The city of Peterborough, Ontario has been awarded a Silver designation under the WALK Friendly Communities program delivered by Green Communities Canada (Canada Walks).
Peterborough boasts impressive cross-sector collaborations to increase walkability through design, intersection treatments, and winter maintenance. One such collaboration, Shifting Gears, is a partnership with five organizations and businesses. This year, the annual Shifting Gears challenge expanded beyond workplaces to encourage all citizens to walk, bike, take transit, carpool, and/or telework.
Peterborough also engaged with community organizations and businesses to deliver the first Open Streets event, Peterborough Pulse, in the summer of 2015. This event created a 3 km car-free route between Peterborough’s downtown core and the Saturday Farmers’ Market.
As seen in the recent GCC-CAA 2015 Walking Survey, snow and ice clearing is a concern for most Canadians. Peterborough also has a maintenance standard to clear sidewalks of snow within 24 hours of a snow fall of more than 4 cm, and will salt or sand within 24 hours of a freezing rain event.
Peterborough has a strong adult crossing guard program, with 35 community crossing guard locations at 22 elementary schools. The crossing guards are active during all travel-to-school times. The city also uses the CAA’s Safety Patrollers program, a great way to engage kids and their peers on the issue of walking and safety. In addition, Peterborough has used pedestrian and cyclist counts for a number of years, with active school travel being tracked since 1999.
Peterborough’s 2015 Silver WALK Friendly designation will be presented to Council 1 February 2016.