Jennifer Keesmaat is vowing to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h on all residential streets if elected mayor — and criticizing Mayor John Tory for not doing more to build safer streets.
“Too many people are dying on our streets,” she told reporters at a Friday morning campaign announcement.
There have been 44 people killed on Toronto’s roadways in 2018, according to police statistics. That includes the deaths of 24 pedestrians — deaths Keesmaat said are preventable.
Right now, the former chief planner said there’s a confusing mix of speed limits on residential streets, and added the city needs to send a stronger message to motorists that they need to go slow in areas where children are present.
Keesmaat’s road safety plan also includes a goal of transforming 100 of the city’s most dangerous intersections, redesigning streets and sidewalks near schools, and using a Vision Zero-focused approach when rebuilding infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.
That means creating streets that are “safe by design,” which could include simple changes like adding planter boxes or posts at intersections to slow down cars and give pedestrians a shorter distance to walk, Keesmaat told CBC Toronto.
“You become less dependent on enforcement because the road doesn’t feel like a highway,” she added.
Keesmaat estimates her plan would cost $36 million to implement over a two-year span.