PACT - Party for Accountability Competency and Transparency

August 15, 2014 08:00 ET

"Green Light TO"-Traffic Congestion Relief Plan

by Mayoral Candidate Michael Nicula

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 15, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is one photo associated with this press release.

Meet the Press Event

When and Where: 3:00 PM Friday August 15th, @Regus HQ / 1235 Bay Street, Suite 400

Web: www.Mayor4.TO / E: Michael@Mayor4.TO / Twitter: @Mayor4TO

Mayoral Candidate Michael Nicula is ready to present "Green Light TO", his Sustainable Plan to relieve Toronto traffic congestion in 3 logical phases: a short-term phase addressing the most immediate and inexpensive measures to unclog the downtown and rush-hour traffic; a medium-term phase with a 5-10 years horizon and significant infrastructure investment; and a long-term phase with a horizon of 10-20 years for large investment projects.

While most Candidates rush to propose costly subway expansion projects and taxing highway tolls as the only viable solutions, Mr. Nicula draws attention first to a whole range of inexpensive measures that can have immediate results. He agrees that on the long term we need to expand Toronto subway network, but that takes many years and billions of dollars to complete, while Toronto needs relief now, and has a very limited budget.

Here are some key measures that Mr. Nicula believes they can be implemented fast, with little investment and great results:

  1. Address many street parking issues: build multi-level parking structures on the existing ground-level parking lots, then gradually restrict parking especially on major arteries; build much bigger parking structures near TTC hubs, easily accessible, cheaper rates;
  2. Implement smartphone-based payment system for parking and TTC tickets.
  3. Encourage public transit use: dedicated lanes for TTC on major arteries; implement 'honour-system' (plus controls) to speed up the boarding/getting off process; reduce TTC ticket prices; reduce parking rates near TTC hubs; reform the taxi licensing process to open the market and lower fares, etc.
  4. Enhance traffic flow through very simple measures: ban turns and parking on major arteries; more one-way streets some with changing traffic direction at rush hour; synchronized green lights, etc.
  5. As a biker himself, Mr. Nicula advocates for more dedicated bike lanes in a contiguous, unobstructed and properly marked network throughout the city.
  6. Use CCTV cameras to spot and punish parking and traffic offenses.

These measures alone will have a significant impact in relieving downtown congestion, but we must do more. The medium-term investment plan include:

  1. GO Green: Electrification and expansion of the GO rail transportation system - our City has a huge network of rail lines that are unused for most of the days; implement a more frequent service with smaller trains outside rush hour.
  2. Replace streetcars running on narrow arteries with electric buses or trolleybuses; streetcars are effective only on wide streets with dedicated lanes, such as Spadina, Quay, St. Clair.
  3. Implement more rush-hour express lines similar to #143/144 from downtown directly to various high-traffic stops (e.g. Fairview Mall).
  4. Implement a vignette sticker system (very commonly used in Europe) to collect tolls from non-residents; inexpensive, easy to control vignettes to be sold at gas stations.
  5. Vignettes, existing gas taxes and an increased TTC ridership will partially offset TTC ticket price reductions.

Mr. Nicula will get Toronto residents involved through online Referenda to decide on large, multi-billion dollar investment projects may take more than a decade to implement:

  1. Toronto definitely needs more subway lines; it may be a downtown relief line, an expansion in the suburbs - to be planned carefully;
  2. Connect the highway system: Gardiner from DVP to 401 in Pickering, Allen Rd to 407 and down to Gardiner (underground tunnel), Highway 400 to Gardiner (also tunnel);
  3. Part of his Plan "Enjoy Lakefront", Mr. Nicula, who is an Architect, supports the idea of burying Gardiner underground and to cover the VIA/GO rail lines from Bathurst to Jarvis; this will create thousands of acres of new premium, green space, connecting the city to the lake shore.

Such great plans solicit enormous funding. Mr. Nicula has a plan to bring $5 billion in new funding, annually to the City of Toronto without increasing the property taxes: the 'City Income Rebate' Plan. As an Accountant, Mr. Nicula understands that taxpayers already pay enough taxes but the current distribution of the tax burden between Federal, Provincial and City is totally wrong. The City only receives 11% currently and he wants another 9% as an Income Tax Rebate from the Federal and Provincial Governments, which can be obtained as the 2015 General election looms. Find all the details on the website.

Michael represents PACT, a federally registered political party: Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency. PACT advocates for Competence, total Transparency at all levels of government, supports bringing real, legally enforced Accountability to elected offices everywhere.

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