Find out the answers for the most frequently asked questions on bike routes. 

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.


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.


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.