On Tuesday, June 20, 2016, Maureen Coyle, a member of the Walk Toronto steering committee, gave an in-person deputation at City Hall presenting Walk Toronto’s position about the proposed Road Safety Plan to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. Coyle argued that, given the limitations and piecemeal nature of the Plan, which would not come close to achieving a “Vision Zero” goal, the plan should be referred back to staff for further enhancement.
The Road Safety Plan is the blueprint this city will use for the creation of a public realm built for shared use that will be in place for decades – if not for generations – to come. It is arguably the most important Public Works project of this council term, and likely one of the most significant municipal policies of the 21st Century. To approach road safety from the perspective of selected improvements and inconsistently applied policy changes, as the plan before this committee does, is a mistake.
As well, Daniella Levy-Pinto, also a member of Walk Toronto’s steering committee, gave an in-person deputation from the perspective of someone who is completely blind. She noted that people with disabilities are not mentioned as a key target group for improved safety in the plan, and described some of the key dangers she faces that are not sufficiently addressed in the plan as it currently stands.
We need policies to minimize the consequences of human error, and the funds to implement the necessary infrastructure changes. Please do not settle for a plan that will stop short from keeping all pedestrians like myself safe. As elected officials, you have the opportunity to lead the City in the right direction, and the responsibility to stop preventable deaths in our streets.
The Road Safety Plan was passed unanimously by the Committee, but with amendments aimed at enhancing its reach and funding.