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Gridlock

The future of the Gardiner Expressway

I believe City Council must not play a political blame game, delay or risk residents' safety. This discussion should  be completely focused on making a prudent decision about the reality of a crumbling Gardiner Expressway while responsibly considering safety, costs, our waterfront and commuters' needs. Here are a few ideas for your consideration: Ten things we could do with the Gardiner Expressway. As always, I'd appreciate your feedback.

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 

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Moving Forward - Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy

July 2012 Update: Moving Forward on a Regional Transit Strategy Approved at Council


Council was united this week in declaring that a regional approach is the best chance we have to build and fund the transit that Torontonians need and deserve. My motion, Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy, was passed unanimously by my colleagues.

 

To fund public transportation and relieve traffic congestion for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), it is imperative to move forward with a regional funding strategy. Implementing a sales tax, tolls or other tools across the GGH would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have Toronto cover capital expenses through our property tax base.

 

We need these tools to move forward with a Downtown Relief Line to ease overcrowding on the Yonge Line, to finally build a rapid transit link to Pearson airport and to connect our city and region.

 

This fall, Metrolinx will begin a public discussion on transit funding while Toronto Council will discuss local funding and route requests. My hope is that these two initiatives find a common path to see a connective and fully funded plan through to fruition.

 


June 1012 UPDATE: I am pleased to inform you that with your support, my motion to move forward with a regional transit funding strategy for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe was (amazingly) approved on June 12th by the Mayor's Executive Committee. I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to everyone of you who signed the petition, wrote emails, and made deputations including representatives from the Toronto Board of Trade, the Toronto Environmental Alliance and Paul Bedford, former City of Toronto Chief Planner.

If this motion passes Council next month, we will take a vital step towards finally creating a realistic funding strategy to improve and expand our transit system. The motion is expected to come before City Council next month where I am hopeful that it will be passed. To encourage Councillors to support this motion please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

** Action Alert **

Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy: Coming to the City of Toronto's Executive Committee on June 12th, 2012

 

Dear Residents,

 

I'm writing to you because I need your support, and action now, to finally create a realistic, and fully funded transit plan for our city and region.

 

Toronto and Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) residents want a fast, reliable and accessible public transportation system. To fund public transportation and relieve traffic congestion for Toronto and the GGH, it is imperative that we move forward with a regional funding strategy. Our transit needs, whether it be decongesting our current subway lines and improving existing service, connecting to Toronto Pearson International Airport, or expanding our transit system to communities in need of access, are too urgent to continue relying on one-time provincial funding. Gridlock has become so severe that the status quo, traffic congestion that costs the GGH $6 billion a year and which has an adverse impact on our residents' quality of life, is unacceptable. The costs associated with providing an improved transit system should be be shared by Torontonians, and those in the 905, who commute across municipal boundaries every day.

 

 

I've brought forward a motion to City Council called Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy. This motion will be considered at the Executive Committee's upcoming meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Toronto City Hall.

 

It is now crucially important for as many people as possible to register comments with the Executive Committee and make their voices heard. Unless we can influence the Executive Committee, the motion may be significantly weakened or buried.

 

Please take a few minutes to take the suggested actions below – and encourage your friends and family to do the same!

 

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22-St. Paul's

 

Take Action Now!

 

One minute action: Sign our petition by clicking here.

 

5 minute action: Copy and paste the following letter and send it to the Executive Committee by email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Or phone the Committee secretary at 416-392-6627 to leave a comment. Please copy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on your email for our records.

 

Dear Councillors,

 

I wish to submit to the Executive Committee for distribution at its meeting on June 12 the following comment on the item named Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy.

 

I believe that improving and expanding public transit is a priority in need of a realistic funding strategy.

 

I support the recommendation that the City Manager be requested to engage and participate with Metrolinx in establishing a working group of appropriate officials representing the City of Toronto, Greater Golden Horseshoe municipalities, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and any other relevant body to provide input into the preparation of a funding strategy for the Metrolinx regional transit plan.

 

In order to create a fast, reliable, accessible, and regionally integrated public transportation system, Toronto must be involved in discussions at the regional level. And these discussions must honestly consider all options for regional funding mechanisms.

 

Sincerely,

 

*NAME

*ADDRESS

 

10 minute action: Write your own letter and submit email it to the Executive Committee. Please remember to include your name and address and the following information: "I wish to submit to the Executive Committee for distribution at its meeting on June 12 the following comment on the item named Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy."

 

Register to speak and make your voice heard!


Members of the public can also register to speak at the Executive Committee meeting on June 12 by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 4:30pm on Monday, June 11. You will be given 5 minutes to speak, after which members of the Committee can ask you questions.

 

Additional information about submitting comments and speaking to committees can be found here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/tmmis/have-your-say.htm.

 

Let's get Toronto and our region moving again.

Thank you!

   

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.

   

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It's Time to Fight Toronto's Gridlock

Gridlock is a serious 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 - costing our region's economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on our quality of life.

 

Read more: It's Time to Fight Toronto's Gridlock

   

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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.

Read more: Synchronization of Traffic Signals

   

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