Mayor announces plan to combat gridlock

Weekend road closures to be reduced, traffic cameras increased

Mayor John Tory announced a new six-point traffic plan to combat gridlock in Toronto at a press conference Thursday morning.

One of the first steps will be launching an aggressive towing policy during rush hour that will begin January 1, with Tory warning drivers that he would personally tow them if he had to.

In addition, the plan calls for an end to weekend road closures on busy weekends and the implementation of 40 new traffic cameras throughout the city.

Announcing the plan at the city’s traffic control centre at City Hall with Coun. Jaye Robinson, Tory said the top complaint he heard from Toronto residents was problems with traffic.

“I have had the oppurtunity to speak to thousands of Toronto residents about their experiences, and I’m sure Coun. Robinson has had the same experience, about what they want from their city,” Tory said. “And while there are other big issues in the context of things we talked about during the opening meeting the other day, the one thing people would mention more frequently then anything else was ‘Please, please get traffic moving in this city.'”

To that end, Tory said that he will personally chair the city’s traffic committee.

Other initiatives in the traffic plan include implementing 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. construction for public sector projects, increasing fees and criteria for closing lanes for development and retiming 100 additional traffic lights throughout Toronto.

Tory closed the conference by stating that Toronto has a traffic problem, but he was going to do everything he could to fix it.

“I was sent to city hall to act on traffic, among other things,” Tory said. “I am the mayor of Toronto, not the sheriff. But I could say when it comes to traffic that there is a new sheriff in town.”