Significant transit change doesn’t have to be huge. Sometimes, a new traffic light is the bright way forward.
The world’s first traffic light was apparently a gas-lit model.
It wasn’t so safe and reportedly malfunctioned and injured an operator about a month after being installed.
But the devices did catch on, and in Toronto alone, there are now more than 2,300 traffic signals that quietly – and not so dramatically – go about their important work. Because each one, though we’ve learned to take them for granted even as we fume when waiting for them to go green, can save lives.
Now add another one to millions blinking around the world.
New signal lights will soon improve pedestrian safety at Royal York and Judson – adjacent to Mimico GO Station. In 2018 there was a traffic study that called for them. Now installed, the lights themselves – covered for now – are poised and ready for the green light.
Officials believe they will make it safer for area pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists at the intersection.
Royal York is classified as a ‘minor arterial’ road, providing north/south access between Queensway and Lakeshore Blvd. The T-intersection where Judson ends at Royal York is a common crossing for many using Mimico GO Station. However, getting from the east to west side and back again can be hazardous and near-misses happen nearly every day.
The new signal lights will provide much-needed traffic control at the intersection, and will provide a safe crossing for those on foot.
The long-term plan for the area includes a pedestrian bridge over Royal York, but since this work is still a few years away, the new traffic lights will improve both pedestrian and vehicular safety at this intersection for the time being.
Look up for the lights to be turned on soon.
Story by Stacey Kenny, Metrolinx Communications senior advisor.