Example 492 of how Toronto does not understand Vision Zero
Children are being killed or injured in the streets of Toronto, so the City has installed a number of flex-post signs in the middle of the road near school zones to remind people that the speed limit is 40 km/hr (~25 MPH). But according to a report on Global News, the City is removing some of them because there are complaints that they are slowing down traffic on one street where cars drive too fast on a regular basis.
“Our initial assessment indicated that the road had sufficient clearance around the sign, but when cars parked adjacent to the sign, we observed traffic slowing significantly or moving around the sign into oncoming traffic,” city spokesperson Cheryl San Juan said.
Having been on that road, I would suggest that their initial assessment was correct, but Toronto drivers aren’t used to being squeezed, so they slow down, which is kind of the point. But nonetheless, they have “removed two signs due to safety concerns” -even though they were installed due to safety concerns. But as one Reddit contributor noted,
These signs are a joke and will do nothing to “curb pedestrian injuries and fatalities” so long as the City of Toronto refuses to spend money redesigning streets to slow traffic and the Toronto Police refuse to properly enforce rules against distracted and aggressive driving. They’re the perfect example of [Current Mayor John] Tory’s ideas: somewhat better than what a literal crackhead might think up, but not by much.
Other cities, like London, are being more aggressive and are lowering speed limits, putting in bumps and redesigning roads. But in Toronto, it is all just safety theatre. When a few years ago, the Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown recommended that speed limits be reduced to 30Km/hr (20 MPH) on residential streets to save lives back in 2012, then transportation committee head Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said:
Doesn’t he have better things to do than interfere in every single department and everybody else’s lives? If he wants to lower speed limits, maybe he should apply for the general manager’s job in the transportation department.
They just don’t get it here.
Hat tip to Martin on Twitter:
— Martyn Schmoll (@martynschmoll) April 5, 2018