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Toronto Plans to Improve Traffic with Smart Technology that Adopts to Congestion



If there's anything Toronto is known for, it's the brutal traffic that plagues the city at all hours of the day — forcing motorists to sit idle for lenthy periods and leading to far too many collisions and pedestrian deaths. 


In an attempt to improve driving conditions in the city, because it's clear an improvement is desperately needed, Mayor John Tory announced a new action plan today "to help manage congestion and build a more resilient, modern and safe transportation system."


The new plan, titled MoveTO, includes five key proposed actions that would launch starting next year. 


The first of the five proposed actions is introducing "smart" traffic signals, which would have automatically adjusted signal timing based on actual traffic demand. City staff are proposing 500 "smart" traffic signal locations over the next five years.


The plan also calls for the implementation of "intelligent" intersections, which are defined in the report as "a set of technologies that will allow the intersections to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists and form the backbone of a modern multi-modal data and analytics system."


Staff are proposing 100 of these locations over the next two years, with a focus on urban environments in locations with high multi-modal activity — meaning many different types of road users.


Advanced Transit Signal Priority (ATSP) is also proposed in the plan, which is technology that detects buses running behind schedule and extends green times when necessary. 


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