Toronto’s dangerous roads strike locally.

Vision Zero? – Sometimes it seems like Zero Vision in car-centric Toronto.

Terrible news on Friday afternoon: yet another pedestrian was mowed down by someone driving a vehicle near Weston Road and Lawrence. According to cbc.ca, the woman, in her 20s was in serious condition but expected to survive.

Toronto’s drivers are killing people at the rate of one a week. At this rate, another 55 Torontonians will die on our streets by year’s end.

While the Mayor and Council claim to be concerned about this, they are doing little about the deaths and injuries. For example, there are only 77 red light cameras in the whole of Toronto and only one remotely close to our area (at Keele and Lawrence). This in a city with 2300 traffic lights. Incidentally, why do we warn drivers about these cameras?

In a similar vein, Mayor Tory and his hand-selected Public Works Committee are fighting the insertion of bike lanes and wider sidewalks on Yonge near Mel Lastman Square, preferring the current 6-lane highway.

Councillors on the committee are :

Read the CBC article on the collision here.

We are all pedestrians.

Update: Hans Havermann has corrected my erroneous numbers. Read about it here.

  1. “there are only 77 red light cameras in the whole of Toronto and only one remotely close to our area (at Keele and Lawrence)”

    I thought that 2017 was to see the installation of an additional 75 or so, including one at Lawrence Ave. W. and Weston Rd. In fact, a Vision Zero Road Safety Plan (2017-2021) Update dated 24 Nov 2017 suggested that 65 of these had by then been installed.

        • In all seriousness, whatever the actual number and location is, it’s inadequate. There are no redeeming features to running a red light unless you’re an active first responder.
          I believe that unmarked red light cameras should be at many more intersections than the current 77. The $325 fine is a sharp deterrent. The cameras would eventually pay for themselves and make people a lot more attentive when driving.

          • I read the report linked here. But, I didn’t get the distinct impression that a driver had run a red light.

            Did he or she?
            (Or is it assumed to be the case?)

            Given the time of day, it could have happened.

            And, it was a Friday, probably the most dangerous day and afternoon of the week where the adrenaline starts flowing early for everyone – it’s the weekend, fun & games just ahead.

            Would a red light camera provide those perspective images? And, how near the intersection would it capture decent imagery for investigative purposes?

            Sadly however, I’ve seen way too many folks at any time of day making a dangerous, thread-the-needle mad dashes – perhaps trying to catch that bus that might be missed if they don’t pick it up and take a short cut across the road way.

            You can see this happening constantly – example, all along Lawrence Ave. @Jane, Keele, Dufferin, and so on.

            Plus, many folks tend to wear dark clothing, many hooded in cold weather with little peripheral vision making that mad dash tricky for everyone, at any time of day – worse beyond dusk.

            However in fairness, I’ve seen way to many drivers, especially around the end of the school day, picking up their driving tempo because they have to pick up kids – and those road rhythms start changing just before 3pm, daily.

            Another thing (that makes me crazy), watching drivers change lanes in an intersection and accelerating through it.

            Who in their right mind thinks it’s okay to pick up speed in an intersection, ever?

            I’m convinced that we should all be retested every so many years because I’m pretty sure those kinds of manoeuvres were considered wreckless in any given era – they certainly were when I took my Driver Ed lessons in high school.

            Yeah, it would be a pain in the backside. But, we’d all be forceably taught or reminded that there are universal rules for driving properly like “staying to the right and passing on the left”, etc.

            Add to that, distracted driving – all types.

            But frankly, pedestrians should understand that it’s in their best interest to be mindful of the dangers lingering. They need to take some responsibility for their own welfare, too.

            Sure, it might be a bit of pain to take the longer walk to the designated crossing area, but it’s there for a good reason – it’s safer!

            Jay walking could serve up an entirely different kind of pain.

            Hey, maybe the “Elmer the Safety Elephant” campaign should be reintroduced to a new generation of people?

            How could it hurt?

            Awareness building lessons like, “..where there are no sidewalks, walk on the side facing traffic” are invaluable rules of thumb – not always known to pedestrians, old or young.

            Actually, not turning your back on any oncoming traffic may be the better way to go, everywhere.