Updates to Downtown Public Space

full bike rack

Peterborough, ON - Tweaks to the Downtown Public Space Plan have been made in some areas of the downtown to restore some on-street parking.

After consultation with Peterborough Public Health and the Downtown Business Improvement Area, the minor adjustments to the Downtown Public Space Plan, which modified streets in the downtown to create more pedestrian space for physical distancing, were made in the following sections:

  • 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

Based on recommendations from public health officials, businesses within the George Street and King Street sections referenced above are required to satisfy the following measures to provide an opportunity for people to physical distance when using the sidewalks in the reduced pedestrian space:

  • Sandwich boards, planters, benches, or other obstructions on the existing sidewalk are not permitted to ensure the sidewalk remains as clear as possible; and
  • Sidewalks cannot be used for outdoor queuing space, outdoor display areas, or patios – any re-opening protection measures won’t be able to make use of the public space on the sidewalks.

The City will install pedestrian warning signs at both ends of the affected blocks to remind people for the need for two metres physical distancing and no congregation in the areas.

The City’s 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. By creating more pedestrian space, the hope is that it will help people feel safe to visit the downtown,” Therrien said. “We’re adjusting to the new situation, supporting activity in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
“We can visit businesses, stores, offices and restaurants to support our local businesses in a way that is safe, following public health guidelines.” 

The cycling lanes remain in place and 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 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.

For more information on the Downtown Public Space Plan, including maps and details on permits for business use of expanded public space, please visit peterborough.ca/downtownptbo.

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

Brendan Wedley, Manager of Communication Services

City of Peterborough

705-742-7777 ext. 1636