Quick clear squads coming to Toronto highways
If you follow Mayor John Tory on any social media platform, you know he's serious about traffic congestion (and hashtagging his plans to fix it).
From parking ticket blitzes and traffic wardens to UPS delivery bikes, the mayor and his staff have tabled and/or implemented dozens of new measures over the past three years as part of their #getTOmoving initiative.
Still, gridlock remains a serious problem both in and around the city thanks in no small part to collisions that block traffic for hours.
In an effort to keep our highways moving after accidents, Tory announced at a news conference this morning that the city would be deploying "quick clear squads" to move disabled vehicles off major roadways starting today.
The mayor said that these rapid response teams would help to clear temporary lane blockages, which can be caused by "something as simple as a car that is stalled, a car that has run out of gas" or "people who stop in live lanes of traffic to send text messages."
"The bottom line is that we have to get them cleared out," he said. "Both because it's impeding traffic [and] because it's very unsafe.”
During pilot, City #QuickClearSquads responded to 330 calls, helped 150 disabled vehicles, helped @TorontoPolice, @Toronto_Fire & @TorontoMedics with120 incidents & laid 58 charges to contractors illegally blocking lanes of traffic. #getTOmoving— John Tory (@JohnTory) November 6, 2017
The city's transportation department has been testing the solution on the Gardiner Expressway, the Don Valley Parkway and major arterial roads as part of a pilot project since September, according to Tory.
The program will be operating at full capacity by next year during morning and afternoon rush hours, as well as on weekends.
For now, the quick clear squads will continue to monitor the Gardiner and DVP during all morning rush hours, effective immediately.
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