North York Post - - News - By Kristina Kirkaldy

On Dec. 6, an 87-year-old woman was struck and killed by an SUV while at­tempt­ing to cross the road near Bathurst Street and Shep­pard Av­enue West. There are two se­niors’ build­ings in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity. The vic­tim was trans­ported to the hos­pi­tal where she later suc­cumbed to her in­juries.

By the end of that sin­gle day in De­cem­ber, at least an­other 20 Toronto res­i­dents were hit by ve­hi­cles. Last year, there were 42 pedes­trian fatal­i­ties in Toronto (at press time), the most since 2002, rep­re­sent­ing 55 per cent of all traf­fic fatal­i­ties. Of those fatal­i­ties, 27 were se­nior citizens.

At least four pedes­tri­ans over the age of 80 were killed at var­i­ous North York in­ter­sec­tions last year.

A 92-year-old man was hit by a car at Av­enue Road and Fel­brigg Av­enue in May, and in Au­gust, an 83-year-old woman was killed by an SUV at Finch Av­enue West and Tal­bot Road.

Ward 10 coun­cil­lor James Paster­nak said traf­fic con­ges­tion and safety is the num­ber one in­quiry at his of­fice.

“We are to­tally swamped with re­quests for low­er­ing speed lim­its, in­stalling stop signs, in­stalling speed bumps and putting in turn re­stric­tions,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Paster­nak, the area has a lot of cut-through traf­fic from main roads and High­way 401.

“We need to un­der­stand that, with an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, it makes it even more es­sen­tial that ev­ery­one par­tic­i­pate in driver and pedes­trian safety,” Paster­nak said.

Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice (TPS) con­sta­ble Clin­ton Stibbe noted that the TPS is see­ing an in­crease in pedes­trian ac­ci­dents in res­i­den­tial ar­eas ver­sus the down­town core. Stibbe said ar­eas such as Bathurst and Shep­pard “have a higher con­cen­tra­tion of se­niors liv­ing in the area, and they are more likely to be in­volved in a col­li­sion that re­sults in a fa­tal­ity.”

On June 10, 2016, Toronto City Coun­cil unan­i­mously voted to en­act a five-year Road Safety Plan in or­der to re­duce road fatal­i­ties to zero.

Mau­reen Coyle, an ac­tive mem­ber of Walk Toronto, said city staff has to en­dorse a plan that uses in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices. Coyle said these prac­tices put pedes­tri­ans first and re­flect the prin­ci­ples of Vi­sion Zero, which started in Swe­den, that have led to other ci­ties around the world hav­ing safer roads and walk­ways. The Vi­sion Zero plan aims to re­duce speed lim­its, place speed cam­eras in school zones, change traf­fic pat­terns and iden­tify safety im­prove­ments for ar­eas with chil­dren, se­niors and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

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