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New south Edmonton bike lanes causing confusion for motorists and cyclists

Gerry Gibeault rides his bike along 106th Street September 18, 2013. Global News

EDMONTON- New bike lanes being added along 106th Street have caused a fair bit of confusion amongst both cyclists and motorists.

“It’s not really clear, as a cyclist… and I think maybe to the motorists as well, which lane is which,” cyclist Gerry Gibeault said Wednesday as he was riding down the busy road.

What used to be two lanes on 106th Street have now become one, to make way for the bike lane and a parking lane. But cyclists say the newly painted lines aren’t clear, and some motorists are driving right through the bike lane, forcing cyclists onto the sidewalk.

“I think people in Edmonton, they just have no understanding of solid lines, what that means, what is the meaning of a solid line. They just go over it, doesn’t matter even if it’s yellow, white or whatever,” said Ion Stefanescu, who drives in the area on a daily basis.

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“It’s a little bit hard on the traffic, on the vehicle traffic. But otherwise I think it’s a good idea, if people don’t cross them.”

“I think it would be better if they had images of the bicyclists in the bike lane to make it clear for everybody,” added Gibeault.

The City says the project is only about halfway done, and the images are coming.

“There are still lane markings that still have to go down and signage that has to go along with it to help make that area more clear than it is currently,” said Tyler Golly, general supervisor of Sustainable Transportation with the City of Edmonton.

Golly says the project will be done by the end of the month. But, he says anytime the City changes the way a road operates, there is a transitional, learning period.

“There will be some confusion as the lanes get changed,” he said. “We need to wait for construction to be done to really get a good feel for how it’s going to operate.”

In hopes of educating motorists and cyclists on the correct use of bike lanes, the City has produced a series of online videos which star mini Lego figurines. The most recent video, titled “Coaching Corners: Left Turns for Cyclists,” was released Wednesday.

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The City has been working on installing bike lanes since 2010. Once complete, there will be 400 kilometres of bike lanes in Edmonton. The City continually works to monitor useage on the current lanes, and Golly says so far, they’re a success.

“The older routes that we have- 76th Avenue through Belgravia/McKernan, Queen Alexandra and 106th Street north of 51st Avenue- we’ve seen year over year increases of about 30 per cent in terms of useage.”

For more information on how to properly share the road, visit the City’s website.

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.

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