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Next step in tackling gridlock: 'quick clear squads' on Gardiner, DVP

Last Updated Nov 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm EDT

Mayor John Tory unveiled the latest step in his plan to tackle gridlock.

On Monday morning, Tory officially launched “quick clear squads” on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway.

The rapid response teams will focus on fixing problems causing temporary lane blockages.

Tory said they are going to be available to handle “emergency situations.”

“An emergency situation can be something as simple as a car that is stalled, a car that has run out of gas … people who stop in live lanes of traffic to send text messages,” Tory explained.

“The bottom line is that we have to get them cleared out. Both because it’s impeding traffic (and) because it’s very unsafe.”

A pilot project of the quick clear squads took place over the last two months, which allowed staff to monitor lanes along both the DVP, the Gardiner, as well as major arterial roads.

Tory said that pilot project showed that the clearing time can be reduced from, in some situations, hours down to half an hour.

“For all morning rush hours now they’re going to be deployed effective immediately – which is earlier than we had planned. And then the afternoon rush hours will be done early in the new year as soon as we have to resources in place to do it,” Tory said.

This is all part of the mayor’s ongoing plan to make it easier for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to get around the city.

CORRECTION: This is a corrected story. The original version speculated the announcement would be on the Waze traffic app.