The counselor who directs Toronto's Vision Zero effort says it has been a tragic year for pedestrians, but suggests that bad weather should be blamed more than the City Hall.
Coun. Jaye Robinson, who takes the initiative to eliminate road fatalities, says the city is aggressively planning to make streets and school zones safer. But even the mayor says there is more to do, especially after the death of 11-year-old Duncan Xu, who was hit by a vehicle near his Scarborough school.
Robinson calls that incident – the 10th pedestrian departure point of 2018 – "absolutely heartbreaking", but suggests that it is not an indication of the overall state of road safety in this city.
"We have gone the right way," Robinson told CBC Toronto.
"We have a very rough start until 2018 because we had a tough winter."
But the introduction of Vision Zero, a five-year project of now $ 87 million, still has to make a big difference when it comes to the number of pedestrian deaths. Toronto is currently on pace to see more than 60 pedestrian deaths, which would produce a grim new record.
|Year||Number of killed pedestrians|
|2015||39  2016||43 (highest number since 2005)|
|2017||42  2018||11 (city on pace for 66 deaths)|
Robinson says that they will level hopeful things & # 39; But former chief designer Jennifer Keesmaat is not waiting for the final count to warn that pedestrian mortality in this city is a crisis & # 39; is. In the meantime, mayor John Tory also showed his consternation, and told reporters: "we can not keep this massacre going on."
Coun. Mike Layton says that if Tory takes that seriously, he should bring a motion to the March Council meeting in which more money is put into accelerating Vision Zero work. This may involve adding traffic lights, or simply hiring more staff to tackle problem areas that people have already reported.
"People are worried about their own personal security, and they should not be that too, to wake up and be afraid to leave your house and walk across the street, because you can get or hit an accident be, "he said.
"There is a lot we can do."
Tory is open to spending more money
According to city statistics, 921 pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured between 2011 and 2016. Those victims have been disproportionately senior, although two children were killed this year. Thousands more pedestrians are hit by vehicles every year, although many escape with minor injuries or none at all.
Transport personnel points to a list of measures that the city has taken since 2016 as proof that the program is working. But the council has voted to accelerate it three times, and now Tory says he is open to spending more on Vision Zero and he will talk to staff about how to achieve it.
"We're still not doing enough," he said
To get an idea of the challenge, a city destination adds a series of warnings: from road painting to flashy signs to signs warning drivers to speed up view – to school zones. It costs $ 25,000 per school, and the first goal of the city was to get 20 schools a year.
Layton says that part of the challenge may be staff, and even observes that an application to add speed bumps to a street can take years.  City officials confirm that there are employees who work on Vision Zero, according to the transport service department, while employees from other departments also work on certain projects.
City must focus on road redevelopment, says expert
Nancy Pullen-Seufert, an American Vision Zero expert based at the University of North Carolina, was in Toronto for a conference on this topic this week. She says that the cities that are most successful in reducing pedestrian mortality are redesigning dangerous roads with the following goals:
- Separate pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
- Slow down traffic.
- Protect pedestrians when they cross the street.
- 19659039] Pullen-Seufert also points out that it is not always enough to set up signs or warn motorists not to accelerate.
"If we only focus on behavior that the slow train will be for us," she said. 19659002] That does not stop Tory from giving a warning to the governors of the city.
"They need to do more to get more attention, get more attention and be more cautious, because this is a big city with lots of children and seniors trying to find their way," he said.