Thursday, August 04, 2011

Understanding Fredericton’s Bike Lanes and Bike Routes

Bike Lanes and Bike RoutesAugust 3, 2011 - With additional bike routes and bike lanes being installed on Fredericton streets, it is important that the public understands the differences and signage associated with each.

Bike routes are identified by signage only, while bike lanes feature signage, as well as lines and symbols painted on the street. Depending on the street, parking may or may not be permitted in bike lanes.

First introduced in Fredericton in July 2008 as a result of recommendations from the City’s Trails/Bikeways Master Plan, there will be 45 kilometres of bike lanes and 39 kilometres of bike routes city-wide by the end of summer.

“Bike lanes and bike routes support cycling as a form of alternate transportation,” said Coun. Bruce Grandy, Chair of the City of Fredericton’s Transportation Committee. “Motorists need to be aware of cyclists and cyclists are reminded the rules of the road apply to them. Everyone needs to share the road.”

Bike routes are designated by signage only along a street. Such routes are typically installed along arterial and major collector streets, which have high traffic volumes or where the existing cross section cannot accommodate bike lanes. There are also bike routes on residential streets where the road is too narrow to allow for a bike lane. According to the City’s Master Plan, other than “bicycle route” and “share the road” signs, there are generally no other changes made to the roadway.

The Master Plan defines a bike lane as a facility located on the travelled portion of the street or roadway that is designed for one-way cyclist traffic. Bike lanes are defined on the road through pavement markings and signage. White lines help to delineate the location of the bike lane.

The outline of bicycle painted within the lane further identifies the space as a bike lane. The diamond in the lane means that the lane is reserved for bicycles only. Vehicle parking is not permitted. No parking signs are also posted along these stretches of bike lanes.

No diamond painted in the lane means that vehicle parking is permitted and cyclists should expect parked cars. This affects approximately 20 per cent of bike lanes in the city. Bike lane dimensions and signage are based on Transportation Association of Canada standards, allowing for consistency across the country.

“Restricting parking on both sides of residential streets is not practical,” said Coun. Grandy. “Having bike lanes where parking is prohibited and others where parking is allowed is a good compromise for neighbourhoods. When encountering a parked car, cyclists must be cautious and remember the rules of the road.”

The following is a list of where bicycle lanes will be installed this year: Brookside Drive from Main Street to Douglas Avenue; Forest Hill Road from Beaverbrook Street to Kimble Drive; Irvine Street from Noble to Gibson streets; Kimble Drive from Knowledge Park Drive to Wilsey Road; McEvoy Street from Noble Street to MacLaren Avenue; MacLaren Avenue from Cliffe to Gibson streets; Noble Street from MacEvoy to Irvine streets; Royal Road from Sunset Drive to the Royal Road School; Rookwood Avenue from Waggoners Lane to Woodstock Road; Sunset Drive from Main Street to Clements Drive (Route 105); Hanwell Road from Woodstock Road to Waggoners Lane; and Priestman Street from York Street to College Hill Road.

In 2009, bike lanes were installed along Goodine and Montgomery Street. Bike lanes were installed in the following areas in July 2008: Douglas Avenue from Maple to Brookside Drive: Crocket Street from Canada Street to Brown Boulevard; Brown Boulevard to Cliffe Street; and, York Street from Priestman Street to Aberdeen Street.

That same summer bike routes where established on Regent Street from the RCMP "J" Division to Priestman Street, proceeding along Priestman to Smythe Street, onto Parkside Drive and Greenfields Drive, and then following Prospect Street to Hanwell Road. A bike route was established along Maple Street from Douglas Avenue to St. Mary's Street, then down St. Mary's Street to Union Street.

For complete details on bike lanes and bike routes in Fredericton, visit

“While there are numerous bike routes and bike lanes in the city, cyclists will continue to travel along all city streets,” noted Coun. Grandy. "Motorists and cyclists are reminded to be on the lookout for each other and for pedestrians. Obey the rules of road and share the road safely."

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