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Tory announces 'smart' stoplights at key intersections to help tackle gridlock

Last Updated Jan 6, 2016 at 7:09 pm EDT

Mayor John Tory is taking the next step in his fight against gridlock.

On Wednesday, Tory announced Phase Two of his congestion management plan, which includes implementing new technology for stoplights at 10 ‘hot-spot’ intersections across the city.

To battle gridlock at some of the city’s most congested intersections, Tory is considering using “smart” traffic signals, improving road engineering and even having people direct traffic.

Currently the law requires that the person directing traffic be a police officer; however, Tory said he will be asking the province to change the law.

“People are going to see a difference in the technology, in people being in some of those intersections directing traffic, in curbside management. They’re going to see a difference,” Tory explained. “We will, at last, use the data that has been available up until now but never used before.”

The pilot project will take place at these intersections:

  • Yonge and Finch
  • Yonge and Sheppard
  • Finch and Victoria Park
  • Black Creek and Lawrence
  • Eglinton and Martin Grove
  • Mt. Pleasant and St. Clair
  • O’Connor and Don Mills
  • Bloor and Parliament
  • Eastern and Carlaw


“Once that pilot project is complete, then we will look to expand the use of this technology across the city,” Tory explained.

Jaye Robinson, chair of the city’s public works and infrastructure committee, was also on hand to discuss the city’s Road Safety Strategic Plan, which will officially launch on Jan. 25 with a round table with community groups, city agencies and public officials.

The plan will use city data and international best practices to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe and reduce traffic fatalities.

“We’ll be sharing ideas, strategies about traffic safety best practices, to make sure the road safety plan addresses what our residents need to safely navigate the city,” she explained. “It’s time for Toronto to take leadership in this role and we’re going to do just that.”

Shortly after taking office in 2014, Tory unveiled his six-point plan to immediately combat Toronto’s gridlock. His plan included a zero-tolerance policy for vehicles blocking lanes on main roads during rush hour and pushing for faster completion of construction projects.

“Less than a year ago, we introduced a zero-tolerance policy for illegal parking during rush hour, improved traffic signal coordination and sped up construction work,” Tory said. “These measures had a positive impact in the downtown core and these new added measures will improve commute times for residents in every part of the city.”