"With the increasing duration of our rush hours in the city, these changes on King Street, Queen Street and Adelaide Street will help to keep streetcars and drivers moving during these periods," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.
The restrictions will now extend from 7 to 10 a.m. in the morning and from 3 to 7 p.m. in the afternoon along Queen Street and King Street from Jarvis Street in the east to Bathurst Street in the west. On Adelaide Street, the changes will be in effect for the same time period from Yonge Street to University Avenue.
Congestion has a significant impact on the quality of life for residents and carries an economic cost to businesses. Recent studies have indicated that congestion costs Toronto commuters several billions of dollars annually in travel delays and vehicle operating costs, as well as increasing vehicle emissions.
This initiative is one of several that are planned as part of the Congestion Management Strategy developed by the City's Transportation Services division. Among other initiatives:
dedicated curbside loading zones for delivery companies
upgrading the City's traffic signal management software to a new system by the end of 2014
the re-evaluation and co-ordination of approximately 1,000 traffic signals over the next three years
the installation of 100 traffic cameras on arterial roads to better detect problems on these key transportation routes, and
the addition of 13 variable message signs along the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway
These changes will allow the City to better respond to changes in traffic conditions, provide motorists with updated information to allow them to change routes as necessary, and improve traffic efficiency along key corridors.