In 2016, 37 of the 43 pedestrians killed in Toronto, were adults over 55, so it is imperative that the City of Toronto recognize the safety issues for seniors and pedestrians with mobility issues (people in wheelchairs, with walkers and other mobility devices) and hearing or visually impaired persons.
As the demographic of our city’s population ages, it is important that seniors remain independent, however at this stage of life, many seniors will lose the ability to drive, so they must rely on public transportation or walking to participate in social activities or to attend to their daily lives.
Also, the Health Canada website states that “Physical activity for seniors plays an important role in their health, well-being and quality of life. The health benefits of being active for seniors are improved balance, reducing the likelihood of falls and injuries, helping seniors stay independent longer and helping prevent heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes.” Therefore it is important that all individuals (especially seniors) remain physically active.
The City of Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, Senior Safety Zone designation will provide a variety of improvements to the intersection of Balmoral Avenue and Avenue Road and enhance pedestrian safety. The improvements include lower speed limits, improved street lighting, advanced and extended walk signals at signalized intersections, red light cameras and radar speed signs, improved sidewalks and additional crosswalks, and increased enforcement.
The ABCRA commends The AMICA Mature Lifestyles and the City of Toronto for taking a leading role in recognizing the health benefits of exercise and walking for seniors and ensuring the safety of the seniors in our community by establishing these Senior Safety Zones.