That's the theory proposed to the city in a memo from Stephen Buckley, the general manger of the city's transportation services division.
He says that more narrow lanes will slow down traffic. He suggests anywhere from 3 to 4.3 metre lanes, depending on location. The narrowing would occur by adding bike lanes or medians to the streets, or in some cases, widening sidewalks.
So far, only Danforth and University avenues have been floated as possible streets on which to apply the concept.
Buckley also says that with a bit of traffic light synchronizing, the narrow lanes will actually smooth out the flow of cars streaming down the streets — that is, less stops and starts.
That's something mayor-elect John Tory says he wants to see more of.
"It's a genuine attempt...to make traffic move more smoothly and safely," said Tory on Tuesday at city hall.
The mayor elect, who takes office Dec. 2, says he would like to look at the proposal more closely, to "read the fine print" he says. Until then, he does not approve the project, but does not disapprove either.
"To me, if it enhances public safety and causes traffic to move more smoothly... I'm not going to raise my voice against it," he says.
A number of North American cities already have narrowed streets, including San Francisco, Boston and New York.