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November 20, 2006
Countdown signals help pedestrians cross streets safely
The City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division is installing “countdown” signals at more than 250 intersections in the city to assist pedestrians in crossing the street.

The devices provide a numeric countdown display that indicates the number of seconds remaining for a pedestrian to complete their crossing of a street. The countdown counts the length of time between the current “walk” signal and the solid “don’t walk” signal, which gives more precise information to the pedestrian than the current system.

Transportation Services has installed the first two countdown signals at the intersections of Dundas St. W. and Bay St., as well as Front St. W. and John St. More than 250 intersections will be equipped with the signals over the next two months.

“The safety of pedestrians is of paramount concern to us,” said Gary Welsh, General Manager of Transportation Services. “We feel strongly that these devices will provide pedestrians with a safer passage across the street.”

In other jurisdictions, these signals have been shown to reduce pedestrian injuries. In addition, the number of pedestrians completing their trip across the street on the solid “Don’t Walk” display was also reduced.

To reduce costs, the new display units will be installed where the City of Toronto is already replacing incandescent pedestrian displays with LED displays.

Eventually all pedestrian signals will be changed to the new countdown displays. About 1,500 signals will be converted over the next four to five years, and the remaining 500 intersections will be completed when the LED displays need to be replaced.

Media contact:
Steve Johnston, Sr. Communications Co-ordinator, 416-392-4391



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