Downtown Peterborough will have additional pedestrian space and reduced lanes in an effort to improve physical distancing and increase business during the coronavirus pandemic.
Work is underway to install new signage for changes to sidewalks, cycling lanes, on-street parking and road lanes.
The project is a collaboration between the city, Peterborough Public Health and the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), which represents businesses in the city’s core.
The most significant changes are for vehicular traffic, including:
- George Street: Reduced to one lane between Murray and Sherbrooke streets for southbound traffic
- Water Street: Reduced to one lane between Simcoe and Hunter streets for northbound traffic
- Hunter Street: Will be a one-way street between Aylmer and George streets for eastbound traffic
Cycling lanes on George and Water streets remain in place.
The temporary changes will be made in phases over the next several days, beginning with George Street, followed by King, Charlotte, Water and Hunter streets. All changes are expected to be implemented by the end of next week, the city says.
The city says the reduced road space will create more space for pedestrians while also allowing businesses to create patio or additional commercial space. Businesses can apply through a fast-tracked process with the city.
The city says business activity, equitable use of space, accessibility, commercial deliveries, construction and emergency access have also been reviewed in the plan.
The city has provided a number of maps highlighting the changes, which can be found online.
“Downtown will feature more than 30 new or expanded patios, allowing patrons a safe and enjoyable dining experience,” said Terry Guiel, Peterborough DBIA’s executive director. “The patios are essential to help bring staff back to work and to draw attention to the downtown in a vibrant way that will also increase foot traffic for our retailers.”
On-street parking has been maintained in many areas throughout the downtown area to continue to support curbside pickup and deliveries. The city says some new commercial loading zones are being established to help businesses that rely on deliveries, and these will be strictly enforced.
On-street parking and parking in surface lots will continue to be free, however, with fewer on-street spaces available. The two-hour parking limit will also be enforced.
Visitors and employees working in the downtown core are encouraged to use city parking garages and surface lots and walk to their destinations. Paying for parking is still required at municipal parking garages, and the city will continue to offer one hour of free parking at all parking garages.