Pedestrian Action Plan for Toronto’s Most Dangerous Intersections

On June 14th (today), Toronto City Council will consider two motions: 1) to respond to the findings contained within the Worst 100 Intersections Global News Network report, and 2) to create a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan to improve safety at all 100 intersections with action focused at the 10 worst intersections as soon as possible. Four of the worst intersections are in Scarborough. Read the notice of motion here.

Included in the report is a map (reproduced below) indicating the number of pedestrian accidents relative to the volume of pedestrians using the intersection. While there is more concentrated pedestrian activity downtown, the bulk of the most dangerous intersections are on suburban arterials (wide roads that take more time to cross) and where major and minor roads meet.

What can explain this phenomenon? Spacing Toronto associate editor Dylan Reid attributed "strength in numbers" to explain the relative safety in crossing major downtown streets. Reid also suggests specific driver and pedestrian behaviours that may explain the spike when there is a transition from a major to a minor road.

Interestingly, the map does not include the 10 worst intersections for pedestrians according to a pamphlet produced by the Toronto Police Traffic Safety Unit (PDF). This demonstrates the limitations of reporting collisions without concurrently analyzing the relative volume of pedestrians.

Map courtesy of Patrick Cain.

Posted On: June 14, 2011