Gridlock is a serious problem for Toronto’s motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America – costing our region’s economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on our quality of life. The long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and cycling.
In the meantime, Council can make small, but important measures to alleviate traffic congestion. One such measure is to provide sufficient deterrents to motorists and delivery drivers that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour. Far too often, entire lanes of major roads are blocked due to an individual pulling over to grab a coffee in the morning or a delivery vehicle choosing the afternoon rush period to drop off their goods.
Drivers along arterials often use bicycle lanes as a parking lane, forcing cyclists to dangerously merge into traffic. During rush hour this creates very unsafe conditions for cyclists. While currently not permitted, it is clear that current fines and levels of enforcement are not sufficient to deter such activities.
Councillor Josh Matlow’s motion, which I seconded, seeks to improve traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods by working with the Toronto Police Service to increasing fines to $500 and increase level of enforcement for individuals that obstruct other motorists, public transit users and cyclists. Please click here to read the motion.
The motion will come before Government Management Committee on tomorrow, Wednesday October 12th. To show your support or register to make a written or oral deputation please email firstname.lastname@example.org this evening and please CC email@example.com.