whether one is a motorist or a surface transit user, it is infuriating to see a large delivery vehicle blocking an entire lane of traffic during rush hour. My motion requests staff to study the possibility of banning delivery trucks from stopping on main streets during rush hours.

   

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