On December 11th, City Council approved the Transportation Committee’s portion of its 2020 Budget. It includes a $27.5-million investment in road safety programs, like school-crossing guards, intersection improvements, traffic-calming measures and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.
There is an additional $4 million to implement the Strategic Road Safety Action Plan, which the Committee also approved, for a total investment of $31.5 million in road safety initiatives in 2020.
The action plan aims to reduce the average annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions by 20 per cent by 2024. To do so, it will focus on improving road safety culture, supporting vulnerable road users, enhancing rural areas and intersections, and changing high-risk driver behaviour. The plan would be funded by revenue from current and future automated enforcement. Staff would report on progress in Q1 2021.
The Committee approved three motions related to the action plan. The City would adopt a goal of zero road fatalities by 2035, with a focus on safety for the most vulnerable users of our transportation system. Through the Mayor, Council would request the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to establish dedicated funding for road safety infrastructure. Staff would develop a plan and report back within existing budgets to gradually implement 30 kilometer per hour speed limits in all gateway speed limit areas within the core residential areas and the ByWard Market.
The action plan aligns with the proposed Term of Council priorities that the Committee approved, one of which is to enhance the safety of vulnerable road users. The Committee approved a motion to include downtown heavy truck traffic and interprovincial mobility as a Term of Council priority.