Toronto expands advanced crosswalk signal program to enhance pedestrian safety

Mayor John Tory says 80 intersections will get Leading Pedestrian Interval Programs to cut back on traffic fatalities and injuries. Marianne Dimain has more.

The City of Toronto plans to expand the advanced crosswalk signal program to nearly 80 intersections by the end of the year to reduce the number of collisions between pedestrians and vehicles.

Officials say the Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) program, which was installed at 12 intersections last year, provides pedestrians with a five-second head-start before vehicles are permitted to enter the intersection.

“This is something that has been a proven success in reducing the number of collisions between pedestrians and turning vehicles in other cities where it has been implemented,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said during a news conference Friday morning.

READ MORE: Toronto city council approves $22M for Vision Zero traffic safety initiatives

“The number that has been used is an up to 60 per cent reduction in the number of such collision between pedestrians and turning vehicles in other cities.”

The announcement follows a spike in deaths on Toronto roads last month, which sparked criticism from road safety advocates that the city’s Vision Zero strategy, a five-year project adopted in 2016 that aims to reduce traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, is faltering.

READ MORE: Driver charged in fatal Toronto hit-and-run spends 30th birthday behind bars

Since then, the city has approved $22 million for road safety actions on top of the $13 million council approved for Vision Zero earlier in June. The funds would bring the total investment in the project to $100 million.

Tory said the intersections eyed for the crosswalk signal program will be spread across four districts in Toronto and be installed by the end of the year.

“It gives the pedestrians a five-second head start on heading across the intersection,” Tory said. “Before any turning car can begin its turn, those people will be in the intersection and be seen to be in the intersection.”

Officials say each intersection crosswalk installation will cost around $2,000.

VIDEO: Vision Zero gets $22M from Toronto city council

— With a file from Jamie Mauracher

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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