TORONTO – A week after Georgia Walsh, 7, was hit and killed by a driver in Leaside, the major candidates for mayor faced questions about what they would do to make city streets safer for pedestrians.
Global News captured dozens of drivers rolling through stop signs and appearing to speed through neighbourhoods, seemingly unaware of traffic calming measures.
“I believe our streets are safe,” said Mayor Rob Ford, when asked if he would support lowering speed limits on residential streets to 30 km/hr, as Ontario’s Chief Coroner has recommended.
“I do not support reducing the speed limit.”
Ford has consistently objected to lower speed limits since they were first proposed by Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health in 2012, and he’s not alone in his view.
Rival John Tory believes frustration causes drivers to rush through neighbourhoods and roll through stop signs.
“We have to enforce the law as well as we possibly can, and educate the public and discourage people from going into the residential areas by having major streets move better,” said Tory.
Neighbourhood speeds are on the radar of Olivia Chow, who has announced a policy aimed at reducing pedestrian fatalities to zero. While Chow rejected the idea of a blanket city-wide reduction in speed limits, she believes local neighbourhoods should have the power to request them.
“We know the higher the speed the more fatalities. The lower speed you get injured if you get hit but it’s less likely you’ll get killed,” said Chow.