Coronavirus: Peterborough makes ‘tweaks’ to Downtown Public Space Plan to restore some on-street parking

A map of the downtown Peterborough public space plan. City of Peterborough

The City of Peterborough says it has made some “tweaks” to its Downtown Public Space Plan to restore some on-street parking during the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes to downtown streets occurred last month as a means to create more pedestrian space and additional patio space for restaurants that were reopening during Stage 2.

Read more: Sidewalk expansion poles not a concern for Peterborough first responders, officials say

On Friday, the city says the following streets will have changes:

  • George Street, west side, between Simcoe Street and Charlotte Street
  • King Street, south side, between 185 King St. and George Street
  • Charlotte Street, north side, mid-block, between George and Aylmer streets

The city says based on recommendations from public health officials, businesses within the referenced George Street and King Street sections are required to satisfy the following measures to improve physical distancing:

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  • No sandwich boards, planters, benches or other obstructions on the existing sidewalk.
  • Sidewalks cannot be used for outdoor queuing space, outdoor display areas or patios.

The city says it is installing pedestrian warning signs at both ends of the affected blocks to remind people for the need for two metres of physical distancing and no congregation in the areas.

A map of Downtown Peterborough public space plan. City of Peterborough

Mayor Diane Therrien says the city is “listening to residents and businesses” to consider tweaks that fit within the overall goal of protecting public health during the pandemic.

“Physical distancing is challenging in downtowns where public space is limited,” she stated. “By creating more pedestrian space, the hope is that it will help people feel safe to visit the downtown. We’re adjusting to the new situation, supporting activity in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We can visit businesses, stores, offices and restaurants to support our local businesses in a way that is safe, following public health guidelines.”

Cycling lanes remain in place and the city says there are still about 400 on-street parking spaces in the downtown, with about 115 of these spaces located within the downtown street modification areas.

There are also almost 1,200 parking spaces in municipal parking garages and about 400 parking spaces in municipal parking lots in the central area.

The city says it has issued 22 permits for new or expanded patios under the fast-track process for using the flexible-use area that has been created through the Downtown Public Space Plan.

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