Getting Yonge Street moving again
Jaye Robinson Ward 25 Councillor
I’m sure many residents are familiar with the frustrating experience of waiting at a red light when there are no cars using the green light on the intersecting street. The City of Toronto has finally begun the process of updating our 25-year-old traffic signal technology on priority corridors.
As chair of the transportation committee, I launched this initiative at the very first installation site at Yonge Street and Yonge Boulevard. We will be rolling out this new “smart signal” technology at a total of 10 intersections in Ward 25 this year.These intersections span Yonge Street between Eglinton Avenue and York Mills Road.
This new technology will independently monitor traffic flow in real time and adjust signal cycles accordingly. Our current traffic signals use fixed timing plans to accommodate predicted volumes of traffic, whereas smart signals will automatically make large-scale adaptations in response to unusual traffic conditions, such as congestion caused by weather, events or accidents. They will also synchronize automatically and can reassign “green-time” across the network to prepare for large volumes of vehicles travelling in the same direction.
The success of this project will be assessed based on the reduction of overall delay for travellers across the connected network of signalized intersections on Yonge Street. Staff have undertaken significant preparatory data collection and will be comparing vehicle delay, stops and travel time before and after the network is installed. I am hopeful this will help alleviate congestion on one of Ward 25’s busiest roadways.