April 7, 2004

Combating Traffic Congestion in York Region

NEWMARKET – York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch today joined Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Chair of the Transportation and Works Committee, and York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge to unveil the Combating Traffic Congestion Plan, aimed to help reduce traffic congestion in York Region.
“York Regional Council has listened to the concerns of our residents, and we are responding with this Combating Traffic Congestion Plan,” said Chair Fisch. “This year-long program will help reduce traffic congestion through traffic light signalization improvements, the continued vigilance of York Regional Police and the building of new roads and continued enhancements to York Region Transit.  Our intention is to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in the Region.”
York Region has a population of over 865,000 people with a growth rate of more than 35,000 new residents annually – the fastest in the Greater Toronto Area.  To alleviate the congestion caused by the growth, the Region is taking concrete steps to address the issue.
The Combating Traffic Congestion Plan is comprised of the following key initiatives:
• Reducing delays along portions of Regional roads through traffic light signalization improvements
O  Delays have already been reduced up to 52 per cent in some sections
• York Regional Police Save-a-Life Program
o The 2003/04 Operation Winter Blitz proved a huge success in educating drivers about the need to alter their driving habits in adverse conditions
• York Region Capital Roads Budget
o $156.3 million that includes the widening of many roads and intersection enhancements
• York Region Transit (YRT)
o Purchase 35 new conventional YRT buses and 5 Mobility Plus specialized buses
• York Rapid Transit Plan
o $150 million partnership with the Federal and Provincial governments
• Smart Commute Initiative
o Finalizing an agreement this spring, creating two new Transportation Management Associations in the Region
• Advocating for the Expansion of Highway 404 and Highway 427
o Important for the Region’s economic growth
“This plan demonstrates that the Region is doing everything it can to ensure traffic moves smoothly on Regional roads,” said Richmond Hill Mayor Bell.  “Continued management of our growth through responsible transportation and transit initiatives is a priority for us.”
“Road safety plays a significant role in reducing congestion on our roads,” added York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge.  “Many tie-ups at busy intersections are the result of collisions due to aggressive drivers, unsafe lane changes or red-light runners.”
York Region will post updates on the Combating Traffic Congestion Plan on its Web site throughout the year.
For more information on the Combating Traffic Congestion Plan including results from the signal study, please see attached media releases and fact sheets.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca.

Contact:   Nancy Vosylius, Corporate Communications York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1226
- Email: Nancy.Vosylius@region.york.on.ca

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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