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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.

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