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More cameras necessary to improve traffic in Toronto: Tory

CityNews | posted Thursday, Jun 23rd, 2016

More cameras to monitor the flow of traffic are necessary to improve congestion in Toronto, Mayor John Tory said Thursday.

The cameras will allow for better timing of traffic lights, one of six pillars in Tory’s plan to improve traffic in the gridlocked city.

“There’s a huge and increasing amount of technology being deployed to get the city moving,” Tory said at Toronto’s traffic control centre, known as the Consolidated Communications Command Centre.

Better-timed traffic lights, which allow drivers to travel longer without stopping and also stay green when no opposing traffic is coming, are a “low-cost way to get traffic moving,” he added.

Tory said that while the city was trying to “provide options” for people to get out of their cars, “the bottom line is people still use cars,” and better traffic management would remain a focus for Toronto.

The six-point plan was first unveiled nearly two years ago, with Tory vowing to crack down on drivers parked in no-parking zones and to complete construction projects more quickly.

At the time, Tory said he would work with city staff to accelerate the traffic signal re-timing plan to have 350 signals, instead of 250, coordinated by 2015.

“This will allow traffic to move better. We will also move faster to test and pilot the new Smart Traffic Signal technology that can sense traffic flows and respond in real time,” he said in December of 2014.

Tory said Thursday that 337 traffic lights were re-timed in 2015, resulting in an eight per cent reduction in delays. This year, the city will change 350 more traffic signals, on 17 key routes.

It costs between $4,000 and $5,000 for each light.

By the end of 2017, approximately 1,500 traffic signals – about 60 per cent of the city’s traffic signals – will be retimed.


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