Come join Saskatoon Cycles at the City of Saskatoon’s official opening of the 23rd St Separated Bike Lanes!

When: Wednesday, July 15th, 11am

Where: Civic Square (between City Hall and the Library)

Let’s show how much we appreciate this big step in the right direction in building safer cycling infrastructure for those who choose to cycle in Saskatoon!

IMG_1528

 

ABOUT THE PROJECT

What is the Downtown Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project?

The project will demonstrate the use of protected bike lanes on 23rd Street (between Idylwyld Drive and Spadina Crescent) and on 4th Avenue (between 19th Street and 24th Street). Protected bike lanes for this project are on-street bike lanes that are physically separated from traffic by parked cars, a painted buffer and flexible posts

Wasn’t this lane supposed to open in late June? Why the delay?

There are many logistical details involved in planning and constructing protected bike lanes. We will apply our learnings from the 23st Street lane project to the 4th Avenue lane being constructed next summer.

 Why were these routes chosen?

After much public input and consultation, these roads were selected based as they are wide and can accommodate the lanes with a minimum disruption to traffic, transit and parking. They bring people on bikes directly to the centre of Downtown and connect directly with other popular cycling routes and trails.

Why is it important to have protected bike lanes in the Downtown?

The lanes provide people who bike, or may be considering biking, with another choice for moving around the Downtown and make cycling a more attractive mode of travel for a wider range of people.

When will the lanes be in use?

The 23rd Street lane will be open on July 10, 2015. The 4th Avenue lane will tentatively open in June 2016. The 4th Avenue lane was delayed as it was felt appropriate to wait until the University Bridge repairs are complete in the event of an increase in traffic in this area.

How is this project linked to other efforts to make biking in the Downtown a more attractive option? 

Protected Bike Lanes are part of the City’s continuing efforts to make Saskatoon an attractive city to live in and improve quality of life. The City’s Strategic Plan and the City Centre Plan both identified the need to improve biking as a strategy to increase the attractiveness of, and access to the Downtown for businesses, residents, visitors, employers and their employees. A vibrant and healthy downtown benefits the entire city and region. Biking as a mode of transportation is also part of the City’s upcoming Active Transportation Plan.

Who will use the lanes? 

Other municipal research shows that about 10% of residents are comfortable or very comfortable biking; this group may or may not use the lanes as they are comfortable biking on the streets now. Another 60% of residents say they are interested in biking more but feel concerned about biking on streets with traffic. 30% say will never use the lanes as they are physically unable or not at comfortable or interested in biking.

How will the project be evaluated?

Average daily counts of people biking will be conducted in various locations along 23rd Street, as well as throughout the Downtown. Perceptions of various aspects of the lanes such as their safety, if they improve accessibility and make the Downtown more vibrant, and if there are any negative impacts to other members of the public and businesses will also be measured using various research tools.

What other cities are using protected bike lanes?

Protected Bike Lanes started appearing in North American cities 25 years ago and in the last 10 years they have become a successful cycling facility. Canada’s largest cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary) all have permanent protected bike lanes. Demonstration projects are currently underway in Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Are the lanes working in these cities?

The most recent research throughout the U.S. from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities indicates that Protected Bike Lanes have increased ridership, and do not have a negative impact on retail sales in areas in which they are located.

 

ABOUT THE LANES

What’s the difference between a sharrow and a protected bike lane?

With a sharrow, cyclists and motorists share a lane. With protected bike lanes people who bike and people who drive travel in their own lanes in same direction.

What will the lanes look like? 

The lanes will be 1.5 meters wide and will be located adjacent to the sidewalk. One meter high plastic poles will be anchored into the asphalt about 5 meters apart. Road paint will mark the lanes.

Will the lanes be marked?

Signs and pavement markings will be placed on the lanes.

Will there be more parking for bikes Downtown? 

Additional bike parking racks are being added within the Downtown.

Where can I get more information on the lanes and their use?

Information on how to use the lanes, including signage rules will be posted on the City’s website at www.saskatoon.ca/cycling.

How is the City communicating the demonstration project to the public? 

We will use radio messages, social media, City page ads, a short video and information on the website to educate the public about the lanes.

 

PUBLIC SUPPORT & BENEFITS

Is there public support for protected bike lanes in Downtown Saskatoon? 

Yes, 95% of the public and organizations who have an interest in Downtown (business associations, cycling groups, etc.) believe the lanes will increase comfort for people who ride bike, 85% believe it will improve the accessibility of Downtown, and 84% believe it will improve the attractiveness of Downtown.

Who will benefit from protected bike lanes in Downtown Saskatoon? 

People who bike will have their own lane to travel in. People who drive will not have to share the lane with people who bike. And people who walk will benefit from less sidewalk riding.  It is believed local businesses will benefit from increased numbers of residents visiting the Downtown.

 

IMPACTS ON PARKING, TRAFFIC FLOW & TRANSIT

Will car parking be impacted? 

The lanes will not have a large impact on the number of parking stalls available. While 29 parking spaces are lost, 23 parking spaces will be added on the north side of 24th Street between Idylwyld Drive and Ontario Avenue. There is a net lot of six spaces total.

Will businesses along the routes be impacted due to this loss in parking spots? 

The City recognizes a loss of six parking spaces may have a negative economic impact on the Downtown; however, it is felt the addition to the protected bike lanes will actually increase the number of people who travel to the Downtown for shopping, dining, etc.

Will the lanes impact traffic flow?

Downtown traffic flows have been analysed to reduce the impact of this project on traffic movement.  Overall travel time on Downtown streets will be negligibly increased.

The Downtown transit terminal is on 23rd Street. How will people who bike travel through the terminal? 

As they do now, people who bike will continue to walk their bike through the terminal.

How will buses stop along those routes? 

Transit stops will continue to be located at the curb, which will block the protected bike lane for short periods of time. Signage will be place to alert people who are biking of the transit stop locations; they must come to a complete stop behind a stopped bus, and then continue on after the bus has pulled away. Where there is a transit platform, cyclists can proceed cautiously across the platform yielding priority to transit users.

 

SAFETY & ENFORCEMENT 

Are the lanes safe? 

Yes however people who bike should continue to drive defensively. Signage and markings will be used to provide information on where the bike lanes start/finish, and where conflicts with other road users could occur (like at driveways and crosswalks).

What if there is an accident in a bike lane? 

Accidents will be handled the same way any other accidents are handled.

How will rules along the protected bike lane routes be enforced?

Rules will be enforced the same way other traffic rules are enforced, by police.

 

WINTER USE & MAINTENANCE

Will the lanes be open in winter? Will snow be cleared from the lanes?

Yes. Snow will be cleared and removed from the protected bike lanes as quickly as possible following a snow fall.

More information can be found at Better Bike Lanes and the City of Saskatoon websites.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]