traffic signals toronto

Toronto traffic signals to get major overhaul

Toronto traffic signals are about to become more pedestrian friendly. Mayor John Tory announced today plans to re-time over 350 signals across the city by the end of the year. By the end of 2017, that number will climb to over 1,500. The idea is to better manage traffic flow and to give pedestrians more time to cross the street.

Last year, the city re-timed hundreds of traffic signals across Toronto, which Tory claims resulted in "an eight per cent reduction in vehicle delays." Now the idea is to expand upon this work by targeting other intersections in need of improvement.

The city's traffic signals are built on dated technology. One of the problems with this is the crossing intervals don't always meet the establish standards for pedestrian walking speeds. As such, the window to cross certain intersections can be too short.

Specifically speaking, Toronto's signals assume a walking speed of 1.3 metres a second, while the current agreed upon standard is actually one metre per second.

Perhaps the bigger news in all this is that Toronto's traffic signals have finally been earmarked for improvement. While this is a first step towards updating the aging system, the city is also piloting new traffic signals at two intersections this summer in the hopes of updating the technology on a grand scale in the next decade.

Photo by Jason Cook in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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