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Report calls for transportation strategy
Posted on Wednesday, February 07 @ 16:38:31 CET by admin

Trucking News

Smart traffic signals, clearing accidents quickly and opening up paved shoulders to vehicles during rush hour would improve congestion on highways in the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor — a problem that is costing the average household $125 a year, according to a report from the Toronto Region Board of Trade to be released Wednesday.

The report is the fourth in a series from the board that looked at the movement of commercial goods through the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor, Canada's largest manufacturing and transportation hub.

One million tonnes — $3 billion worth of goods — are trucked through the region every day, according to the board. But congestion on the highways connecting the cities is creating delays that cost $500 million to $650 million per year in higher prices.

"What surprised me the most I guess was that for a region of this size — Greater Toronto, Hamilton, Barrie, Kitchener-Waterloo — which we are calling the corridor — we currently don't have a regional strategy," said the author of the report, Natasha Apollonova, assistant vice-president, policy, Toronto Region Board of Trade.

"I think there needs to be someone who is co-ordinating all of this and who has the responsibility for really driving the regional strategy."

The report points out that much of the road network in the corridor doesn't take full advantage of even existing technologies and could benefit from emerging technologies like smart signals.

Smart signals use cameras and sensors embedded in the pavement to respond to traffic patterns in real time, according to the report, for example, eliminating an advance left turn signal if no cars are waiting in line to turn left. Smart signals can allow extended green signals for turning trucks trying to clear an intersection.

Efforts should be made to maximize the existing infrastructure, including permitting vehicles to use paved shoulders on the Don Valley Parkway in peak traffic; variable speed limits and rapid accident clearance, which would help avoid long unexpected delays, according to the report.

The report cites as an example the Ontario Provincial Police and Halton region, which are using drones to quickly record accident scenes, reducing the clearance process to 15 minutes from between one and two hours.

The report also calls for smarter enforcement, including cracking down on vehicles that block traffic by making illegal turns.

It suggests moving truck traffic to Highway 407 by providing financial incentives to trucking companies.

The solution would also include improving public transit in the region, to get more passenger cars off the roads.

Toronto Star

Source of article click here : The Record

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