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York Region ITS Strategic Plan


York Region is one of the largest Regional municipalities in Canada and the fastest growing Region in the Greater Toronto Area. The Region’s Transportation Services is responsible for the operation and maintenance of over 900 kilometres of Regional Roads covering an area of nearly 1800 square kilometres, from the City of Toronto to the south, to Lake Simcoe in the north. Within this area there is tremendous growth in both population and employment, with a population of nearly 1 million people, and 500,000 jobs. It is served by three major highways, Highway 400, Highway 404, and the 407ETR, and by York Region Transit. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies provide staff with another tool to monitor, manage traffic flow, manage congestion, and provide alternate route information to travelers, as well as save lives, time and money. ITS technology helps staff collect, analyze, and archive data about the performance of the road system. With this data messages can be relayed to drivers through ITS technologies enhancing traffic operators’ ability to respond to incidents, adverse weather or other capacity constricting events. With rapid growth has come a need to find innovative methods of “managing congestion”. As a result Region staff initiated a Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategic Plan. This strategic plan followed a proven process developed by Transport Canada, and used by other Canadian provinces and municipalities. This strategic plan identifies projects to address short, medium and long term goals for the next 10 years and provides the basis for future funding initiatives. York Region includes nine local municipalities. In addition, it is bordered by the City of Toronto, Durham Region, and Peel Region. Therefore, it was essential to perform coalition building with the twenty-five agencies who participated in the strategic planning process. The key needs identified through this process were: better management of planned road disruptions, improved transportation system safety, better traveller information, and improved incident management. Greater use of ITS to support the York Region Emergency Operations and Command Centre was an important link. Each regional ITS Strategic Plan is different, and this paper will discuss the process, the identified needs, and the specific deployment plan for York Region.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Ron Stewart
Lizuarte Simas