This morning, the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) released the results of a survey of council and mayoral candidates that asked 12 questions about sustainable transportation policies (walking, cycling, transit). The survey was developed as a partnership between TCAT, Walk Toronto and Canada Walks (walking questions), Cycle Toronto (cycling questions) and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (transit questions). (Disclosure: I was part of the committee that established this survey, representing Walk Toronto).
Overall, the survey showed strong support for sustainable transportation policies, with all of the proposals receiving majority support and several of them receiving overwhelming support.
The highest support (97%, and 100% of responding incumbents) was for establishing School Travel Plans to improve the safety of children walking to school.
Several policies received around 90% support:
- Do you support enabling neighbourhoods to establish “slow zones” (with a maximum speed of 30 km/hr) on residential roads? (92%, and 100% of responding incumbents)
- Do you support connecting major transit hubs in North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke with protected bike lanes and bicycle boulevards enabling Torontonians to bike to transit as part of their commute? (89%)
- Do you support the inclusion of a Complete Streets policy into Toronto’s new Official Plan as part of the current Five Year Official Plan Review? (89%)
- Will you agree to improving transit service levels every year, beyond keeping up with increased ridership? (90%)
The lowest levels of support were for a 4-year TTC fare freeze (58%), stopping the privatization of TTC operations (73%, but 88% of incumbents), and funding residential sidewalk snow clearing by the City in old Toronto (73%, but 83% of incumbents).
Almost two-thirds (63%) of the 38 incumbents who had registered to run again for office by the time the survey closed filled out the survey. Two of the three remaining leading mayoral candidates also filled it out — Olivia Chow and John Tory — although both declined to say “Yes” or “No” to several of the questions (they did comment on all of them). David Soknacki also completed the survey before he withdrew from the race. Rob Ford did not fill it out before withdrawing, and the survey closed before Doug Ford entered the race. Overall, 39% of candidates who had registered by the time the survey closed responded to the survey.
Given the strong support for sustainable transportation overall, and the overwhelming support for certain policies, we should reasonably expect to see at least some of these policies implemented during City Council’s next term.
Image: City of Toronto