The City of Regina has installed a protected, bidirectional bike lane on Park Street from 18th Avenue East to Douglas Street.
The bike lane is the first of its kind in the city and features vehicular traffic on the left hand side with parking and bus stops in the middle and the bike lane on the right side. Between the parking and the bike lane are delineator posts.
The lane is part of the city's Park Street Rehabilitation project which also includes repaving the road, repairing underground infrastructure and installing concrete curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
Brandon Wright of Bike Regina says the protected bike lane is important for cyclists in Regina.
"There's lots of protection there for cyclists," Wright said.
He said the city made a promise to consider adding bike lanes to all road improvement projects.
"They will see if a bike lane works for it, especially if it fits into the existing network or the future bike network," Wright said. "Making these connections throughout the city, making it easier for people to get around by bike."
Wright said Bike Regina surveys its members — which include anybody in Regina who rides a bike — identifies as a commuter cyclist or believes in cycling as a form of transportation.
"Their number one concern is riding in traffic with motor vehicles," Wright said. "It's scary for a lot of people and so to grow that cycling culture and to have safer streets for everybody we need these protected bike lanes."
He said people who currently commute by bike have to "battle it out" with motor vehicles on the city's roads.
"That's not fair," Wright said. "We want to encourage young, old, all abilities, all ages to use those bike lanes and that's why this is very important and continuing to grow the cycling network is very important."
Education initiatives are needed, says Bike Regina
Wright said when it comes to cycling in the city, he said education initiatives are needed for Regina drivers.
"[That is] something the city is working on and we also talked to SGI about periodically, educating motorists of the cyclist's right to the road," Wright said, adding better relations between motorists and cyclists leads to safer roads.
Wright said he's keeping his fingers crossed for a comprehensive cycling network in Regina, where cyclists can cycle safely adjacent to the roadways.
"For now we just need education so that everybody can get along on existing roads," Wright said. "Cyclists can gain more confidence on existing roads."
"Then as time goes on and funding comes out we can do more and more road infrastructure projects to kind of separate cyclists and motorists wherever it makes sense to."