Are bike lanes still bike lanes in the winter?

 

So we’ve pretty much made it through the city’s first summer and fall with the new bike lanes on many of the streets.

I haven’t noticed too many problems with people parking in them, but then I don’t cycle, so I wouldn’t come across the parked cars very often, and I seldom park on the street where there is a bike lane.

I do have a couple of questions, as well as one observation about the lanes.

When the snow comes (and we know it will), are the bike lanes still in effect? The number of cyclists in the winter is definitely cut down, but there are still some hardy souls who are out on their two-wheeled transportation mode.

If they are still in effect, what effect will that have on snowplowing by the city? Crews won’t be able to leave the windrows of snow down the middle of the road, since that forces vehicles to move further to the right to avoid the snow, meaning they will end up in the bike lane.

And will the city crews plow further to the side of the road to make sure the bike lanes still have their full width?

I’ve also noticed a number of drivers recently who seem to be spooked, in a way, by the bike lanes. I will see someone signalling for a right turn, but they stay in the through lane until they get right up to the corner.

There is nothing in the bylaw, as far as I know, that says you can’t drive in the bike lane, assuming there are no cyclists using it.

So if you’re making a right turn at the next intersection, and there are cars lined up ahead of you in the through lane and no cyclists in the bike lane, move over, drive up beside the cars waiting to go straight through, and make your turn.

It saves time and frayed nerves for everyone.

  • Rad11

    Allan look at the line it is broken near intersection. That is where you cross line. Don’t tell people they can drive in bike lane if no bikes. Can you drive on sidewalk if no pedestrians?

    • Norm_from_Canada

      I agree with Rad11.

  • Heather Sapergia

    Allan,

    First, I must say that bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation and therefore their use must be respected by both riders and non-riders. They are a legitimate form every season of the year, even when there is much snow.

    Vehicles that are turning right, should enter a bike lane, only when they see the dashed lines just before an intersection. Entering earlier not only endangers cyclists but wears off the cycling symbols in the lane. Cycling lanes are NOT driving lanes.

    There a lot of issues with bike lanes in Prince George. My largest concern is vehicles parking in the lanes. Those make it unsafe for cyclists as we have to swing out into traffic to pass them. Another issue is debris in the bike lanes. Recently, I met with city officials from the transportation department to discuss bike lane issues and felt that it was a productive conversation.

    We can’t expect bylaw officers to be everywhere when there are problems but there are means to communicate with them to alert them to infractions. I urge cyclists who have a smart phone to download the City of PG app, then Create a Request. If cyclists report whenever possible, using the request, I hope to see our concerns addressed.

    Heather Sapergia
    Urban Director
    PG Cycling Club