March 17,

Medical Officer of Health Tours City of Peterborough’s New Cycling Infrastructure  

October 28, 2016 – Public Health Benefits Include Higher Physical Activity Rates and Fewer InjuriesScreen Shot 10-28-16 at 02.04 PM

Today, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health, joined Susan Sauvé, Transportation Demand Management Planner for the City of Peterborough, on her last cycling tour of theyear.

The purpose of Sauvé’s cycling tours was to showcase the City’s new cycling facilities, which include buffered bike lanes, green markings on pavement and two-stage left turns for cyclists, and to also see where future improvements can be made. Dr. Salvaterra was particularly interested in viewing and navigating some of the City’s newly installed cycling facilities given that past research has shown many connections between certain facility types and their effect on higher physical activity rates and lower incidence of injuries.

“The City has worked very hard over the past decade to provide a designated space for cyclists to travel in Peterborough,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “In as little as ten years the City has added over 30 km of new cycle lanes and trails to our cycling network, which is an extremely impressive expansion.”

The 2014 Peterborough City and County Active Transportation and Health Indicators Report showed that from 2003 to 2012 there were 3,283 emergency department visits and 137 hospitalizations in Peterborough City and County as a result of cyclist collisions.   Dr. Salvaterra feels that every effort should be made to decrease these numbers and that improved safety and injury prevention should be prioritized when the City is planning the expansion of our cycling network.  Current research shows that the presence and type of cycling facilities can have a drastic effect on usage and injury rates.  For example, according to the University of British Columbia, there is a decrease in cyclist injuries when cyclist designed facilities are provided (e.g., designated cycle lanes, cycle track or off-road cycle paths).

Along with having the right cycling facilities available, Dr. Salvaterra added that “a person’s comfort and familiarity with using a new piece of infrastructure is also a big factor when they are deciding whether to go for a bike ride and what route they should take.”

With the 5.5km of new cycling facilities implemented across the Cityin 2016, it is important for residents to get out and experience the new features.  The two-stage left turn bike box at the intersection of George and Hunter streets is a new feature that may be unfamiliar to some, but is a facility that is becoming more commonly used across North America.

“I am very happy to join Ms. Sauvé today so I can see the changes to the cycling network,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “I encourage every Peterborough resident to do the same so that you can provide ideas and insight to the City during times of public input.”

Today, Dr. Salvaterra experienced just a few of the new facilities in town, which include:

  • Buffered bike lanes:
    • An example of this is located on the cycle lanes on George St. and Water St.
    • These lanes are created by hashing out space on the pavement between the bike lane and the vehicle lane, the buffer creates additional space between vehicles and people on bicycles
    • Additionally, in some sections the buffer is between the parked cars and the cycle lane to decrease the risk of a cyclist colliding with an opening car door
  • Green markings on pavement:
    • An example of this is located at the corner of Water St. and Parkhill Rd.
    • In North America, green is the standard colour for cycling facilities. Green-painted pavement identifies locations for potential conflicts with vehicles, such as street- and driveway crossings. Watch for turning, crossing, or merging motor vehicles.
  • Two stage left turn box:
    • The only example of this in the City presently is on the south west corner of the George Street and Hunter Street intersection.
    • There is a green square on the pavement with a bicycle symbol and a left turn arrow.  This is where bikes can wait to make a left turn at Hunter Street from George Street.  Some cyclists find it difficult or unnerving to cross over to the left lane to turn left in this location because there can be a lot of vehicles.  The bike box provides a comfortable way for cyclists to turn left without having to enter the vehicle lanes.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391

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