Safer access for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit users on George and Water Street

full bike rack

Woman on a bike on George Street

The City of Peterborough marked the official opening of new road safety improvements including pedestrian crossings, cycling lanes, sidewalks and dedicated vehicle turning lanes on sections of George, Water and Sherbrooke streets in the Central Area on Friday, June 7, 2019.

“With the high number of vehicle collisions, lack of a comfortable place for cyclists to ride and infrequent pedestrian crossing points, the City decided to take a Complete Streets approach to redesign these streets,” said Susan Sauve, Transportation Demand Management Planner with the City of Peterborough.

“Complete Streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and cycle to work.”

The area of George Street south of Sherbrooke Street was identified by the Active and Safe Community Routes Committee 13 years ago as an ideal location to introduce road safety improvements.

"Public safety is always the City's top priority," commented Mayor Diane Therrien. "We want to make sure all residents can safely access and enjoy our downtown. Whether you choose to walk, bike, drive or take transit this project will provide you with safer access to both George and Water Street."

The concept was developed for the George Street improvements through an Environmental Assessment as well as extensive consultation with the broader community and businesses within the project area.

 “Last year at this time, if you wanted to ride a bicycle down George Street, it got a bit dicey south of Hunter Street where the bike lanes ended,” Sauve said. “Today, bike lanes carry cyclists from Hilliard Street in the north to Lake Street in the south, right through the downtown. Cycling lanes on Water Street mirror the ones on George Street.”

The project was implemented over the last year. With the completion of this project, the City now has an impressive 75 kilometres of cycling lanes and multi-use trails.

The changes to the streets include:

  • Cycling lanes on George Street and Water Street between Hunter Street and Sherbrooke Street
  • Reconfiguring George Street between Sherbrooke Street and Lake Street to include left turn lanes at busy commercial driveways and intersections, a new traffic signal at Dalhousie Street, cycling lanes, two pedestrian crossings and landscaping.
  • Reconfiguring Sherbrooke Street between George Street and Water Street to include a new sidewalk on the north side of the street, the City’s first protected bicycle lane and bicycle signal, formalized parking, traffic calming and a protected pedestrian crossing where Sherbrooke Street connects with Water Street to provide access to and from Millennium Park and the TransCanada Trail.
  • Resurfacing George Street and Water Street through the project limits.

Over the next three years, the project will be evaluated to see if the changes meet the project goals of improving safety and increasing the number of cyclists. Of the $2.4-million project budget, $1,163,200 was funded by the federal Gas Tax Fund, $325,000 was funded by the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Infrastructure Program and the remaining $911,800 was funded by the City of Peterborough.

Fast Facts

  • Length of new bicycle lanes on George, Water and Sherbrooke Street is 2.5 kilometres
  • Total length of cycling infrastructure in the City of Peterborough is 75 kilometres
  • The City of Peterborough is a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community
  • Just over 10% of all trips made in the City on an average day are made by walking or cycling

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For further information, members of the media are invited to contact the undersigned:

Susan Sauve
Transportation Demand Management Planner
City of Peterborough
500 George Street North
Peterborough, ON K9H 3R9
705-742-7777 ext. 1895