Should Toronto embrace ramp metering on the DVP?
TORONTO – A transit expert who John Tory relied on during the campaign to bolster his SmartTrack plan and is now a part of his transition team thinks Toronto should look at “metering” on highways to curb gridlock.
Tory however isn’t ready to “embrace” the idea.
“It didn’t make it in into my platform,” Tory said during an interview on Newstalk 1010’s Jerry Agar show Monday morning.
“That doesn’t mean it was right or wrong, it just means I didn’t embrace.”
Ramp metering would restrict the number of cars that can get on the highway to avoid bottlenecks.
But most evidence points to its gridlock-reducing benefits – so why won’t Tory set metering in motion?
Tory’s campaign said in a statement Monday he is open to “considering measures that will reduce congestion” but ramp metering wasn’t part of his platform.
He did say Monday it’s among things the city should study but he won’t make a impulse decision one way or another.
“I will tell you that I’ve heard that said. But I can also tell the listeners, to reassure them, John Tory as mayor is not going to make knee jerk decisions that maybe people will tell you are the best ideas ever without knowing all about it,” he said on the Agar show.
WATCH: (Oct. 28) John Tory says he will take active role on transit and gridlock decisions
Dr. Eric Miller, the director of the University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute told the Toronto Sun recently ramp metering could help lessen the pain of gridlock on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.
“If you could inject the flow so that you’re never slowing down, you constantly keep the cars moving … you’re actually able to put many more cars through it,” Miller told the newspaper.
Tory spent much of the campaign championing transit and gridlock solutions – namely his SmartTrack plan. But he’s also suggested moving bus stops so they are following a stop light and prohibiting developers from taking up a lane of traffic.
And transit was the biggest issue for voters in the campaign, according to Ipsos Reid polling done for Global News.
Ramp metering is used extensively in the United States and appears to help control gridlock.
California has been using ramp metering since 1966 to control the flow of traffic onto highways. Since then, they’ve expanded their network to over 1,000 sites statewide, according to the California Department of Transportation.
Arizona also uses ramp metering and says it is effective at managing traffic. But the plan does come with its own set of drawbacks including diverting trips from freeways to side streets, a source of complaints from the public, backups on ramps that can spill onto other streets and emissions from the vehicles waiting to get on the freeway.