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Bike Lanes

What is a Bike Lane?

A bike lane is a portion of a roadway which has been designated by pavement markings and signage for preferential or exclusive use by cyclists. They are one of many dedicated cycling infrastructure components of the Council approved Cycling Master Plan. Bike lanes can be found on the following major roadways:

  • Hyde Park Road from Oxford St to Fanshawe Park Rd
  • Cheapside Street east of Adelaide St
  • Rideout St south of Thames River

Motor vehicles are typically not permitted to enter the bicycle lane unless a dashed line is used. An example of when it is okay for a driver to enter a bike lane is at the approach to an intersection, permitting motor vehicles to enter the bicycle lane to complete a right turn manoeuvre.

example of a bike lane on a city street


What do Bike Lanes Look Like?

Bike lanes are marked with solid white pavement markings, diamond symbols and designated with regulatory signs informing the lanes for cyclist use only. There are many streets in London that have bike lanes, including Cheapside Street, Southdale Road, and Ridout Street. 

Bike Lane FAQs

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  • What is a bike lane?

    ​A bike lane is a 1.5 metre wide, striped, signed lane marked with a large white bicycle stencil on the pavement. The lane is restricted to bicycle travel. On streets where there is on-street parking, bike lanes run to the left of parked vehicles. On streets without parking, bike lanes run alongside the curb.

  • Why do we need bike lanes?

    Bike lanes make it easier for bicycles and vehicles to share the road. Bike lanes also cut down on conflicts between cyclists and motorists, making streets safer for everyone.

  • How do I use the bike lane?

    ​Always travel in the same direction as traffic and remember that cycling on the sidewalk is illegal except for those who are 14 years and under. When cycling beside parked cars watch for doors opening.

  • Do I have to ride in the bike lane?

    ​No, there is no law that obliges you to ride in a bike lane. You can use the adjacent travel lanes if you are moving at the speed of traffic to pass another vehicle or if you are preparing for a turn. A bicycle is a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.  That means you have the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws as other road users.

  • What should I do when the bike lane ends?

    Check beside and behind you for other vehicles to be sure you can enter the shared lane safelty. ​Once you are sure it is safe, try to continue in the straightest line possible so that your movements are predictable to drivers.

  • As a motorist, how should I deal with bike lanes?

    ​A bike lane is a specifically designated lane to be used by cyclists only. It is illegal to park or drive in a bike lane. By parking or driving in a bike lane, you are endangering cyclists by forcing them to suddenly merge into vehicular traffic. However, you may cross over them if moving into a turn lane or preparing to park. Always check for bikes when crossing the lane.

    Be courteous when sharing a lane. Yield to cyclists the same as you would to any other driver. Bicycles travel faster than you think. When parked, check for bikes coming up next to you before opening your car door.

  • What is the City doing to educate cyclists and motorists?

    Successful bike lanes need education and enforcement. The City is educating both motorists and cyclists. Drivers are already familiar with shared lanes, and as bike lanes become more common, motorists will become familiar with how to treat them.

  • Can I walk in a bike lane?

    ​Unlike the multi-use Thames Valley Parkway, a bike lane is intended to be used solely by cyclists. Just as adult cyclists are not to use sidewalks, pedestrians should not use bike lanes. This will ensure that both cyclists and pedestrians do not put each other in danger. Please use the sidewalk when walking.

  • Do bike lanes cause traffic jams?

    ​No. Bike lanes help cut down on peak speeds because they have a traffic calming effect on motorists by narrowing travel lanes, but travel times stay the same.

  • What effects do bike lanes have on collisions?

    ​Bike lanes help calm traffic by cutting down on cyclists and motorists weaving. They create a buffer zone at the edge of the traffic lane. Motorists see cyclists about to enter the intersection more easily - giving motorists more time to react. Motorists also avoid the bike lane as they can predict cyclists will be there. That means fewer collisions.

  • What about the enforcement of bike lanes?

    ​The enforcement of motorists driving or parking in bike lanes falls under the jurisdiction of the London Police Service and the City's parking enforcement.

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