Things in Canmore are changing and it’s not just the color of the leaves… Days are getting shorter, the morning air is a little crisp, and students are back to school. Canmore’s roads are changing too. In 2015 the Town added about 50km of pavement markings to make it more comfortable for people on bikes to get around town in addition to an existing network of over 80km of incredible multi-use paths. There are also new bike racks, bike maintenance stands, the Benchlands Bike Skills Park got a makeover, and some intersections and crossings have been enhanced for people walking and on bikes.
It is hard to miss the bike pavement markings and enhanced crossings around town, and that’s the idea. Here’s some of what you’ll see around town and what it all means.
For 2015, roughly 20km of shared lanes were marked in Canmore!
Shared lanes are marked by an image of a bicycle capped by a pair of arrows, commonly called “sharrows”. Sharrows are a reminder that roads are shared by motorists and cyclists. Although sharrows make a big impact letting everyone know that people on bikes are expected on the road, the Alberta Traffic Safety Act already allowed for bikes so the symbols are just a reminder.
About 30km of designated bike lanes were created in Canmore in 2015!
Bike lanes are marked with an image of a bicycle and a directional arrow as well as either a solid or dashed white lane line. Bike lanes are dedicated exclusively to people on bikes. Bikes don’t need to stay in the bike lane, they can also use the rest of the road like a vehicle. Motorists can cross a bike lane when turning into access ways or driveways, and when parking is permitted between the bike lane and the edge of the road. Otherwise motorists should not drive, stop or park within bike lanes.
For 2015, crossings were enhanced at the Bow River Bridge, 7th Ave at 7th Street, Benchlands Terrace, Bow Valley Trail at Spring Creek Gate and a number of other locations!
Some of the enhanced crossings include green paint and lines of squares called “Elephant’s Feet”. Green paint and Elephant’s Feet don’t change the rules of the road, they just increase the visibility of the crossings and highlight that people on bikes can be expected in the crossings.
When on a bike there is no requirement to dismount at crossings regardless of the color of paint or the symbols used. However, if you do dismount your bike, you are then considered a pedestrian and motorists must yield right-of-way to you. You don’t automatically have right-of-way if you choose to stay on your bike.
Bikes on Sidewalks
Get off of your bike on sidewalks. There are some exceptions; If you’re under the age of 12 and riding slowly people won’t mind if you’re riding on the sidewalk. In some locations such as on Benchlands Trail there is no good alternative for less confident bikers. In these locations there are symbols showing that both people walking and people on bikes are allowed and which direction they are allowed to travel in.
Believe it or not hand signals actually do work. Using hand signals and positioning yourself properly in the lane is the best way to communicate with other road users.
The map linked below shows bike lanes, shared lanes, multi-use routes, and existing trails through the Town of Canmore.