Main page content begins here

Learn how to travel with new and existing bike routes on your bike, in your car, and on foot.

Farmers' Market Ride Along

Join the City of Edmonton’s Bike Education Outreach team on a free guided bike tour of Edmonton’s southside and downtown protected bike routes.

Learn everything you need to know to comfortably ride, walk and drive the Downtown Bike Network.
Learn how to navigate 83 Avenue and 106 Street/76 Avenue bike routes on a bike or in a vehicle.
Learn how to navigate 102 Avenue and 127 Street bike routes on a bike or in a vehicle.

What You'll See Around Edmonton

Bike Lanes and Paths

Contraflow Lanes

Contraflow lane how to photo

These lanes are installed on some one way streets to give bikes a dedicated lane to ride against the flow of traffic.

When you bike with traffic:
  • Share the lane with cars
When you bike against traffic:
  • Travel in the contraflow bike lane. A single or double solid yellow line on the road separates the bikes in the contraflow bike lane from the cars.
Painted Bike Lanes

Dedicated bike lanes photo
Painted bike lanes reserve space on the road exclusively for bikes

In Your Car:
  • When you are driving beside a painted bike lane, you need to pay special attention when turning right at an intersection or accessway such as an entrance into a parking lot or driveway
  • Wait for the solid line to become dashed, shoulder check to look for a cyclist and then, when safe, enter the lane
On Your Bike or In Your Car:
  • Bike lanes are dashed before an intersection to indicate to cyclists where a left turn bay starts 
Protected Bike Lanes

Bike Network - Protected Bike lanes

Protected bike lanes are on-street bike facilities protected from moving and parked cars by a physical barrier. These lanes make driving and cycling more comfortable by creating a dedicated space on the road for people to bike. Protected bike lanes may allow for travel in one or both directions.

On Your Bike:
  • Watch for signs and paint symbols indicating the direction of travel
In Your Car:
  • Look both directions and yield to bikes when crossing
In Your Car and on Your Bike:
  • Travel slow along the Downtown Bike Network so you have time to see and respond to all the new features
Shared-Use Lanes

Shared use lane how to photo

Shared-use lanes guide cyclists and remind drivers to expect cyclists in the same travel lane.

On your bike and in your car:
  • Give each other space to maneuver - 1 meter is best.
On your bike:
  • The road marking guides where best to travel on your bike.

Sharrows Bike Video

Video: Dial S for Sharrow

Learn how to ride and drive on Edmonton’s shared-use lanes.

 

Road Markings and Street Signs

Bike Sign Single File Bike Sign Share the Road Sharrow

Shared Pathways

Bike Network - Shared-Use Paths

Shared pathways are for many activities. You can bike, walk, run and more. Some sidewalks may be designated as Shared Pathways. Watch for signs.

On Your Bike:
  • Use the path to travel in both directions
  • Ring your bell to pass
  • Slow down and pass on the left
  • Yield to slower users
On Your Feet:
  • Keep to the right
  • Be aware that others may choose to pass you on your left
In Your Car:
  • Check both directions and should check for bikes when crossing a shared pathway
Shared-Use Sidewalks
  • Cyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks that are designated as a shared-use sidewalk.
  • Shared-use sidewalks are typically 2.5 m or wider and are marked with signs that indicate that they are shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Bicycles with wheels less than 50 cm in diameter, such as children's bicycles, are permitted on any sidewalk.
On your bike:
  • Yield to pedestrians on shared-use sidewalks and ring your bell before passing.

A complete list of shared-use sidewalks is available under Bicycle Highways on page 13 of the Traffic Listing Document.

Cycling on Sidewalks Factsheet

Crosswalks and Intersections

Bicycle Signals

Bicycle Signals illustration

Bicycle Signals will be located throughout the Downtown Bike Network. Refer to these signals when crossing intersections. Signal timings may be adjusted as the Downtown Bike Network evolves.

In your car and on your bike:
  • Watch for signs indicating signal phase changes
Bike Triggered Crossing - Signal with Sensors

Bike Network - Bike Triggered Crossing

Bike-triggered crossings help cyclists to cross at intersections.

On Your Bike:
  • Watch for the “Entering Bike Detection Zone” sign
  • Once you pass this sign, stop and wait; you will be detected by the sensors
  • Cross when the pedestrian light turns white
In Your Car:
  • Be aware of bikes crossing the intersection
Bike Box

Bike Network - Bike Box

Green Bike Boxes painted in a driving lane allow cyclists to do two things:

  • Pull in front of waiting traffic at a signalized intersection, making cyclists more visible and giving them a head start when turning or going straight
  • Make safe turns by using it as a Bike Turn Box

If the Light is Red

On Your Bike:
  • Enter the Bike Box and position yourself in your direction of travel
  • When the light turns green, proceed as normal
In Your Car:
  • Stop behind the white line
  • When the light turns green, proceed as normal

If the Light Is Green

On Your Bike:
  • To turn left: Yield to cars, then move into the Bike Box when safe to do so
  • To go straight or turn right: Proceed as normal
In Your Car:
  • Proceed as normal

Videos

Bike Box Video: Turning Left on a Red

Bike Box Video: Turning Right on a Red

Bike Box Video: Turning Left on a Green

Bike Turn Boxes

Bike Network - Bike Turn Box

Green Bike Turn Boxes painted at intersections provide cyclists with a safe way to turn left or right. These boxes can be found in the bike lane or in a driving lane.

On Your Bike:
  • Move into the green box found either in a bike lane or driving lane
  • Position yourself in your new direction of travel and wait at the red light
  • When the light turns green, proceed through the intersection
In Your Car:
  • Do not stop in a green Bike Box
  • When the light is red, stop at the painted white line behind the Bike Box
In Your Car and on Your Bike:
  • When stopped at an intersection, do not stop on the "X"

Videos

Note: Crossing two lanes of traffic to make a left or right turn from a protected bike lane is not permitted.

Bike Turn Box Video - Turning Left

Bike Turn Box Video - Turning Right

Green Stripes at Intersections

Bike Network - Green Stripes at Intersections

Striped green paint indicates that a bike lane is crossing an intersection or accessway such as an alleyway or entrance into a parking lot.

On Your Bike:
  • Look both directions when crossing
In Your Car:
  • Look both directions when crossing
  • Yield to cyclists in the bike lanes and pedestrians on the sidewalk
  • Do not block the bike lane
  • Watch out for the new signs indicating changes to turning rules
Raised Crossing at Bus Stop

Bike Network - Raised Crossing at Bus Stops

A Raised Crossing brings the level of the roadway to that of the adjacent bus stop. Transit users will be getting on and off the bus at this location.

On Your Bike:
  • Slow down and yield to pedestrians
On Your Feet:
  • Be aware and look both ways before crossing
  • Do not wait/stand in the crossing
White Squares at Crosswalks - Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossings

White Squares at Crosswalks - Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossings

When a Shared Pathway crosses an intersection, the crosswalk will be lined with White Squares. These squares identify shared bicycle and pedestrian crossings and may be controlled by a pedestrian walk light and traffic signal.

On Your Bike:
  • There is no need to dismount your bike to cross
  • At a crosswalk with a pedestrian light: cross when the walk light is on
  • At a crosswalk without a pedestrian light: yield to cars and pedestrians before entering the roadway and cross when it’s safe to do so
In Your Car:
  • Be aware that people on bikes may be riding across the intersection

Cycling Laws and Safety

The Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton created the cycling laws that help protect cyclists and others who share transportation facilities.

The Province of Alberta Traffic Safety Act, The City of Edmonton Traffic Bylaw #5590 and The City of Edmonton Parkland Bylaw #2202 contain formal regulations regarding bicycle traffic and use of transportation and parkland facilities.

Edmonton’s network of paths are shared by many users. We can keep our paths safe by showing courtesy and respect to all users. The following tips will help ensure that all path users have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Rules For The Roads

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and must obey all rules of the road. They're allowed on all roads as well as shared pathways, bike lanes and bike routes.

Licence and Registration

Bicycles are not required to be licensed or registered. A bicycle licence is not required for police officers to enforce the current traffic laws. Cyclists are accountable in the same way that motor vehicle drivers are, and may be ticketed in accordance with local and provincial legislation.

Cyclist Insurance Fact Sheet

Give Each Other Space

Cyclists must ride as close to the curb as is safe and only ride in single file except when passing another vehicle. When cyclists and motorists pass one another, give each other space -- 1 metre (3 feet) is best. When 1 metre is not available cyclists should consider using a bike lane.

Give Space

Don’t Squeeze

Cyclists should not pass between two occupied vehicles, even if they are stopped at a red light.

Don't Squeeze

The Door Zone

Use caution and be mindful of the door zone when cycling past or exiting a parked car. The Door Zone is the area along the side of a parked car where an opening door can hit and seriously injure a cyclist.

Door Zone

On Your Bike

When riding in a bike lane, ride on the left side of the lane-away from parked cars. Try to look inside each parked car before you pass. If you’re unable to see if someone is inside, or if you spot someone inside, move outside the Door Zone or slow down and pass carefully.

In Your Car

When parked on the side of the road, do a shoulder check, over your left shoulder before opening your door to ensure there are no oncoming cyclists. Opening the door with your right hand will remind you to do a shoulder check.

Rules For Sidewalks

Shared-Use Path SignCycling on the sidewalk is not permitted except for bikes with a 50 centimetres wheel diameter or less, such as kids’ bikes.

Standard size bicycles are only allowed on signed, shared sidewalks that are 2.5 meters wide or greater and shared pathways.

Where permitted by signs to use a sidewalk, always give right-of-way to pedestrians and always give audible warning of your approach.

Cycling on Sidewalks Factsheet

Rules for Trails and Parks

Shared pathways and Trails are used for a variety of activities, including walking, running and cycling.

Park and Trail Hours

Hours of Operation: 5am-11pm daily

Parks and trails are monitored by Park Rangers, who provide bylaw enforcement and education to park users.

Trail and Shared Pathway Safety

People on bikes are responsible for following these rules:

  • Bicycles must have a working bell. Park rangers can issue a $100 ticket to trail users who do not have one.
  • Bike riders must sound their bell before passing slower trail users. Park rangers can issue a $250 ticket to trail users who fail to alert people ahead of them before passing.
  • Slow down when you approach slower users and pass on the left side.
  • Obey trail signs and park closures.
  • Do not bike on or disturb trails that are less than 0.5 meters wide, as they are part of the natural landscape or wildlife routes.
Required Bike Equipment

Cyclists are required to have certain equipment based on provincial and municipal regulations. Essential equipment when cycling:

  • A bell or horn
  • A bicycle brake
  • When cycling at night a white headlamp, a red tail lamp and a red rear reflector
  • If under the age of 18, a helmet

Helmets

Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Part 6 Division 5 Section 111 & 112:

  • Cyclists younger than 18 are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet
  • Children in trailers and on trail-a-bikes are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet
  • Adults are encouraged to wear a helmet
  • Helmets must meet ANSI, Snell or CSA standards to provide enough protection
Make Sure It Fits
  • The helmet fits snugly, is level front to back, and sits an inch above your eyebrows
  • Adjust the straps so the 'V' is below you ears and you can fit two fingers between your chin and the strap

Brakes

By law bicycles must be equipped with adequate steering and brakes that will lock wheels on dry, clean, level pavement.

Bicycle Equipment – Part 6 Division 5 Section 113

Tips
  • You may not stop in time if you brake with only one hand
  • Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain: wet brakes are less effective
  • Contact Bikeworks for advice and workshops about keeping a bike in good repair

Bell

Cyclists must sound a warning device, such as a horn or bell, before passing pedestrians on shared pathways and must always give them the right of way. 

City of Edmonton Traffic Bylaw 5590 - Part III Sidewalks and Boulevards - Section 50

Alberta Traffic Safety Act - Horn, Bell - Section 60

Lights and Reflectors

When riding after dark, bicycles must have a front headlight, a red tail light and a red rear reflector. Reflective vests and other lightly coloured clothes with reflective tape are recommended for extra visibility.

Bicycle Equipment – Part 6 Division 5 Section 113

Recommended Bike Equipment

Cyclists should consider using the following equipment to improve visibility and safety:

  • Brightly-coloured and weather specific clothing
  • Padded cycling gloves
  • Protective or sun glasses
  • A flag on your trailer
  • Pack or a rack

Appropriate Clothing

Brightly coloured or reflective clothing make cyclists more visible on roads and paths. Weather specific clothing will keep you warm, dry, and prepared for any temperature changes. Glasses and gloves will protect you from dust and debris. Wear a helmet with a hard outer shell and crushable, foam lining. Don’t wear headphones or earbuds: hearing traffic is an essential part of safe riding.

Use Flags on Bicycle Trailers

Trailers may be difficult for motorists to see. Use a red flag on the trailer at rider height to alert motorists of your presence.

Use a Pack or Rack

Saddlebags, racks, baskets and small backpacks are great ways to free your hands for safe riding.

Navigate Bike Routes

Learn how to navigate along the existing bike routes on your bike, in your car, and on foot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are on-street bike routes?

On-street bike routes, such as bike lanes and shared-use roadways, are specially designed facilities to support safe and efficient bicycle transportation on roadways. The bike infrastructure that makes up these routes may include protected bike lanes, painted bike lanes and shared roadways. Bicycles are permitted on any road in Edmonton.

What is the difference between protected bike lanes, painted bike lanes, shared-use roadways?
Shared-Use Lanes

Indicate the shared use of a roadway between motorists and cyclists.

Shared Use Lane

Painted Bike Lanes

Are for bicycle use only, lanes are identified by a solid white line with a diamond symbol and bicycle.

Painted bike lane

Protected Bikes Lanes

Have a physical barrier separating the bike lane from moving and parked cars. These lanes can be either raised to the level of the sidewalk, or will have a physical barrier making biking and cycling more comfortable. Protected bike lanes may allow for travel in one or both directions.

Protected bike lane

What is the Downtown Bike Network?

The Downtown Bike Network is 7.8 km of protected bike lanes, shared pathways and shared roadways helping to lower traffic within Edmonton’s core. The network reaches within two blocks of many destinations providing cycling opportunities for all ages and abilities to travel to different events, festivals and locations in Downtown.

You can also use the Bike Rack Map to find out where you can lock up your bike. 

How do I use a bike lane going against traffic on one-way streets?

Cyclists may use a contraflow bike lane to travel against vehicle traffic on a one-way street. An example of this is can be found along the 83 Avenue from 96 Street to 99 Street, where vehicle traffic is one-way flowing east.

Do I have to ride in the dedicated bike lane?

No. Although cyclists are encouraged to use the bike lanes, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and therefore may ride outside the bike lane.

Example 

A cyclist making a left hand turn, may join the flow of motor vehicle traffic and turn left from the left turn lane.

Why is the bike lane dashed in some instances?
Motorists May Cross

Bike lanes are dashed to indicate to motorists that they may cross the bike lane for certain manoeuvres, provided they have checked and it is safe to do so.

Example

The bike lane is dashed before intersections, allowing the motor vehicle to move to the right to make a right turn.

Turning Left or Right - Exiting the Bike Lane

At some intersections, there will be breaks in the protective barrier to allow cyclists to merge out of a bike lane and into the driving lane in order to make a left or right turn.

Turning Left or Right

Can I cross the solid white bike lane lines in my motor vehicle?

Motor vehicles may cross the bike lane when turning into accesses or driveways along the roadway, or when parking is permitted between the curb and the bicycle lane. Motorists should first check for cyclists in the bike lane and cross only when it is safe to do so. Motorists cannot stop, park or encroach on the bike lane.

What happens to bike lanes at bus stops?

At bus stops, the bike lane is dashed to indicate that the bus can pull across the bicycle lane, and to notify the cyclist that buses will be pulling over.

Cyclists are required to yield to stopped buses as any motor vehicle would be expected to. When a bus is at a bus stop, the cyclist should either wait behind the bus or legally pass it on the left by making a proper lane change. The cyclist should not pass the bus on the right as they may run into people getting on or off the bus.

Is it legal to ride my bicycle on a sidewalk?

Shared-Use Path SignCycling on the sidewalk is not permitted except for bikes with a 50 cm wheel diameter or less, such as kids’ bikes.

Some sidewalks may be designated as shared sidewalks and shared pathways. Watch for signs.

Cycling on Sidewalks Factsheet

How are laws enforced for cyclists?

All groups including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians have governing regulations. Cyclists are vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. There is enforcement in place, as well as educational programs to help users to follow the law.

Alberta Traffic Safety Act

Why has parking been reduced?

To ensure roads can accommodate motorized vehicles and bicycles, permanent parking bans will be set up in areas along bike routes where there is limited roadway width. These parking bans are required to help the operation of the bike lanes.

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online
Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555
Email 311@edmonton.ca

End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content