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Sharing the road in Saskatoon’s protected bike lanes

Understanding the rules drivers and bikers must follow for downtown Saskatoon’s protected bike lanes.
Understanding the rules drivers and bikers must follow for downtown Saskatoon’s protected bike lanes. File / Global News

Signs for downtown Saskatoon’s protected bike lanes have been up for a few months, but not everyone knows the rules.

“The protected bike lanes on 4th Avenue and 23rd Street are still relatively new,” said Angela Gardiner, the city’s director of transportation.

“Drivers may not understand why people on bikes are stopped where they are, or what they’re trying to do, so we’ve made some changes to road signs to try and help everyone learn how we can safely share the roads.”

READ MORE: Protected bike lane pilot project an ‘eye opener’

That includes placing overhead signs to remind drivers where right turns are not permitted at red lights.

Another measure is “bike boxes.” These are green painted squares on the pavement at intersections with signals.

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They are designed to accommodate two-stage left turns for bicycle riders.

Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) will be monitoring compliance with the measures.

“The SPS is dedicated to protecting the safety of everyone using Saskatoon roadways,” said Insp. Randy Huisman with the central division.

“Our officers will be monitoring traffic activity around bike lanes and may issue warnings or tickets when violations take place.”

READ MORE: City of Saskatoon building an Active Transportation Plan

The 23rd Street bike lane opened in 2015, and the 4th Avenue lane opened in May 2016.

Officials said the bike lane project will be evaluated over the next year to determine the impact on the downtown core, with a report and recommendation expected to head to city council in early 2018.

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