Gil Penalosa Releases Toronto Walks Plan

Mayoral Candidate to make Walking Safer and More Attractive for Everyone.

Toronto – Mayoral candidate Gil Penalosa released his ‘Toronto Walks’ plan today which recognizes that all trips begin and end with walking. Penalosa’s plan includes simple, practical measures to make walking safer and more attractive for everyone.

“Birds fly, fish swim, and people walk, yet we continue making our streets hostile for pedestrians,” said Penalosa. “Let’s get everyone moving by implementing the simple, inexpensive steps in my Toronto Walks plan to make our streets safer and more attractive for pedestrians.”

Study after study shows that the actions put forward in Toronto Walks to make streets safer and more attractive will help encourage people to walk longer and more often. Providing more opportunities for walking improves residents’ physical and mental health, while also benefitting the city as a whole by reducing congestion and creating more attractive streetscapes. Walking is ‘the magic pill’; that is, the best way to have large segments of the population physically active is to encourage walking as a normal part of everyday life. Walking enhances residents’ physical and mental health, improves our environment, reduces congestion, and helps everyone live healthier and happier.

Gil Penalosa’s Walkable Toronto plan includes:

Safer Streets:

  • Reducing speeds to 30km/h on all local roads.
  • Having street lights facing onto the sidewalk, not just the road.
  • Having sidewalks on at least one side of the road on all streets.
  • Prioritizing pedestrian access in construction zones.
  • Designing streets with clear sightlines.
  • Creating raised intersections.
  • Creating pedestrian refuge islands.
  • Faster snow and tree limb clearing.
  • Modifying traffic light signals so that people on foot do not have to ‘beg’ to cross the road by pushing a button.
  • Installing more traffic signals along busy arterials so that people don’t need to cross mid-block to catch their bus or go to a shop.
  • Ensuring flat sidewalks by limiting length of curb cut ramps for people with strollers and those with mobility challenges.


Attractive Streets:

  • More street trees and plantings.
  • Active sidewalk frontage with small businesses.
  • Parking at the rear or underground in all new developments.
  • Creating Interesting street-level design and public art.
  • Creating comfortable and attractive public seating for rest and socialization that ends hostile architecture.
  • Encouraging businesses to offer sidewalk seating.

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