Coun. committee okays ban on red-light right turns
City council's works and transportation committee has given a green light to a plan that would see right turns on red lights banned at 10 intersections next year.
City council will now debate the issue on May 27.
"What we're looking for is whether there's an appetite for that," Coun. Shelley Carroll told the meeting on Tuesday about the project.
"It's just another thing we're going to do to make gridlock worse, to make congestion worse," retorted Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong.
The pilot project would involve intersections in the downtown area where there is heavy pedestrian traffic.
In 2002 and 2003, drivers turning right on a red light hit 422 pedestrians. Those incidents accounted for nine per cent of all pedestrians hit, a city study found.
The project would be one part of the city's Walking Strategy. Another example of that strategy is the "scramble intersection" at Yonge and Dundas last summer.
The scramble allows pedestrians to cross the street diagonally.
There are already 98 intersections in Toronto where right turns are restricted during red lights.
One exists at Richmond and Bay Streets, and police were out ticketing motorists who insisted on turning right despite the ban. The ticket is worth $120.
Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker, the work's committee's chair, told The Globe and Mail in a story published Tuesday that he didn't want the city to go the direction of Montreal, where no right turns are allowed on red lights.
However, Coun. Case Ootes said while he thought the plan made sense for some intersections, he feared the anti-car forces on council would push to keep expanding the move.
In another move that may anger some who using Mount Pleasant Road as a commuting artery into downtown, the committee voted to eliminate the fifth lane on Jarvis Street.
Sidewalks would be expanded on Jarvis for pedestrians and a bicycle lane would be created.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney