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Frequently asked questions about how bicycle lanes work for cyclists.

What are on-street bicycle routes?

On-street bicycle routes, such as bicycle lanes and shared-use lanes, are specially designed facilities to support safe and efficient bicycle transportation. Bicycles are permitted on any road in Edmonton.

Let's Get There Together
How do I use a bike lane going against traffic on one-way streets?

These are called Contra Flow Bike Lanes. This type of lane is found on a one-way street. In this case, cyclists who ride in the same direction of traffic use a Shared-Use Lane. If they want to ride against traffic, they can use the Contra Flow Bike Lane. A Contra Flow Bike Lane is separated from the driving lane by solid yellow lines and marked with an image of a bicycle and white diamond.

  • Cyclists should always ride in the direction of the arrows.
  • Cyclists riding against traffic ride in the Contra Flow Bike Lane.
  • Cyclists riding in the same direction as traffic use the Shared-Use Lane.
  • Cyclists can ride against traffic only if there is a Contra Flow Bike Lane.
How do I use a bicycle lane?

Travel in the same direction as traffic, unless the bicycle lane is a clearly marked contra-flow bicycle lane.

Use other travel lanes when necessary to avoid hazards, to pass other vehicles or to make left hand turns which are not possible from the bicycle lane.

You can use other travel lanes, there is no law that requires cyclists to use the bicycle lane.

What is the difference between shared-use lanes and bike lanes?

Shared-use lanes indicate the shared use of a roadway between motorists and cyclists. Bike lanes are for bicycle use only, which are identified by a solid white line with a bicycle and diamond symbol.

Do I have to ride in the dedicated bicycle lane?

No. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles and therefore may ride outside the bicycle lane.

For 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 bicycle lane dashed in some instances?

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

For example, the bicycle lane is dashed before intersections, allowing the motor vehicle to move to the right to make a right hand turn.

How do I turn left in a bicycle lane?

You can turn left as a vehicle using hand signals and manoeuvring into the left-hand lane when safe to do so.

You can also proceed through the intersection and cross at the crosswalk as a pedestrian.

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

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

What happens to bicycle lanes at bus stops?

At bus stops, the bicycle 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.

The bicycle lanes start and stop. What do I do when this happens?

The Bike Routes have been created to make cycling easier on city streets. As we all know, our streets are not the same everywhere and the needs of facilities (such as schools and religious assemblies) along bike routes will effect the Bike Route's configuration. Motorists have the same rights as cyclists, whether the bicycle network is being used or not. Whether there are marked Bike Routes or not, motorists need to share the road safely with cyclists. When a Bike Lane becomes a Shared-Use Lane motorists are reminded to expect cyclists in their travel lane.

How will the on roads paths connect to other bike routes in the city?

The shared-use lane routes are accessible from existing bike routes and will provide key links to and from major destinations.

Bike Route Map
If I don’t see shared-use lane markings, does it mean cyclists should not ride on the road?

Cyclists can ride on any street in Edmonton, since bicycles have the same rights as vehicles.

Is it legal to ride my bicycle on a sidewalk?

A bicycle can be ridden on a sidewalk if the bicycle has a wheel diameter of 50 centimetres or less.

For adults, cycling on sidewalks is not recommended. There is greater risk of being in a collision as motorists are not watching for quick moving vehicles coming from the sidewalk at intersections and driveways.

Bicycles are legal vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Sidewalks are intended for pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks may pose safety issues for both users. Always dismount your bicycle and walk it when using crosswalks and sidewalks that are not designated as shared-use.

Cycling on Sidewalks Factsheet

Will bicycle lanes be closed in the winter?

No. Bicycle lanes are open year round.

Winter Cycling

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.

Are you increasing the travel lane widths for motor vehicles by taking away a parking lane?

No. By removing parking and adding two dedicated bicycle lanes, motor vehicle travel lanes will be narrower than they were before the bicycle lanes were introduced.

Why did you take all the parking away?

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

Can I park in shared lanes on evenings and weekends?

No. Parking has been intentionally removed to improve the operation of the shared-use lane routes.

Can I apply for a permit to park in the shared lanes?

No. This parking has been intentionally removed to improve the operation of the shared-use lane routes.

For More Information

Online Contact 311 Online
Telephone

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

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

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