Walk Toronto has a new website

We’ve moved our website over to a new platform – you can find it at walktoronto.ca. Please check it out!

All the content on this site has been moved over, so no content has been lost.

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“Building a Toronto that Moves” city election survey

Walk Toronto has teamed up with the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT), Canada Walks, Cycle Toronto and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) to create an election survey for council and mayoral candidates in the upcoming civic elections.

The survey, called “Building a Toronto that Moves,” includes 4 questions each about walking, cycling and transit.

The survey was launched at a press conference this morning (Tuesday June 3) at City Hall.

The full document and the election questions can be found on the TCAT website. The survey results will be published in the fall close to the date of the election, to help Toronto voters make their decision about which candidates to support.

It was challenging to choose just 4 questions to ask, but here are the ones we came up with for walking:

1. Do you support enabling neighbourhoods to establish “slow zones” (with a maximum speed of 30 km/hr) on residential roads?

2. Do you support permanently widening sidewalks with high pedestrian activity in downtown Toronto, such as Yonge Street?

3. Do you support extending snow clearing to all residential sidewalks in Toronto, at an estimated cost of $10M per year?

4. Will you work with the Toronto area school boards to develop and implement School Travel Plans that will improve the safety and integrity of school walking routes?

More detailed background about each issue can be found in the full document.

 

Walk Toronto calls on the City of Toronto to extend snow clearing to every sidewalk in the city

Walk Toronto is calling on the City of Toronto to commit to clearing the snow from every sidewalk in the City.

While the City ploughs sidewalks in suburban areas, 1,100 km of sidewalk in the parts of Toronto most heavily used by pedestrians are not cleared of snow by the City. Instead, in this “No-plough zone” residents are required to do so, with inconsistent results. As a consequence, ice and snow makes sidewalks throughout a large part of the City dangerous during the winter, especially for seniors and the disabled. Some may be unable to leave their house, and others may suffer life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, the City pays out millions of dollars in insurance claims and struggles to enforce its own sidewalk clearance bylaws. The current policy simply does not meet the basic standards for creating a fully accessible city.

The full consequences of this City policy are laid out in a comprehensive report by Walk Toronto, “Keeping Sidewalks Safe in Winter” (PDF).

A new report from City of Toronto Transportation Services (PDF) claims that it is impossible for the City to clear narrow sidewalks in the “No-plough zone.” However, the Walk Toronto report demonstrates that in fact many cities already clear narrow sidewalks, and shows the kind of equipment that the city could purchase or contract to do so. Doing so is affordable as well – while Ottawa and Montreal’s budget for snow clearing comes to $0.44 per capita for every centimetre of snowfall they receive, Toronto only spends $0.27 per centimetre of snowfall per capita. Even the most expensive option would only bring that up to $0.30, and the cost should be much less.

The Transportation Services report will be discussed by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday April 9. Walk Toronto is calling on the committee to direct Transportation Services staff to come up with a plan and a realistic budget to clear every sidewalk in the city. It is important for the City to act now, as the contracts for snow clearing will be coming up for renewal in 2015.