18 Nov We Won 2019 Road Safety Initiative of the Year from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
In accepting the award for Road Safety Initiative of the Year, we want to acknowledge and thank the extraordinary partners we have worked with on the groundbreaking 8 80 Streets project: The Better Block, EcoKids, The Danny BIA, Danforth East Community Association, Pineway Public School, Keele Street Public School, and residents through–out the three sites: 8 80 Streets Danforth, 8 80 Streets Pineway and 8 80 Streets Mountview.
Also, the local political will from City Hall Councillors Brad Bradford, Shelly Carroll and Gord Perks and city staff and directors especially those in Jacquelyn Hayward’s Transportation Team.
A huge thank you to the many, many volunteers from across Toronto, who believe in a city that can foster change, answering the question, “What if everything we did in our cities was great for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old?
And finally, but most importantly, to our donor without which these projects would not have been possible and who reminds us there are real human beings behind the statistics. Her story and the story of many friends and families who have lost loved ones to road violence are why road safety is a key part of inclusive city-building. We strongly believe Vision Zero is not just a slogan but a real possibility and achievable goal if we prioritize human beings in the design, planning, and management of our streets.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation recognized our 2019 initiative to transform three streets across Toronto, highlighting how a tactical community-led approach can quickly introduce design elements that can create safer, more vibrant, human-centred streets.
In conjunction with City Staff, we created Canada’s First Vision Zero Pop-Up re-imagining one block of one of North America’s busiest commercial corridors Danforth Ave with protected bike lanes, expanded pedestrian spaces, a street mural, two parklets, places to sit and linger, pedestrian-oriented lighting and community programming while also maintaining two lanes of vehicular traffic throughout.
In North York, our traffic calming pop-up on Pineway Ave helped residents combat longstanding issues with speeding vehicles by providing simple, but effective physical traffic calming design elements.
And finally, in the west end, Toronto’s first School Streets pop–up on Mountview Ave opened the street to students, parents and staff for an hour between 8 am – 9 am and 3 pm – 4 pm, making it safer for walking and bicycling to school while also creating more space for play and interaction at the start and end of the school day.
We are proud and hopeful to have paved a path for more projects that engage local communities in taking direct action to create safer streets designed for people of all ages and abilities. As COVID continues to impact the way we live and move in our cities our hope is to continue working with residents, organizations, partners and municipalities to create more equitable human-centred streets and public spaces in cities across Ontario and beyond.
You can watch the videos we created documenting the pop-ups below: