York Region Traveller Safety Plan 2024-2027
York Region is developing a multi-year Traveller Safety Plan and we are seeking public input to help promote road safety. The Plan will include local and Regional roads and is led by industry professionals, consultants and road safety partners.
Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death and disability. York Region’s Traveller Safety Plan focuses on reducing traffic-related fatalities and injuries across the Region. The Plan will help to identify short-term and long-term solutions for the next five years and beyond to ensure the Region and municipalities are doing their part in preventing injury and fatalities on our roads.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Public Information Centre for the Traveller Safety Plan on February 28, 2023.
Click below to view the presentation
Click below to view a recording of the presentation
Comments and questions from the Traveller Safety Plan Virtual Public Information Centre
New/Changes to Roadway
Concerns were raised about implementing new and changing existing roadways and services. This included questions about intersections, roundabouts, traffic lights and timing, sidewalks, pedestrian crossing facilities and crossing guards, bike lanes and pathways, transit service, bus stops, parking, streetlights, signs and pavement markings.
The Region has policies, standards, and guidelines that influence how infrastructure is planned, designed, constructed and maintained.
The Transportation Master Plan provides a framework for the long-term vision of York Region’s transportation network. It considers the Region’s transportation infrastructure needs over the next 30 years to support growth and the changing needs of travellers.
Operational policies such as the Traffic and Pedestrian Signal Policy, Pedestrian Crossover Policy, Transit Service Guidelines, and Pedestrian and Cycling Partnership Program Policy provide criteria and tools that allow the Region to make changes to existing roadways and services. Operational reviews are continually ongoing.
The Traveller Safety Plan will identify specific improvement opportunities which will help improve safety.
Concerns were raised about operations of the roadway, traveller interactions (motorists, transit, pedestrians, cyclists etc.), laws and enforcement on the roadway.
This included understanding of right-of-way, existing and changes to regulations (parking and turn restrictions, changing speed limits, time-of-day, and truck restrictions etc.), requests for more enforcement, concerns relating to traveller behaviour, traffic congestion and delay.
The rules of the road are governed by Highway Traffic Act and local bylaws. Travellers are responsible for following the rules and interacting safely with other travellers. Municipalities regularly review and change existing bylaws to adapt to changing conditions. Public agencies work together to help enforce the Highway Traffic Act and bylaws. The Traveller Safety Plan will implement measures to help modify traveller behaviour to make our roads safer.
Concerns were raised about maintaining roadway surface condition, potholes, debris, snow clearing, bike lanes, transit facilities and sidewalks.
Road maintenance is governed by Ontario Regulation 239/02: Minimum Maintenance Standards For Municipal Highways. The Region and local area municipalities have programs to ensure roadway facilities are maintained in accordance with the standards. Share local road concerns with the responsible municipality.
Concerns were raised about safety on the transportation network. Specific topic areas include intersections, pedestrian facilities, school drop-off and pick-up zones, speeding, truck traffic, sightlines, crashes/collisions, Red Light Cameras (RLC), Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) and traveller interactions (close calls or conflicts).
The Region’s existing safety programs, such as Red Light Cameras, Automated Speed Enforcement, speed monitoring boards and speed reductions in school zones are designed to increase safety and help influence positive changes in traveller behaviour. The Traveller Safety Plan will build on these programs. The plan identifies “emphasis areas,” where lowering risks is both needed and possible. The emphasis areas include vulnerable travellers, such as pedestrians and cyclists, intersections, aggressive driving, distracted driving and impaired driving.
Concerns were raised about accessibility at intersections and on roads. This included intersection improvements and accessible parking.
Public agencies work together to implement and maintain programs and improve accessibility needs on the roadway. The Traveller Safety Plan considers accessibility needs.
Requests were made to provide more education for travellers including traffic laws, using roundabouts, pedestrian head start at signalized intersections, pedestrian safety (lighting and reflective clothing), cycling safety, school drop-off and pick-up, interactions between traffic lanes and bike lanes.
Public agencies provide education and increase awareness through social media, websites, advertising and mailouts. York Region has a traffic safety program with various campaigns including, Slow Down, Pedestrian Safety and Be Visible, Be Seen. Different agencies often collaborate on various safety initiatives and educational programs. Campaigns are developed and updated throughout the year to address various safety needs. The Traveller Safety Plan will include educational programs to increase safety and help influence positive changes in traveller behaviour.
We are now in the second phase of developing the Traveller Safety Plan. In the first phase we held a public consultation and invited you to ask questions or make comments. In the current phase we asked for public input through a survey. The survey is now closed.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email @email
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Region doing this?
The Region has adopted a road safety management plan since 2012. In the past two decades, the Region has implemented numerous traffic safety initiatives on Regional roads to improve the safety of all road users, such as SpeedWATCH boards; pedestrian crossovers; "Slow School Zone" pavement markings; roundabouts; Red Light Cameras (RLC); Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE); and intersection safety pilot studies, such as no-right turn on red prohibition, exclusive left turn signal, pedestrian and cyclist right-of-way signage, and Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs). In addition to the regional efforts, in recent years, some local municipalities have undertaken network-wide safety assessments and developed programs and policies to improve road safety on their road network.
Despite extensive road safety initiatives, guidelines, and policies, around 16,000 collisions occur on Regional and local roadways each year, out of which over 100 collisions result in a fatality or serious injury. Therefore, the Region has recognized that a new and broader-based approach is required and has proposed the development of a Region-wide Traveller Safety Plan.
What is the purpose of this plan?
Road safety is an issue of great importance locally, nationally, and internationally. Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death and disability in many jurisdictions, resulting in high economic costs, pain and suffering, and life-altering consequences. York Region has initiated the Traveller Safety Plan as a comprehensive action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and injuries within the Region. Building upon the "Vision Zero" principles, this study will set out the targets, policies, and action plans to guide the Region, local municipalities, and its road safety partners toward creating safer travel and reducing the number of fatal and serious injury collisions for all travellers. The Plan will serve as a roadmap for implementing both short-term solutions and long-term investments over the next five years and beyond in a coordinated and focused manner to ensure the Region and local municipalities are doing their part in preventing injury and fatality on our roads.
Who is involved in developing the plan?
The Plan will be led by a committee of industry professionals, consultants and road safety partners.
How can I participate in the plan development?
The Region is reaching out to engage the public in this study. The study will rely on various resources to identify the potential safety concerns within the Region, including historical collision data, police citations, hospital data, and inputs from different stakeholders and the public. Therefore, the Region is contacting residents and community members to inform them of the study and request them to participate in the engagement process through the project website and its online features, including online public opinion surveys and a Crowd Map tool.
We want to hear your thoughts on the following:
- Your experience in terms of the overall level of road safety using different modes of travel
- Your road safety priorities or collision emphasis areas, such as intersection-related, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and vulnerable road user collisions
- Areas with known safety concerns that you can pinpoint on the map
Is this different than Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is a variation of road safety strategic planning that has become popular with policymakers and the road safety community. Vision Zero started in Sweden in 1994 with the premise that everyone has the right to move safely everywhere, and it can never be ethically acceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when moving within the transport system. Therefore, system designers, operators, maintenance staff, and policymakers share the responsibility to provide a Safe System for all travellers irrespective of their chosen mode, income level, race, gender, or physical abilities.
Where is the focus of the study?
This study is focused on improving the safety of road users travelling across the York Region road network, regardless of the roadway classification, such as collectors, arterials, or highways, and mode of transportation, such as walking, cycling, driving, or using public transit. The boundaries of the York Region and its local nine municipalities are shown in Figure 1.
Link to Glossary of Terms
- Active Lot is a commuter parking lot currently in use
- Built-up Area refers to lands that have been developed for urban uses
- Bus Rapid Transit Curbside Service refers to rapid transit service operated in the curb lane (similar to conventional transit services) due to constrained right-of-way or other operational considerations
- Commuter Parking Lot refers to a parking facility which allows a commuter to park their own personal vehicle and then transfer to/from a different mode of travel (e.g. public transit) in order to complete their commute
- Cycling Facility refers to pieces of infrastructure that are shared or specifically designated for use by bicycles or other designated forms of transportation. Examples can include (but not limited to) bike lanes or multi-use paths
- Cycling Facility to Be Determined refers to a future cycling facility identified for further review within the York Region Pedestrian and Cycling Planning and Design Guidelines. Currently these routes may include shared facilities on roadways or, portions thereof, which may be used for cycling and motor vehicles
- Corridor refers to a strip of land that forms a route to connect cities, towns and villages and is used by pedestrians, cyclists, cars, trucks, buses, subways, and trains
- Dedicated/Separated Facilities refers to bike lanes or shared paths designed for use by cyclists and separated from motor vehicles by signage, markings and/or barriers
- Urban Area refers to an area identified for future urban uses
- Facilities refers to a place, amenity, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose e.g. bike lanes, Bus Rapid Transit, road widenings, streetscaping, etc.
- Future Highway refers to a provincial highway or portions of it to be planned or constructed at a later date to be determined
- GO Rail Corridor refers to a commuter rail service within a right-of-way, operated by Metrolinx
- GO Rail Station is a regular stopping place on a GO train route, which includes platforms and often one or more buildings, operated by Metrolinx
- GO Rail Station Subject to Further Study is a future GO Rail Station identified for further review
- Grade Separation refers to a tunnel or a bridge that allows a road or rail line to travel over or under the other, without the need for vehicles travelling on the road to stop
- Grade Separation (Capital Program) refers to a grade separation (bridge), between road and rail, identified as part of York Region’s 10 Year Roads and Transit Capital Construction Program
- Grade Separation (Prioritized) refers to a grade separation identified as a priority, but not currently identified in York Region’s 10 Year Roads and Transit Capital Construction Program
- High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes refer to curbside lanes used exclusively by motor vehicles with two or more persons, motorcycles, scooters and/or bicycles
- Interchange is a crossing of a Regional road and a provincial highway at different levels with connecting ramps for traffic turning between the intersecting highway and roadway
- Interchange (Municipal Initiative) An interchange requested by a municipality and not within the Province’s capital construction plan
- Major Transit Station Area refers to the area including and around any existing or planned higher order transit station or stop within a settlement area
- Mid-block Crossing is a road connection over or under a major highway without ramp access
- New Road Link is a new road designed to provide continuous access across communities
- Potential Lot is a future commuter parking lot identified for further review
- Proposed Region-Wide Trail Network refers to a future Trail Network identified for further review
- Provincial Freeway refers to an express highway with controlled access, maintained by the province
- Provincial Highway is a road connecting regions, maintained by the province
- Railway is a set of tracks made of steel rails along which trains run
- Rapid Transit Corridor refers to transit infrastructure where lanes are for the exclusive use of buses or light-rail vehicles and physically separated from other modes of travel within its own section. In York Region, a rapid transit corridor may also be referred to as a ‘rapidway’
- Rapid Transit Subject to Further Study refers toa future Rapid Transit Corridor identified for further review
- Rapidway refers to dedicated lanes in the centre of the road for Viva vehicles (YRT’s bus rapid transit service) and emergency services. In York Region, a rapid transit corridor may also be referred to as a ‘rapidway’
- Region-Wide Trail Network is a connected series of shared facilities (i.e. multi-use trails) typically located outside the roadway for use by cyclists, pedestrians and other forms of active transportation
- Road is a major traffic, pedestrian, cycling and transit route that makes it easier for people and good to move across communities
- Road Improvements refers to a change to the road and/or its elements including widening, reducing, re-configuring and/or adding new structures or facilities such as bike lanes, cycle paths, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) or transit lanes
- Road Improvements (Provincial Jurisdiction) refers to a change to the road and/ or its elements including widening, reducing, re-configuring and/or adding new structures on a provincial highway
- Subway is a rail-based rapid transit that generally operates underground to accommodate large volumes of passengers with higher relative speeds and greater frequencies compared to surface transit infrastructure
- Subway Station is a regular stopping place on a subway route, that includes platforms and often one or more buildings, operated by the Toronto Transit Commission
- Subway Subject to Future Study refers to a future subway identified for further review
- Transitway on Existing Provincial Highway refers to transit infrastructure that is either adjacent to or separated from parallel provincial 400-series highways and is exclusively dedicated for buses or light-rail vehicles to accommodate longer distance (express) passenger needs
- Transitway on Proposed Provincial Highway refers to transit infrastructure that is either adjacent to or separated from parallel proposed provincial 400-series highways and is exclusively dedicated for buses or light-rail vehicles to generally accommodate longer distance (express) passenger needs
- Urban Boundary defines the limit for development within an urban area serviced with infrastructure like public transit, water and sewage pipes and recreation facilities to help control urban sprawl