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March 22, 2001
New traffic signage for schools and improvement of waste diversion in apartments among reports to Works Committee
Works and Emergency Services - Staff of Works and Emergency Services
are submitting a number of reports and recommendations to the Works Committee,
including proposed new traffic signage for school zones and harmonized policies
for traffic calming measures. Other reports deal with waste diversion efforts
in 2000 and improving waste diversion in apartments.

Transportation Reports

Traffic calming:
The proposed harmonized traffic calming policy draws from the experience and
policies of Toronto's seven previous municipalities. Traffic calming is a term
most commonly associated with physical features placed on a roadway to reduce
the speeds of motor vehicles and to improve traffic safety and comfort levels
for all users of residential streets. It is also intended to promote increased
pedestrian, cycle and transit use in an effort to reduce the negative effects
of motor vehicles on the environment. Approximately 300 speed humps were
installed in the City of Toronto in 2000.

There are three proposed traffic calming warrants that need to be satisfied for
approval of a traffic calming request. Warrant 1 involves a petition signed by
a minimum of 25 per cent of street residents. Warrant 2 involves safety
requirements and focuses on pedestrian safety, road grades and impacts on
emergency services. Warrant 3, technical requirements, evaluates whether the
traffic conditions warrant the inclusion of traffic calming devices. Traffic
calming requests are also subject to environmental assessment approvals.

The proposed traffic calming policy will be forwarded to community councils for
comment. In addition, the report will be distributed to any interested
residents and parties, including neighbourhood and business improvement
associations in Toronto, as well as citizen advisory committees and advocacy
groups, such as the City's cycling and pedestrian committees, for comment.

New school traffic signs:
Transportation staff are recommending the City adopt new, more visible,
fluorescent traffic signs in school zones and school crossing areas. This would
also help maintain consistency with other municipalities in the Greater Toronto
Area. The black signs on fluorescent yellow/green backgrounds are easier to
distinguish from the current and more common white on blue signs and would be
more likely to attract drivers' attention. Municipalities currently using the
signs believe that given their brightness, motorists may be more aware and
alert while driving through school zones.

In order to preserve the signs' uniqueness, staff are recommending the design
be reserved for school area and school crossing signs only.

Solid Waste Management Reports

Residential waste diversion:
Toronto generates approximately 877,000 tonnes of residential solid waste
annually, of which approximately 216,000 tonnes are diverted from landfill
through recycling and composting. The City's combined diversion rate for
single-family and multi-family residences in 2000 was 25 per cent. The actual
diversion rate is, however, 32 per cent when only single-family homes are
considered. It is nine per cent for multi-family dwellings.

The City's waste diversion targets are 30 per cent by 2003, 60 per cent for
2006 and 80 per cent by 2009. New items have been added to the City's recycling
program. These items include empty paint cans, empty aerosol cans, drink boxes
and milk and juice cartons.

Diversion technologies are also being developed to further increase diversion
rates. This includes construction of an anaerobic (without oxygen) digestion
facility at the Dufferin Transfer Station and efforts to develop aerobic (with
oxygen) composting technology at a site to be determined. An anaerobic
digestion plant to supplement energy needs in the downtown core is also being

Improving waste diversion in apartments:
A recent pilot project at two Etobicoke high-rises had some surprising
results. A maximum convenience concept was tested in one building where
residents were provided an initial supply of blue recycling bags and were
allowed to combine paper and containers together and place them down the
garbage chute. Despite a high degree of communication support, recycling rates
decreased. Recycling rates increased at the second building where residents
were allowed to mix paper and containers together in a bag of their choice, and
then bring their bagged recyclables to a central recycling bin.

Possible future pilots could include a "designated day" system and an automated
chute project. Staff are also investigating New York City's mandatory
recycling programs.

Summary of traffic calming measures(pdf file)
Diversion of waste(pdf file)

(You will need the FREE acrobat reader version 4 to read the backgrounder pdf files)

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