Bike Lanes – What Do Those Signs Mean?
Prince George, B.C. – New pavement markings in Prince George have some drivers scratching their head.
With the City preparing to make bike lane restrictions a part of everyday driving in P.G., the pavement is being marked to outline the rules of the road.
The Bike Lane project was approved as part of the Capital Plan. The total budget , which includes, engineering, signage and pavement markings is $500 thousand dollars, of which half came in the form of a grant from the Bike BC program.
The total cost for the pavement markings portion of the work is $42,515 and of that amount, the cost for the markings in the “Share the Road” or “Shared Use Lane” portion is $7,437, which are the pavement markings that are in the vehicular lanes.
The dedicated bike lane markings tend to last longer because they are along the edge where there is no vehicular traffic. The markings now being installed in “Share the Road” or “Shared Use Lane” locations that are in the vehicular lanes will require annual upgrades, similar to crosswalks.
When the matter was discussed at Council late last May, a report from L &M Engineering detailed the meanings of the new markings.
Here is a refresher course:
- Dedicated Bike Lane: The most common sign drivers will see is the one at right, which designates a lane just for bikes. It means there is to be no vehicle stopping, or parking in that specific lane.
Along this lane, there will also be signage indicating the lane is for the use of bicycles
2. Share the road. This is the pavement marking which has confused some drivers. This marking is being applied to roadways where parking cannot yet be removed, or there are other constraints which don’t allow for a dedicated bike lane with the expectation that cyclists will ride to the right of a moving vehicle ( vehicle in image at right is a parked vehicle). The pavement markings will be accompanied by a “Share the Road” sign .
3. Shared Use Lane: On roadways, where the lane is 4 metres or less, it will be marked as a “Shared Use Lane”, meaning cyclists and vehicles are expected to travel in single file. The pavement markings will be in the centre of the lane. The roadside signage will indicated the lane is shared use, and that travellers are to move in single file.
There are also special markings for bike lanes that have to transition to a shared the road mode. This is most likely to take place where parking is needed as a loading zone. The pavement markings will specify that the bike lane ends, and a “share the Road” scenario begins. Again there will be roadside signage to reinforce those directions, as shown in the image below left. The other transitional lane calls for cyclists to yield to buses, (image below right) and to move to their left to get around transit, as most bus stops use the bike lanes.
Transition at Loading Zone Bus Stop
The bike lane rules won’t come into effect until all the roadside signage is in place, and that is not likely to happen until October. But, once the roadside signs are in place, the no stopping, no parking rules will be enforced.