After media, Mayor Tory viewed as most credible source for information about road closures
Getting around the city remains top of mind for the majority of Toronto residents, according to a survey for the City of Toronto. The survey, conducted by Ipsos-Reid in April, found a significant majority of residents believe the “most important” issues facing Toronto are poor transportation/transit (22 per cent) and traffic congestion/gridlock (20 per cent).
“The number one priority for Toronto residents continues to be their ability to move around the city. In January, the City implemented a six-point congestion plan to get this city moving,” said Mayor John Tory. "Through road closures coordination, accelerating construction, and letting Toronto residents know about road closures as soon as possible, we will make a real impact on our ability to get around, get to work and get home to our families.”
The survey found that while Torontonians understand why construction is needed, few residents believe they have enough detailed information on how construction will impact travel – only 11 per cent of residents said they know a lot about how construction impacts traffic – leading to a lack of satisfaction with how the city manages traffic and roadwork.
Half of Torontonians (52 per cent) also believe it is getting much or somewhat harder to get around the City and the majority agree construction (66 per cent) and road congestion (56 per cent) are to blame.
Over the last six months, the City of Toronto has begun an aggressive campaign to address the concerns Toronto residents have about congestion. That includes:
• Creating a Road Closure Coordination Committee, chaired by Mayor Tory, to coordinate roadwork, events and TTC track work in a way that results in the least amount of impact on traffic.
• Implementing a Six Point Congestion Plan, including a zero tolerance for vehicles blocking lanes of traffic during peak travel times on major roads.
• Continuing to look for opportunities to accelerate construction work to open earlier, such as the Gardiner Expressway work in April 2015.
Although most respondents rated all aspects of infrastructure projects as being somewhat/very important, quality of work emerged as the most important by nearly all respondents (90%) indicating the importance of tax dollars well spent and quality work that will last longer. Following quality of work, eight in 10 believe that safety (84%), speed (83%), cost (80%) and coordination/management of construction projects with various organizations involved (76%) are somewhat/very important.
“The quality of work is extremely important because these critical infrastructure projects are here for the long term," said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the City's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. "Before you see a fence, shovel or construction equipment, the City is already at work coordinating all of the project's details and timing. There are always unforeseen challenges but we're focused on quality work and minimizing delays."
A majority of Toronto residents (60%) also indicated that they would show more patience regarding delays and congestion if they were more aware of construction start and end dates. The media are viewed as the most credible source for information about construction in the city, followed by the Mayor. Residents prefer to receive information about construction projects by television, radio and construction signage at the actual construction site. The City will continue to communicate with the public on road closures and construction through media outlets and effective on-site signage.
Residents also indicated a preference to maintain special events even though they recognize that they often result in road closures. The survey showed that 68% of residents did not feel that the city would be better off curtailing special events such as marathons that result in road closures.
This news release is also available on the City's website: http://bit.ly/1NiAz3w
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