Two-way protected bike lanes open on Regina's Park Street

·3 min read

Two-way protected bike lanes are opening in Regina along Park Street.

The $1.5 million dollar project was started in June and officially finished only a few days behind schedule in October. The bike lanes connect the Park Street bike lane to the Arcola multi-use parkway.

"These are key elements of the transportation master plan," Diane Hawryluk, executive director of city planning and community development, said.

Hawryluk said the older communities were not built to have bike lanes and now the city is working hard to give people options to get around.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

"The bi-directional bike lane on Park Street helps to improve cyclist safety and create a more inclusive, cycling-friendly community," Hawryluk said.

Cyclists will continue to yield to pedestrians on the bike lane and the dotted lane means cyclists can pass each other when it's safe to do so. There is also an elevated curb with transit access platforms for pedestrians to still use public transportation and "elephant's feet" signs to let bikers know there may be pedestrians crossing.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

Ellen Mclaughlin is with Bike Regina and attended the announcement on Tuesday morning. She's been cycling in the city for about three years and says she typically stays on the paths but sometimes needs to go on the road.

"I probably get yelled at once a week by vehicles telling me to get off the road," she said. "That's fun … It's a bit nerve-wracking."

She said she uses the bike safety tip of owning her lane when needing to be on the street but was pleased when she heard about the protected bike lane.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

"It's great to see this commitment from the city to cyclists in Regina and the improvement of safety for cyclists in Regina," she said. "It makes a huge difference."

There are fewer opportunities for collisions with protected lanes and the lanes can be used by all ages and abilities, she said.

Snow to be removed in winter: city

In the winter, snow from the bike lanes, the parking lane and driving lanes would be moved to the centre boulevard as usual.

"Once that snow affects sight lines or lane widths then the crews would come out to remove the snow," Chris Warren, director of roadway and transportation for the City of Regina, said.

"This will be a combined effort with some of our sidewalk maintenance machines as well as our road maintenance machines to ensure that as we clear the snow in tandem and move the snow to the centre so that both the bike lanes and driving lanes are accessible."

This means the lanes can be used year round, which is good news for McLaughlin who bikes whenever she can in the winter.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

"It means we'll have a safe space to ride during the winter when lanes get even narrower and difficult to manoeuvre," she said.

The City of Regina's transportation master plan has a map for bike lane plans for the next 25 years. McLaughlin said she hopes to see more protected lanes on high traffic areas such as on Albert Street and Broad Street.

"What we are generally planning is focusing our priority on the centre of the city and moving our way out from the centre," Shanie Leugener, who is with the City of Regina, said.

She said the planning will look at adding lanes when the city is also redoing existing roads, such as what happened with the Park Street protected bike lanes.