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What do you see as the biggest area of improvement for the protected bike lanes?

138 Responses

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John Thompson 2 months ago

I work on 4th Ave. S. and park in a parkade that exits onto 4th Ave. S., so I have had a fair bit of experience with the 4th Ave. bike lanes this past year. I am very concerned by the changes in lane markings that were required in order to facilitate the bike lanes. When the lanes were first opened, the streets were well marked with the new lanes. This is critical as there are several jogs and swerves required as you go between 25th St and 19th St. There are now also shared center lanes. The problem is that nobody can see the lines in the winter and even now the lines have yet to be repainted and most people have no idea where they are to drive. It is like the wild west on this street. Heading south on 4th at the 20th St. intersection is hazardous. The lanes do not line up as you cross 20th St and often I am cut off by someone on my right incorrectly thinking that the left hand lane is only for turning left on to 20th. Turning into my parkade heading north in the 100 block S of 4th requires I enter the shared lane that is also used by south bound traffic turning left onto 21st St. This is dangerous as there are no visible markings from the first snow until whenever the city gets around to repainting them. Lastly, the fine drivers of Saskatoon rarely seem to notice that right-hand turns onto 4th Ave. from any intersecting street are now prohibited. This leads to frustration by both the drivers who can't read the signage and the drivers like myself that wait at the red light while being honked at from behind. I think that 3rd Ave. would be a much more suitable street for bike lanes. It would not require all this jogging back and forth and it supports much less vehicle traffic than 4th does.

12 Votes
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Blaine Gysler 2 months ago

Third Avenue was proposed several years ago, but city Council voted it down and instead decided to put that concrete barrier down the middle of the street. bad idea.

3 Votes
 
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Dennis Flath 2 months ago

I also work on 4th Avenue and absolutely agree with everything that has been said. I also want to point out that you rarely see any bikes using the lane. Also Hudsons somehow now has a patio that runs into the street removing additional driving space and parking. If you are going to prohibit right hand turns at red lights it should be at all the intersections. It would much easier if it was consistent.

6 Votes
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Herb McFaull 2 months ago

Totally agree

1 Vote
 
 
 
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Jeff Schoffer 2 months ago

The only improvement I can think of is to remove the bike lanes and get traffic flowing like it used to.

24 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

lol, like it used to.

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Kiki Sweuder 2 months ago

I do not see the purpose in prohibiting right hand turns on red lights onto the streets with bike lanes. When I am stopped in my vehicle, at a regular intersection, I check carefully for pedestrians, bikes and other vehicles before proceeding. There is no reason that this should be any different where there are bike lanes. The prohibition on right turns ties up traffic, confuses drivers, and serves no practical purpose at all.

16 Votes
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Drew Gress 2 months ago

I agree with you. I was reading this morning that it's intended to keep motorists out of the magic green boxes. I'm not sure anyone actually understands the purpose of the magic green boxes. I should be able to make a right turn unless there is a bike there.

4 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

https://youtu.be/9iUDkytI-5E - this video should answer some q's

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Kevin Stricker 2 months ago

You'd have to be able to crank your head back unnaturally far to be able to see all cyclists who might hit your vehicle as it passes through the intersection if they're travelling at a high speed. That isn't the case for a pedestrian.

2 Votes
 
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

When you don't understand something your reaction is to get rid of it? Why not try to understand it? It really isn't that hard. YOU might see bikers in the green boxes but if many others don't. We are only as strong as our weakest driver. The reason they are there is so bikers travelling north, for instance, don't have to pull over to the left hand road lane to turn west. Most bikers are fairly aware that cars are probably going to cut them off at intersections and parking lot ramps, if drivers knew they were going to turn over a bike lane then they should be preemptively checking the bike lanes before they are turning. I know its tough to reconcile but sometimes driving a vehicle requires you to pay attention to what's happening around you. The reality these bike lanes wouldn't be necessary if drivers did that more initially.

2 Votes
 
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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

The green boxes are ONLY at 23rd and 4th ave intersection. No right on red makes some sense there. It makes no sence anywhere eles. Yield to oncoming traffic and turn what's the problem with that? There's 4 stop sign intersections on 23rd ST where drives do exactly that. Stop looking for oncoming traffic and turn. What the difference between those stop sign intersections and red light intersections?

1 Vote
 
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

There are green boxes on other streets for sure. Where the pilot project bike lanes intersect on 4 ways they usually have them. You just have to watch for the signs. No signs really make sense if you think about it, they are all determined by people - not some absolute reality.

2 Votes
 
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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

I apologize, it does appear that some of these no right on red intersections do have remnants of green boxs. I had a carful look this morning and could make a few out. I comfortable assuming they probably were there at all these locations before but have washed out. It's crazy how well the ones at 4th and 23rd have held up. They are also not uniformly implemented, the ones at 4th and 23rd are much further from the curb. I suppose seeing this is an improvement forum that would be an idea, more uniformity.

I think drivers would be more receptive to this no right on red green box thing if we saw them used, but for most of us this is all hypothetical.

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Brad Mockford 2 months ago

Speaking as a cyclist that rides downtown, I think the protected lanes should just be removed. I feel unsafe because I can't see traffic, and they can't see me. I have to slow down at every driveway and intersection to make sure there aren't vehicles crossing my path, even though I technically should have the right-of-way all the way through. It is also unreasonable to expect Vehicles making right hand turns to simultaneously watch their left (for oncoming traffic), their right (for pedestrians attempting to cross the street) and directly behind them (for me). I understand that these lanes are ostensibly "pro bike", but just because activists want them doesn't mean that cyclists will actually benefit from them. Let the occasional cyclist clog up a regular traffic lane for an extra 10-20 seconds. It sure as heck beats dedicating an entire lane to cyclists 24/7, especially in the winter months when practically nobody uses them.

...And please move the lanes off of 4th avenue. That road is a disaster

21 Votes
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Crystal Dawn 2 months ago

I am also a cyclist and agree with everything in this post.

8 Votes
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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

I agree 100% with Brad. The activists' voices are being heard louder than the rest of us and it just isn't fair. Council should focus on doing what is best for everyone- both cyclists and motorists. 4th Ave is a mess.

1 Vote
 
 
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Lee Smith 2 months ago

What you're essentially talking about is vehicular cycling, which has been the norm in North America for decades (ie. riding a bike in traffic, which is done only by a small number of (usually young, fit, and male) confident cyclists). These lanes are an attempt to move away from vehicular cycling and toward casual, safe, accessible, and non-intimidating cycling, the kind that average people, not "hardcore cyclists" can do. We can disagree on which one is ultimately better for a city to pursue in its transport policy (the smart money is on casual cycling), but I just wanted to clarify for others.

7 Votes
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Ellen Quigley about 1 month ago

There is certainly some variety among cyclists in Saskatoon, but evidence from other cities shows -- quite definitively -- that you get way more women, older riders, and children cycling when you have protected lanes. Until then, it's only those who feel comfortable riding in traffic who will cycle. More cyclists = less traffic and air pollution for everyone, so it doesn't seem right to reserve all roads downtown for cars only.

1 Vote
 
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Brad Mockford 2 months ago

I see tonnes of female and 50+ cyclists on the road. Some of those old guys are incredibly fast. It's also pretty easy to get fit when you're logging 100km per week, and proficiency develops quickly. It's just like learning to drive a car... start on quiet residential neighbourhoods, then work your way up to downtown driving. With the bike, you can always just hop off and walk it for those last few blocks if you feel uncomfortable. It would be nice if we could just demolish every single building and rebuild them all with bicycle infrastructure in mind, but you go to war with the army you have. IMHO, the least-worst option for this city is to keep bicycles on the road with regular traffic.

2 Votes
 
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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

@Brad Mockford I am proudly 'incredibly slow' on my bike.

The aim of the game here is not to make every cyclist superfast or give up. The aim of the game is to make cycling a viable transport method for any one whether you are 5 yrs old or 85. When more people cycle to downtown, we all benefit: the roads are cheaper to maintain, there are fewer cars in front of you, more parking available for you and the cost of healthcare is reduced. Why would anyone not want this?

2 Votes
 
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Kevin Dunbar about 1 month ago

I vehicularly cycle year round, I always run headlight and taillights whose brightness rivals that of cars. With Saskatoon drivers and Saskatoon's current infrastructure vehicular cycling is better than nothing but its pleasant. I am routinely yelled at, cursed out, called extremely vulgar slurs, honked at, had engines revved at me, have drivers pass within inches of me. I get cut off by left turning cars who have to have seen me, I get right hooked by cars who have just passed or are still passing me, drivers merge into my lane without regard for the fact that I'm beside them, drivers pass in dangerous places, often causing oncoming traffic to slam on their brakes or swerve to avoid a head on collision with the passing car. I have had had drivers pull infront of me and and hit the brakes immediately, I've had drivers try to turn right across my path sometimes even from the left lane, I have been shot at with an airsoft gun, I've had drivers come so close I've tried to instinctively ward off the car with my hand and had the car's mirror hit it, I have had cars drive 1 foot to either side of me for a block because I moved over to let a driver turn right at a red light. I get harassed even when the only traffic on a 4 lane road is myself and a car going in the opposite direction. I know I cannot trust Saskatoon's drivers and I want to encourage people to cycle, I want to cycle to work with my wife but how can I do that when I know how awful it can be. I cannot expect other people to put up with the abysmal treatment I routinely experience from drivers. Saskatoon needs these bike lanes and needs to make a city wide network of lanes so that everyone who physically can ride has the opportunity not just the die hard cyclists.

The lanes on 4th have their problems, but they are far better than what was there before.

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Cora Janzen 2 months ago

Address the accessibility challenges for people with mobility issues. The no-right-turn on red doesn't seem to be a favorite with people; could have advanced pedestrian and cycling signals to give people using these modes more time to get into the intersection so visibility is increased before the cars start moving. Need to build connections to the downtown protected bike lanes so that there is infrastructure leading to and connecting into these lanes (so they aren't on an "island").

3 Votes
 
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Erin Spinney 2 months ago

The painting of the lanes needs to be improved significantly, not just in the bike lanes themselves (which should be repainted with the green paint where they cross intersections), but also on the road so that it is clear to drivers what each lane does.

I would also like to see enforcement of the no-right-on-red rule, maybe something similar to the red light cameras throughout the city. Just today I had to slam on my bike brakes to avoid running into a turning truck which shouldn't have been turning.

In terms of the 23rd street lane it needs significant improvement to be a viable bike lane. The two blocks from 4th Ave to Spadina are full of pot holes, dirt, and debris, so much so that I don't even bother riding in them because it is such a mess. Though 23rd might get you to the bus mall downtown, I think that 24th St would have been a better location for the bike lane as it gives more easier access to the university bridge (with an intersection with stop lights instead of a stop sign (makes it harder to make a left turn on a bike)). Moving it to 24th street would also let you go more than two blocks before having to get off your bike and walk through the bus mall. Personally, I would love to see a protected bike lane down 25th St, maybe a two way cycle track like they have in Calgary (http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TP/Pages/Cycling/Cycling-Route-Improvements/Types-of-cycle-tracks.aspx), so that you could go to and from the university to downtown without have to dodge any strollers, dogs, young children, or people walking two abreast on the university bridge. However, I recognise that in a car-centric culture this would be truly a long time coming, but I can hope.

7 Votes
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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

I'd just like to say that if Council moved to do red light cameras at all of those messed up intersections downtown to prohibit right turns, I'd be the first one to be setting up my chair outside City Hall in protest. Haha. I think the general consensus is right turns should be ALLOWED, and drivers should simply proceed when safe to do so, since there are hardly any cyclists in the lanes.

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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

I've been a currier in Saskatoon for the last 17 years. I drive down 23rd ST and 4th ave multiple times per day every day. Brad Mockford articulated my concerns about the bike lane perfectly. The light is green now I have to look to my right to Check the bike lane before turning right. It's an unnatural driving patern and dangerious. I'd much rather the cyclist be in form of me where I can see them. What is the rational of no right turns on red? If it red and the cyclist is going thru there stopped corect? I can drive normally check left to see if it's safe and proceed. The danger isn't on reds its on greens. Just because somthing "feels safer" doesn't make it safer. Cyclists are much safer when we can see them, not hidden behind parked vehicles.

With all that said I haven't see a lot of congestion on either street. I find traffic still flows fine. I'm HIGHLY secptical of the 300 bikes a day number. Me and my coworkers got a huge laugh over that number. I go days with seeing anyone using them. Even if it's true we sure are spending a lot of time and money over one tenth of a percent of the population. In the end I find cyclists will use the shortest rout if 24th ST is more direct that's what they use. Not sure what the point of all this is it's NOT safer.

12 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

you say its not safer but I almost get hit way less where there are bike lanes. Where there aren't bike lanes many drivers do super unsafe things when they see you AND BECAUSE you are in front of them. As for your concern about bikers using 24th st. - I am pretty sure that's a bike lane too, it's just unprotected so it's for more experienced and crazy bikers. Depending on the time of day I will make a further trek to use the protected bike lanes. Especially at night when there are lots of drunk drivers.

3 Votes
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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

What would be fortunate about that? This isn't about who's right and who's wrong or drivers vs cyclists. It's about making road ways safer for cyclist isn't it?

You seem quick to dismiss my concerns about not seeing cyclist behind parked vehicles. I'm a commercial driver with 15 years perfect drives abstract and I'm nervous about these bike lanes. Just as you have said their is inexperienced and novice cyclists the same is true for drivers and they are the ones you should be worried about. It won't matter much if there wrong and your dead. This isn't a good solution but I'm open to helping find one.

1 Vote
 
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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

I'm not conserned about cyclists using 24th ST or al most any street in Saskatoon. Well maybe Idlewyld Drive or warmen RD I guesses there is a few but I'm happy to share the road with cyclists. I'm conserned about not see you on the road. I get you feel safer in the bike lanes I understand that. Just know that if I passes you on the road then I know your there. If I pass you and your in a bike lane behind parked cars I may not know your there. Just be careful at all points where vehicles turn right over the bike lane. Really makes me nervous.

1 Vote
 
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

Fortunately the driver would be at fault for the accident if they are crossing over a bike lane. People will have to learn to drive proactively and check the lanes well before they want to turn. I'm glad that you are happy to share the road, but many aren't. Even if 1 in 20 (low ball) make your ride dangerous then the bike lanes can be safer even if there are still some accidents.

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Ellen Quigley about 1 month ago

Hi Chris,

It sounds like you are a very careful driver, and frankly I wish everyone kept as careful an eye out during right-hand turns as you do. Unfortunately not everyone does that, though, so right-hand turns are responsible for a significant number of injuries and deaths for cyclists. I suppose these bike lanes would probably affect you no matter which street they were on, but for other drivers it isn't so important which street they travel down. Cyclists only need one option for crossing downtown -- North/South and East-West -- that is safe. I think some people avoid the current protected lanes because they still aren't fully protected (the poles are often knocked over, which kind of emphasises the fact that they won't keep cars from entering the lanes). I bet there would be more people using the lanes if they a) didn't stop abruptly before 25th street and b) if they were actually protected, with a curb or parked cars or something like that. Two questions for you: one, based on your experience driving in downtown Saskatoon, which would be the best North/South and East/West streets for bike lanes? Second, do you think you would support these bike lanes if there were more cyclists in them? Thanks and all best!

0 Votes
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Chris Yobb about 1 month ago

I agree Ellen right hand turns are a problem but the danger is on greens lights not reds. Drivers are not going to driver over somone sitting in the green box and its iratating that I can't turn right when it's safe to do so. Greens is the problem and its compounded by the cyclists Hinden behind parked cars.

Honestly I havnt found the bike lanes to impede my day at all. Sure the no right on red is annoying but it really doesn't affect trafic flow much.

I bet that having the bike lane on 23rd has to be agrivating to cyclists. Expecting people to stop at 2nd or 3rd ave and walk a block is dumb. I was thinking 24th St would be a better east/west road to use and remove parking from that street, it's seem more suitable to me now that 25th St is connected to idwyld dr. However now the STC is done maybe the city could buy it and move the bus mall there and open 23rd St up. It could have 1 lane of traffic the bike lanes and no parking.

North/south is the problem none of the aves are ideal and removing paring is going to be a tuff sell. Maybe spadina? but put both lanes on the east side of the street? or remove parking off spadina again tuff sell. I'm not a fan of the bike lane and parking on the same street, I WANT TO SEE YOU.

I don't not suport the bike lanes my issue is with the cost. Even if the ridership tripled its a ton of money spent on a very tiny % of the city, like less than a half a percent of the population. Than I watch ever day cyclist on 24th, 25th or 3rd ave thinking well glad we spent all that money. The best is cyclists on 4th ave or 23rd St not using the bike lane that's great.

1 Vote
 
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Ellen Quigley about 1 month ago

Hi Chris,

I have to agree with you about 23rd, and frankly I think you're right about the incompatibility of parking and bike lanes. Maybe Spadina would be the right call as there isn't a tonne of parking most of the way anyway. If there weren't parking and bike lanes, would that solve the visibility problem entirely? Or would there still be some issues, from your perspective?

The only thing I disagree with you on is cost. Right now cyclists (2.4% of the population last I checked, but that has probably changed) pay taxes that go to roads and parking, but they get nowhere close to 2.4% of transportation funding (it's a tenth of that or something -- I should look up the numbers again, but basically it's tiny). More cyclists = lower costs for the city overall through decreased road repair costs. Cycling also saves money for the economy and other levels of government, though, as more cyclists = reduced air pollution (healthcare costs) and less traffic (fewer costs for businesses, maybe especially including couriers!). I see cycling funding as a bit like funding tax haven investigators at the CRA -- it more than pays for itself.

1 Vote
 
 
 
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Jay Brown 2 months ago

As someone who loves biking in the city - I have never used the protected bike lanes and I don't think they are necessary. In fact, I think they are a distraction and an excuse for others to use to say bikers should not be on the road.

Here are a few of my points.

1) The rules are too confusing for people. No one really fully understands how to use the new protected lanes and what to do at stop lights. Even those who do know how to use them, ignore the rules for their own safety. Unless SGI starts making this part of the liscensing test it will never be resolved.

2) Unless you have data to back it up, I don't think they have encouraged more people to use bikes. The test routes are on roads that aren't main through fairs and I need to take a detour to use them. Most people enter downtown from the Meewasin trails, and then get on Spadina to get to the street access they need downtown.

3) The biggest problem stopping people from biking is theft. I know I am wary about locking my bike up downtown because there is a reasonable chance that it could be stolen. I don't want to have to use a "junker" bike just in case it gets stolen. It takes away from the experience and enjoyment. We need to either have better policing of this (which is very hard, as the cops can't be everywhere at once) or better systems for bikes. Organizations like the Saskatoon Bike Club, that set up the valet bike parking at events, for example are great ways to encourage more biking. While I don't think this is feasible, there has to be a way to design more safe places for bikes. Such as bike parking garages.

4) As someone who regularly bikes on the road, I have never felt like traffic was being unsafe to me. People, for the most part, respect my place on the road, and I purposely will take a side street to not be a hindrance to vehicles. For example, I won't bike down Clarence Ave from College to 8th Street as there isn't safe room for both of us.

5) I think Saskatoon only needs painted line bike lanes like there is on Spadina, where it makes sense. 4th Ave could easily have a painted bike lane, instead of the pylons and it would still serve its purpose. Then there should be more education about sharing these lanes.

6) Saskatoon is a tremendously bike friendly city, it is flat, small distances and the Meewasin trails connect many parts of the city easily together. I think the city can be doing a much better job promoting the current assets that are already here and make people realize that biking is much more feasible. For example, put together a campaign that shows the time it takes for someone to drive on their commute, as compared to biking. I bet a lot of people would be shocked that the it would be very little extra time to bike to work.

12 Votes
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Zack MacGregor 2 months ago

I agree with a lot of what you're saying but I have to strongly disagree about painted on bike lanes. They disappear in the winter. The bike lane along spadina is unusable if there is snow on the ground. At least with the pilons downtown the bike lane actually remains all winter. I know there aren't as many winter cyclists but in my 5km commute I regularly see about a dozen winter cyclists. The city says there is 205km of just residential streets in Saskatoon so if I'm seeing 12 in 5km then there is potentially many more winter cyclists in this city.

6 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

You're lucky that traffic has never been unsafe to you. that is quite unbelievable really - side streets aside. Clarence is a two lane road so I don't see how there isn't room. If you haven't I encourage biking up in the North Industrial area during the work week where there are no bike lanes or signs to speak of. It's nothing but side streets but very dangerous. Biking is way safer with lanes, protected or unprotected and protected lanes encourage all levels of bikers.

1 Vote
 
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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

I disagree with Zack. The white poles may remain in the winter, but the fact of the matter is specialized snow removal equipment is needed to get around the poles (at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to taxpayers) and that just isn't fair when so few people use these lanes and that will always be the case because of how cold and how much snow we have here for so much of the year. Period.

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Joseph McDonald 2 months ago

Location, location, location. 23rd street was the wrong choice just as 4th ave was the wrong choice. 24th street and Spadina would have been far better options and would have had far less impact into the flow of traffic (cyclist and driver alike).

Additionally the sudden direction changes in the lane on 4th ave is horrible to navigate. Especially in the summer when Hudson's takes over part of the sidewalk and extends the boulevard into the bike lane. This is a very inconvenient jog in the lane and it shouldn't be there.

Protected bike lanes should exist, but the manner of their implementation can significantly undermine their value and I think city council got this pilot project wrong on that front. Fortunately it's rectifiable and I truly hope that they will examine better locations for this type of biking corridor through the city.

5 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

to get from the west side to the east side or vice versa it's either Idylwyld bridge, Broadway bridge or Clarence bridge. So you have a choice: Bike lane down Idylwyld, 4th ave, or 25th st.- which would you prefer? 23rd st. is a bike lane all the way down until Avenue W so that's maybe why they chose that. It also connects to the bus mall where you can throw your bike on the front of a bus and take a little break for longer treks. Why is a little inconvenience downtown so discouraging when driving is generally an inconvenience?

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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

Erin Spinney why would you have to slam on your bike brakes? The light was red. Were you going to run a red light?

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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

no it was clearly a situation that went something like this: Erin was maybe going South, for instance, and had a green light. A driver going east and turning south turned right at a red light in front of Erin who had a green light going south. Not that hard to understand when you understand the system.

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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

Fair enough that sounds like a reasonable explanation. Now I admit I don't understand this system so I'm glad you do and can explain it to me. I do understand normal traffic laws and under the scenario you outlined the drive was wrong for not yielding to on coming traffic. That drive would be wrong in that scenario in every intersection in the city. So how does the system improve on that scenario, or is it there is just two reasons now why he was wrong.

Heres really what I'd like to know. Driver A is going south on Ontario Ave. Driver B is going south on Pacific Ave. Drive A comes to a Stop sign on 23rd ST stops, looks left for on coming traffic see none and turns right. Drive B one block west comes to a red light on 23rd St stops and waits for the light to turn green. Why is driver B not allowed to make the same right turn, that drive A did one block east? What is the difference in driver responsibility when turning right at a red vs a stop sign?

The only place no right on red make sense to me is at 23rd ST and 4th ave where the green boxes are. Please explain this system to me it makes no sense.

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Ira GeresCodd 2 months ago

That is because Ontario ave. comes to a dead end going south there at 23rd st. so there is no reason to have a green box there. I believe there is green boxes on Pacific which is a 4 way intersection and would have the same system where: a biker going west down 23rd would wait in the box to turn south down pacific instead of crossing over to the left lane of 23rd.

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Chris Yobb 2 months ago

Yup had a carful look this morning and think there probably was a green boxish thing there at some point. It looks a lot different than the ones at 4th ave and 23rd, right against the curb and 95% washed out.

With the bus depo closing I won't be going here for much longer. I bet they could remove this traffic light soon I doubt it will be needed come June.

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Dm Schmidt 2 months ago

Move all the stupid, pointless bike lanes to Vancouver where they belong please! How many bikes use them? Especially during winter? A total Waste of money! and no right turns on red are ridiculous. It's a total joke. Maybe when more than ten people a year ride their bikes downtown, which will be never, then it will be worth it but until then discontinue them asap please and thanks!

10 Votes
 
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Blaine Gysler 2 months ago

The way to improve the situation is to build a lot more of these lanes. And make them permanent. Also remove the bus mall, as there is no point in having a bike lane where you have to stop and walk or bike. The reason bikes are not using these lanes is because there are only two of them. Calgary and Edmonton both have a plan to do their entire downtown's in one year. If you build a road to nowhere who is goingto use it?

10 Votes
 
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Cindi Pederson 2 months ago

The protected lanes should be best recognized as multi use lanes. Motorized wheelchair users also frequent these lanes. But the lanes need to be clean to allow ease of use for this group, especially in winter. Presently, they are difficult to clean, especially in winter, and businesses were moving their snow into the lane. I have almost been doored by a vehicle as I cycled through downtown (before lanes), so I do like the posts which offer an extra modicum of protection, but wonder if removing the posts would make cleaning easier and improve tolerance of lanes. As well, the multi use lane on 23rd street needs to allow cyclists to bike through the bus mall. Active transportation is a key to health optimization for adults and youth alike resulting in a reduction in chronic disease - cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and psychosocial, thank you for anything that can be done to encourage more people to be active. Respectfully submitted

5 Votes
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Ellen Quigley about 1 month ago

Hi Cindi,

Definitely agree with almost everything you've said here. The only thing I'd add is that it would be better to replace the posts, not remove them -- maybe with a curb or some other physical barrier.

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George Singler 2 months ago

they need to be removed !!!

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Bert B 2 months ago

Follow the Calgary model: install a full and connected network, separate the lanes with more permanent barriers so couriers and City buses don't block the lanes, install bike traffic lights, spend the summer educating pedestrians cyclists and drivers how to use the system. Forcing cyclists to walk their bike on 23rd needs to go. For this system to reach it's potential it needs to be a connected network and a convenient transportation option.

9 Votes
 
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Ryan Graf 2 months ago

I would rather see the bike lanes right beside traffic. I love the idea of bike lanes but putting a row of parked cars between us and the moving traffic is a bad idea. Motorists do not look behind parked cars for bikes and even if they do you can easily be missed.

I feel safer riding in traffic than I do riding in a bike lane when there is a row of parked cars between me and traffic.

6 Votes
 
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Angela Finkbeiner 2 months ago

The bike lanes do not take into account people with mobility issues. My husband uses a van with a ramp that comes out of the passenger side. With the bike lanes, it is unsafe for him to park and let his ramp down into the bike lane/gutter, instead of onto the sidewalk. The worst is the fact that there are bike lanes blocking the majority of potentially accessible parking around City Hall. As if it isn't difficult enough for people with disabilities to get around the city and access businesses.

I think bike lanes are a nice idea....but they have been very poorly executed, especially in a city where we have winter for half of the year.

5 Votes
 
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Trevor Bothorel 2 months ago

Can one of the changes be that you allow right turns around bike lanes? Tends to be a lot of pedestrians downtown, so if you can't turn right around bike lanes on red, and you can't on green cause you are waiting for pedestrians...then it's really slowing down traffic flow around the bike lanes.

7 Votes
 
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Jennifer Kitchen 2 months ago

No need to spend more tax dollars - just remove them PLEASE!

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Carol Pihach 2 months ago

First you need to decide if bikes are vehicles or pedestrians - if vehicles, then they need to share the road with other vehicles - if pedestrians, they need to share the sidewalks with other pedestrians. They cannot have it both ways. Why do we feel the need to cater to this extremely small percentage of our population (really? 300 per day? where? when? winter?) - we should be able to co-exist with common sense & courtesy. While some may think the bike lanes are useful during summer months - they are totally inoperable during our 8 months of winter. Our city council & administration certain cannot think that this is the best use of our limited tax dollars. Oh, I forgot, they think they have 'unlimited' tax dollars to spend!!! Why don't they have to live within a reduced budget like the rest of us...sorry, different topic! Bike lanes are NOT practical here - they need to be removed.

7 Votes
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Jasmine Liska 2 months ago

Cyclists can, and should, be considered both vehicles and pedestrians. For example, I was waiting at a red light at an intersection with a multi-use pathway/sidewalk beside the road. I was on the pathway because I'm a slow cyclist on a heavy mountain bike and I like slowing down for/interacting with pedestrians. Another cyclist stood beside me on the road. She was in spandex bike clothes on a road bike capable of going close to the speed limit. I was acting as a pedestrian; she as a vehicle. We were both in the places we should be. If she was on the sidewalk, she would be frustrated and may frighten pedestrians she encountered; if I was on the road, I would hold up traffic and be harassed by drivers. Most cyclists know where they should be, and there should be more education for the ones that ride dangerously.

Also, I ride all winter, and I know a lot of other people who do too. It's fun, even when it's -35!

6 Votes
 
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Matt Wolsfeld 2 months ago

Cyclists are defined as vehicles by SGI, but a realistic, common-sense approach knows that the truth is more nuanced than this.

Most cyclists are not able and do not prefer to travel at road speeds; forcing them onto roads is a surefire way to make sure that none of them cycle in the city (something we don't want to see happen). At the same time, no vehicle wants travel behind a cyclist who lawfully rides on the road at a leisurely pace; forcing this issue irritates drivers and causes many to engage in dangerous or inconsiderate actions that place cyclists in harm's way.

At the same time, forcing cyclists onto pedestrian-only walkways is a surefire way to cause injuries and frustration among both pedestrians and cyclists alike.

The most effective way as proven in successful examples of public planning the world over is to create bike-specific infrastructure such as bike lanes. This recognizes the nuances in the issue and provides an entry point for more of the city's population to start engaging in active transportation.

Also, like Jasmine, I ride 365 days per year and love it. Winter cycling is a recognized activity all across the world's winter cities and is a great way to commute and stay in shape during the dreary winter months. We should not be discouraging people from trying to get active and reduce their carbon footprint just because it is cold and snowy.

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Susan Bonnor 2 months ago

To facilitate the bike lanes, the traffic patterns on 4th Ave were changed, but the signage and road markings are not clear for most of the year. There is confusion as to where the driving lanes are, in particular around 4th and 20th. I have seen many near misses. The other issue I have is for traffic entering and exiting parking off of 4th Ave. For entering parking, the bikes are hidden behind a row of cars, it is difficult to see them approaching. The bikes are also moving considerably faster than the pedestrian traffic. When exiting, you make your way out far enough to see past the parked cars and determine if it is safe to enter traffic, you are blocking the bike lane.

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Dwight Doering 2 months ago

Get rid of the "protected" bike lanes. They are a hazard for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. If we must have a dedicated bike lane then it should be on the outside of the parked vehicles. This works in other cities like Toronto where they have considerably more bike traffic and year round vs. the few dozen cyclists we have 4 months of the year.

5 Votes
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Matt Wolsfeld 2 months ago

Have you considered that Toronto has "more bike traffic" because it has a considerably larger population and has invested public money into civic bike infrastructure?

Saskatoon ranks second-highest among Canadian cities in terms of cyclists as a proportion of commuters (just below Victoria). We have a smaller population size, but more of that population is engaged in cycling. Strong civic bike infrastructure will only help that number increase.

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John Hancock 2 months ago

I like the fact that in this discussion almost every comment is negative, yet they still tell the media that they're receiving mostly positive feedback. The new bike lanes have reduced driving lanes, reduced parking spots downtown (which are desperately needed), and have caused confusion in drivers as they now can't turn right on reds, and to accommodate bike lanes we now have intersections with non-intersecting lanes. I watch bikers ride in the driving lanes and sidewalks all day, and the few that do use the bike lanes swerve and do whatever they want anyways. On top of that, there's now the paranoia that there's going to be a bike hiding behind the parked cars that you can't see when you're turning. There's no safe way to check for traffic, pedestrians, and bicycles all at the same time. On top of all this, there's the issues mentioned above about cleaning, snow removal, cost, and drivers constantly running over the bumpers. More money coming out of our pockets to accommodate what is likely a highly overestimated number. Not a fan of the bike lanes, I know many others that don't know this site exists that all would agree. In fact, I can't say I know of one person who does like them. They'll hear what they want to justify their waste of money though.

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Aimy Thiessen 2 months ago

Overall general marking of the bike lanes and car lanes needs to be improved. People are unsure of where they should be which makes it difficult to navigate. Winter was very difficult as the City did not maintain these lanes, and in fact, pushed snow into the bike lane from the city hall sidewalks. If you are going to have a bike lane, it needs to be maintained, or avoidable accidents will occur. For the entire city, it would be nice if the media actual showed commuter cyclists as a story, showing actual video footage of them biking to work and the rules of the road etc. I find in talking with people, most are unsure about what cyclists should and shouldn't do. and of course, there's always that one terrible cyclist (actually, just a person on a bike .... any bike), that does whatever he/she wants putting everyone at risk!

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Zack MacGregor 2 months ago

I use the 4th ave bike lane twice a day all year, yes including winter, and there is definitely some room for improvement.

1) Maintenance is a big issue. The city needs to show that they care about the bike lanes. In the winter they move snow into the bike lane, not just businesses but city hall and the main library, and then only offer that it'll be removed in the next 24 hours. I guess I didn't need to commute that day anyways. I wonder how drivers would react to piles of snow in the middle of the road for 24 hours after each snow fall? This spring they are doing the same thing with piles of dirt. The city should not be creating hazards where none existed before. Today is bike to work day and it's part of bike to work week. The lanes should be the star of the show, instead they are still full of piles of dirt, gravel, utility cuts, broken posts, and the silly detour around Hudson's patio. The city needs to setup up the line painting on 4th ave. It's hard to tell which is a turning lane, parking lane, or driving lane at many intersections. I understand it's just a pilot but with driving lanes that crazy there needs to be a better job of marking them.

2) The bike lanes don't connect to anything. They are an island of infrastructure that don't come from anywhere or lead to anywhere. The only slight connection is heading north-west off the Broadway bridge, except that the lane doesn't start for another block.The 23rd street bike lane could have so easily been connected to the lane on Spadina with 30 feet of green paint. Instead the legal way to make that transition is to merge out of the bike lane, cross two lanes of traffic, make a left turn, and then merge back into the bike lane. Why does the 4th ave bike lane stop at 24th and start at 20th? They don't connect to the bridges except for the one direction from Broadway I mentioned above.

3) They are on the wrong roads. 3rd ave and 24th streets would have made much more sense. 24th is already used by a lot of cyclists and it could connect into the university bridge and the meewasin trail very easily at the intersection of 24th and Spadina. 24th wouldn't suffer from the issue of having a bus mall in the middle that can't be ridden through. Spadina itself already has a painted on bike lane, it would have been a much better option than 4th ave.

4) Education. The city didn't release the Youtube video about how to use the bike lanes until about a month after they were already in use. No one knows what the bike boxes do or how to use them, cyclists and drivers alike. No one understands why the no right turn on red signs are there and it just drives a wedge between drivers and cyclists. Pedestrians step into the bike lane without looking and a bell does very little to alert them in noisy downtown traffic.They need to realize that it's a lane of traffic the same as any other lane. Drivers and cyclists don't seem to understand that bikes are vehicles that need to follow the rules of the road and have every right to be on the road in traffic.

5) Enforcement. Every day I watch cyclists ride on the sidewalk along the bike lane or ride the wrong way through the bike lane. I watch drivers turn right on red against the signage, turn without looking, park in bike lanes, and attempt to intimidate cyclists. Enforcement needs to pickup where education leaves off. Neither seem to be happening.

That's a lot of room for improvement in my opinion but luckily this is just a pilot. It's there to flush this stuff out. I wouldn't be sad to see these lanes get taken out because of how haphazardly they were installed but I would be sad to see the progress disappear. Drivers fail to realize every bike they see is one less car in traffic and one less parking spot they need to compete for. It shouldn't be a case of us vs. them, it should be about all road users.

10 Votes
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Scott Rogers 2 months ago

Very well said Zack. I agree with your points, especially #2 and 3. Walking my bike through the bus mall on 23rd is a deterrent to actually using these protected lanes, and lots of cyclists don't even bother anymore. The 4th Ave bike lane also ends very abruptly on 20th street, and it's difficult as a cyclist to get from the bike lane to Broadway bridge. I agree with doing a pilot project on this, and agree that Saskatoon active transportation can be improved downtown. Unfortunately parking downtown is also an issue, and seems to interfere with this initiative rather than help improve it by taking cars off the road as intended.

3 Votes
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Zack MacGregor 2 months ago

It's funny that everyone keeps bringing up parking. There was a net loss of 6 parking spaces. https://saskatooncycles.org/23rd-st-separated-bike-lane-opens-july-15-2015/

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Shyan Jordison 2 months ago

As a regular user of the bike lanes my only concern for safety is that when the parking lanes are full it makes it difficult for drivers to see cyclists coming so when making right hand turns into alleyways or parking lots there is a high risk of collision if the driver or cyclist isn't paying enough attention. I feel that there should be more than the green zones to remind drivers of oncoming bike traffic.

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Vic Dubois 2 months ago

I drove to and from my office from 1989-2016 using 4th Avenue between 25th and 19th Streets. Nowadays I go one more block and turn left off 25th to head south on 3rd Avenue to avoid the dangerous traffic flow on 4th since the protected bike lanes were installed. I turn left off 3rd Ave onto 20th Street for one block to then turn right onto 4th Ave and I dutifully wait for a green before I turn right as per the sign. Drivers ahead of me on 20th ignore the sign and turn right onto 4th on a red light 90% of the time. I also can't recall seeing a cyclist in the area, although I admit I'm only there sometime between 7:30-8am and 4:30-5pm weekdays. Once in a while I still head north on 4th Avenue up to 25th Street after work (very carefully). There is a bottleneck by the old post office building due to parked vehicles and some drivers seem unsure of lanes. I believe cycling should be encouraged but if we are going to have protected bike lanes on busy downtown streets more intelligent thought has to be put into it when configuring the vehicle lanes and signs for traffic flow. You can't sugar coat the reality that 4th Avenue from 25th Street heading south was very poorly laid out for this bike lane experiment and it will be interesting to see if something sensible and logical is done about it before too much more time has passed.

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Brad Mockford 2 months ago

It would be helpful if the city/police would publish/report stats on cycling accidents involving cars and pedestrians. (I can't find any). I suspect, and my experience bears this out, is that cycling on the road while obeying all traffic laws is actually quite safe. Just as many people have an irrational fear of flying, I think many people have an unreasonable fear of cycling in traffic. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure to make people feel safe on the road, why not spend a fraction of that teaching people that they are safe on the road, and use the rest of that money on more efficient methods of encouraging active transportation. Our strategy needs to be based on evidence, not emotions. I'd also like to point out that we shouldn't be building bike lanes on under-utilized roads like 23rd. If there's no traffic, then what's the point in separating them?

2 Votes
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Jasmine Liska 2 months ago

I've never been in an accident on a bike, so, on paper, biking for me has been quite safe. However, when I obey all traffic laws, I am more likely to be harassed by drivers. I have been tailgated on a few occasions. A driver once not only cut me off (I had to break hard to avoid hitting his vehicle), but, when I yelled to alert him to my presence, he pulled over, let me pass, and then tried to ram my back tire a few times, just for fun, I guess? I have watched drivers look both ways for cars and then pull out in front of me, once when I was going down a hill. I was biking in the middle of the lane in broad daylight. Had I not assumed that she was going to do that and swerved, she would have hit me. I've had cars try to intimidate me off the road (following too close, laying on their horns, etc. because I was biking in the middle of my lane). I watched a car drive up onto a sidewalk to pass me BECAUSE I was where the law says I should be. I am frequently yelled at; drivers have even pulled over at intersections to stop me and yell at me because they don't think I should be on the road at all. I still bike, but I know a lot of people who refuse to because they've heard these types of stories from people who cycle. I don't think that my fear of biking in traffic is irrational, regardless of the number of actual accidents I have been in.

6 Votes
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Drew Gress 2 months ago

Saskatoon bicycling bylaw indicates that you should be as far right in your driving lane as is safe

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Matt Wolsfeld 2 months ago

These experiences are not uncommon in Saskatoon. I have been honked at, sworn at, tailgated, and in some cases even directly pushed and run off the road by angry drivers. If we are going to have a civic discussion about safety as related to bike lanes, a part of that discussion should be the lack of safety without them. Short of a massive, city-wide cultural shift among drivers (like those brought about gradually through increased bike infrastructure), I doubt we will see these behaviours slow down anytime soon.

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Jasmine Liska 2 months ago

Drew, that's true: as far right as is safe. So, by the time one accounts for the car-door-opening area and the gravel or snow piles on the sides of the road, the safest, most visible, and most predictable place for a cyclist is most often in or near the middle of the lane. Some cyclists choose to swerve in and out of the parking lane to stay out of the main flow of traffic, but that makes them unpredictable, which also seems to anger drivers.

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Jasmine Liska 2 months ago

More paint to mark the parking and driving lanes as they change and more education for drivers. Many drivers don't notice the "no right turn on red" signs or remember to look for cyclists when exiting an alley or parking lot. They also don't seem to realize that 300 cyclists per day looks a lot different than 300 drivers per day (so they assume that the lanes are "always empty" because they don't see many cyclists in them), so time lapsed videos to show what a typical day looks like may be helpful. I'd like to see a wider network of protected bike lanes to give cyclists more options. (I'd also like to see the 33rd St University-to-Sask-Polytech multi-use pathway finished, instead of a beautiful pathway to Warman Road, and then nothing, but that's another matter.) Finally, having to walk my bike through the bus mall (which means that I take up twice the space I normally would and have to be careful not to clip someone with my pedal or handlebars) is silly. It would make more sense to allow people to ride slowly and respectfully through there and just ticket those who are riding disrespectfully to pedestrians or dangerously.

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D G 2 months ago

I can appreciate the thought behind the protected bike lanes and promoting cycling, but I think the lanes are a huge waste of money and would hate to see further tax dollars wasted, especially when we are looking at tax increases just to maintain current services.

For some reason we have all chosen to live in a place where months with terrible weather exceed months with nice weather. For 7+ months of the year, the bike lanes might as well not even be there. They hardly (if at all) ever get cleared, people shovel the snow from the sidewalks into the bike lanes (not blaming them, where else are they supposed to put it?) and hardly anyone rides bikes in the winter. In fact, I can honestly say that I have never once seen a cyclist in the bike lanes the entire time the lanes have been there, regardless of season. I find it extremely hard to believe there are 300 users a day.

The way the bike lanes have been set up on 4th Ave is absolutely ridiculous. In fact, at 4th and 23rd, between the bike lane, parking line and driving lane, it almost becomes impossible to fit two driving lanes if all of the parking spaces are being used because of the way things are set up. Add to that fact that when there are no lines visible (so basically 9 months of the year between winter and waiting for lines to be painted) nobody has any idea where they are supposed to be driving - which lane is straight, which lane is for turning. I also agree with what others have said about not turning right on red at certain intersections. Doesn't make sense, and most people don't seem to follow it anyways (including cops, I might add, as I've seen several turn right on red, though I'm sure they are more than happy to ticket others for doing it). I myself have been stopped at a red light where I wasn't allowed to turn right and a cop behind me started honking at me.

I think it would be interesting to know how many car/pedestrian/cyclist incidents there have been since the bike lanes have been in place vs before. I would guess that number may have gone up since the cyclists are now hidden behind a long line of parked cars when before they were clearly visible to drivers.

7 Votes
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Ellen Quigley about 1 month ago

Hi D.G.,

I agree with some of what you're saying, but it is important to note that a disproportionately small amount of money goes to cycling relative to vehicular infrastructure. As in, if 2% of people cycle, shouldn't 2% of the transport budget go towards cycling infrastructure? It's not even close. So cyclists pay taxes that go towards roads and parking, but there isn't even one safe option for them downtown. I share some of your criticisms of the pilot project as it stands, but we definitely need physically separated bike lanes in the city -- for fairness, to start with, but also because more cyclists = less traffic and air pollution for everyone, plus decreased road repair expenses (there are a lot of studies to back this up).

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Caro Doi 2 months ago

I'd love to see separated bike lanes leading to the University and other parts of town such as 20th street and broadway. I bike to campus regularly and there always seems to be a steady stream of cyclists during morning and afternoon commute times. At times, the cars and bikes have trouble navigating around one another.

The dividers on the current separated bike lanes often seem to be damaged or knocked over. Perhaps a more durable material could be used to construct these. Or, the lane could be build at a different hight than the road. Right now, the current bike lanes still sit beside parking, where people can open car doors into the lane. Perhaps a more solid barrier would prevent the possibility that someone might open a door into the lane and seriously injuring someone.

I have used bike lane systems in Vancouver and Montreal - both have a pretty extensive network within the city, meaning it's possible to get to a number of places more safely. It also makes the commute faster than trying to ride in traffic.

I really hope the city continues to invest in bike lanes, especially separated ones! They allow us to have a healthier and lower cost way of getting around the city.

7 Votes
 
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Jim Schemenauer 2 months ago

I go to work every day down 23rd Street. Since the bike lane has opened on 23rd I haven't seen 20 cyclists in total on the bike lane, and that is going to work every day between 8 and 9 and coming home every day between 5 and 7. When I have seen cyclists on 23rd, they have been on the road, not in the bike lanes. WHat I do see on a regular basis is people getting out of their vehicles in front of the bus depot in front of oncoming traffic. It is ridiculous there is a bike lane on 23rd Street. We have 6 months of winter here, and the lane simply does not get used at all in the winter months. It also creates a hazzard for people who use the bus depot, and because of the bike lanes, forces them to get out of their cars into oncoming traffic. I have heard that the city spent in excess of $100,000 clearing snow from the bike lanes. This is a huge waste of money. The bike lane on 23rd simply does not get used by cyclists, creates a hazzard for people using the bus depot, and is costly for the city to maintain. It should be scrapped.

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Linford Sickel 2 months ago

How about you just make regular bikes lanes; As someone who follows the rules of the road on a bike I don't see why I would feel any safer with some little white things in the way and as other have said it impedes vision and causes other problems. As well as a person with a road bike, I would bike in the street instead of the horrible gravel infested bike lane that can't street cleaned. One also can't merge into traffic to make a left turn etc. If you're going to make a bike lane just make it a normal one and focus that money saved on proper education to bikers and drivers on proper etiquette.

2 Votes
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Matt Wolsfeld 2 months ago

I, like you, am a regular commuter cyclist. I bike 365 days a year and use it as my primary mode of commute. Most of Saskatoon's cyclists do not share these attributes with us. They include the young, the unfit, the inexperienced, the nervous, the elderly, and the casual riders simply looking for relaxed options for an active commute.

We cannot make public policy based on a sole individual's experience. We have to recognize that there are many people in this city who benefit from safe and separated bike lanes and that without these bike lanes these people will just stop biking (a decision we should not be encouraging).

7 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd about 1 month ago

the green boxes are so you don't have to leave the bike lane to turn left.

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Marta Lieb 2 months ago

Paving is horrible , 23rd is full with potholes only on the bike lane not the driving lane. Promote perhaps biking, too. Our biking community is very small

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Eithan Pillipow 2 months ago

Curb separation, permanent installation. Any of these images attached as example of permanent installation, combine that with proper traffic design for 4th ave. This would help drivers confusion and would also provide a safer experience for everyone on the road. It needs to be properly designed, and right now the driving lanes are atypical and not predictable.

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Diane Lepage 2 months ago

Remove the protected bike lanes and let things be the way they used to flow. I drive through downtown to and from work every day. I do not see extra bike traffic but I do see confusion. The rule of no right turn on reds at some intersections ties up traffic. 4th Avenue is an absolute disaster with all the zig-zagging of lanes. Lanes are not clearly marked as they are not painted regularly. It is also very difficult to see the lanes in the winter. The cost of clearing and maintaining bike lanes in the winter (which is 8 months of the year) is atrocious. I avoid going downtown otherwise because of its hodge-podge lanes, not to mention the reduced parking spots available. This is just not working.

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Lee Smith 2 months ago

The biggest improvements needed are greater connectivity, greater education, a more predictable street design, and just more separate bike infrastructure overall. Let's learn from Calgary and Edmonton (and Montreal/Vancouver/Portland/Minneapolis/New York/Copenhagen/etc).

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Perry Kurz 2 months ago

I would like to express my displeasure over the protected bike lanes and with the news article placed in the Star-Phoenix by Angela Gardiner today. Ms. Gardiner stated that the overall response to the bike lanes has been favorable!! I could not disagree with this more! I have yet to talk to anyone who is in favor of the current outlay of the bike lanes and how their placement has disrupted the flow of traffic. Traffic lanes are confusing, I am amazed there have not been accidents from people driving through intersections in a turn lane rather than a thru lane! I feel bicyclists may be at more risk since right turns for vehicles are increasingly difficult as you are shoulder checking for bikes while also trying to look for oncoming traffic and pedestrians!! The "no right turn" has also led to greater traffic congestion especially in high volume times. I could also not understand the reasoning for placing bike lanes on 4th Ave. since this street is the main access to downtown for vehicles coming from the east side. Could the bikes not be diverted onto Spadina where lanes already exist?? The majority of people coming to the downtown are stilling in vehicles so does it not make sense to cater to the majority?? As a business owner in the downtown district, parking is always an issue and with the introduction of the new parking stands (ie: no defined parking spaces) as well as the bike lanes, a large number of parking stalls have been eliminated.

10 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd about 1 month ago

If we catered to the majority then slavery would still exist. It's fair that you have only talked to people who hate the bike lanes but you are obviously in a fairly exclusive social circle. Broadway bridge was also one of the main routes for people from the west side going to east side so you can't just look at it from your own perspective. The are pretty much attached to spadina at 23rd st. and will eventually be attached at many spots. Parking is a major issue in many cities and that's one reason why it makes sense to ride a bike. Parking wasn't a non-issue before bike lanes.

1 Vote
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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

I agree 100% with Perry. Ira, are you serious???? Slavery?? Let's stop for a second and think about the bike lanes rationally. We have winter for the majority of the year. That means the majority of people will not be cycling for most of the year. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be bike lanes at all, but it certainly means they need to make sense and not impede traffic and they should not be a considerable expense to taxpayers. Period.

Please. We are all passionate about this topic but we don't need to go to extremes. Council's job is to implement a solution that can work well for everyone. So far, that hasn't happened...

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Scott Colville 2 months ago

23rd St is a poor location for the bike lane because of the bus mall. It is also not easy to get onto the Broadway Bridge from the 4th Ave bike lane. I believe that once the new Traffic Bridge and Victoria Ave bike lane are completed the best location for the downtown bike lanes will be 3rd Ave and 24 St.

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Becky Smith 2 months ago

I would like to see 23rd st and 5th Ave become a four way stop. It's very hard to see oncoming traffic with the cars parked on 23rd during the day. I find I have to pull into the bike lane to see past the parked cars when attempting to cross 23rd St. at 5th Avenue.

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Blair Burnett 2 months ago

What could be improved?! Removing the bike lanes!! Haha. Yay! Easy! :)

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Colleen Mackenzie 2 months ago

Get rid of the bike lanes. They impede traffic, reduce parking, and have made driving on 4th Avenue a nightmare. I have yet to see more than a handful of cyclists ever use the lanes.

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Joel Fradette 2 months ago

The biggest improvement would come from removing these bike lanes. I get the concept and will give the program credit for giving this a try but our city is just not setup to lose this amount of street space in favour of idle bike lanes. The parking is confusing, no right turn on red is horrible during a busy day and quite frankly in all my visits downtown I have never seen even one bike in any of bike lanes.

8 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd about 1 month ago

Our city wasn't set up for this amount of 4 passenger vehicles with one person driving them, you mean.

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Shelley Neufeld 2 months ago

More connectivity.

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Erik Lindberg 2 months ago

Get rid of the bike lanes. They are too expensive, overly complex and don't improve bike traffic safety. Use lane markings if required, but people riding in traffic understand how to ride. Sweep the streets and clean up the sand and gravel if you want to make cycling safer. I've cycled to work in Saskatoon and Prince Albert and the "Protected Bike Lane" project here is poorly designed and ineffective. Take them out.

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Erik Lindberg 2 months ago

Get rid of the bike lanes. Ineffective and expensive.

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Tracey Loewen 2 months ago

Although I like the idea of the bike lanes, I don't believe the implementation has been a success. I cycle and drive downtown. As a cyclist, I enjoy the separation between the moving traffic and my lane, but I am in danger of pedestrians crossing the bike path without looking to go to their car. I cannot safely approach an intersection even though I have right of way because people don't understand. As a driver, the absence of painted lanes makes things confusing. I was driving north on 4th Ave and had a car coming head on toward me. I was in the correct lane (I'm pretty sure I was) but they were not. 1 - The lanes were implemented without proper education for drivers and cyclists. Twice this week, I have seen cyclists going the wrong way in the bicycle lane. I believe these are intended to be one direction only. 2 - The no right on red is terribly confusing. I still see city vehicles disobeying this rule, including police vehicles (not in an emergency situation), turning right. If no one understands why they have to do it, they won't. 3 - The absence of lanes painted is dangerous for drivers 4 - When making a right on a green, the inability to see a fast moving cyclist approaching the bicycle lane, which has the right of way, is terribly dangerous. This is the same situation for driveways and alleys. 5 - The jog in the lane in front of Hudson's so the patio area can stretch out into the parking areas is really quite dangerous. Although it is marked with reflective tape etc. I believe it's an accident waiting to happen. 6 - Cycling hidden behind parked cars, while protects the cyclist physically from the moving traffic, also hides the cyclist and makes us difficult to see for the motorist. I felt safer riding directly in traffic in some situations because I was visible.

We have a great city to cycle in and I agree, we need to make commuting for work and leisure in our city easier for both cyclists and drivers, but I don't feel that the bike lanes on 4th and 23rd have succeeded in doing that.

4 Votes
 
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Erin Ed 2 months ago

I find that pedestrians often step out into the bike lanes without looking first. I've had to stop quickly a few times to avoid hitting them. I avoid using the 23rd st bike lane because it's too inconvenient to walk my bike for one block through the bus mall Need to have better connectivity to and from the Broadway Bridge.

2 Votes
 
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Russ Neufeld 2 months ago

Waste of money for the small fraction of a percent of population that uses them, especially in winter. Also impedes traffic. Angela Gartner says trial has been a success...whatever she's been smoking is likely not legal til 2018.

4 Votes
 
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Anonymous Individual 2 months ago

First of all, I want to apologize for the fake name, but I want to provide feedback without indemnifying myself as it could bring the wrong political context into my workplace!

Based on what I have noticed, bikers are continuing to use drive lanes, sidewalks, and non-bike lane routes. Motorists are unsure how to behave at bike lane intersections as some prohibit right turns on red lights and some don't. The realignment of 4th ave between 23rd and College is a headache. As much as I disprove of bike lanes, I realize that we must include them in order to be accommodating and offer additional modes of transportation. The future plans of the city involves developing 8th street and 22nd into BRT corridors. 23rd street (the Blairmore bike path) already directly services that area but should be shifted to 24th upon reaching downtown. Coming the other direction, 14th street pathways serve well. The only problem to solve here is downtown between bridges from what I can see.

Proposal: 1) Remove lanes used for pilot project. 2) New: Spadina Crescent = Queen Street to Victoria bridge to allow pedestrian traffic to dominate existing trails. 3) New: Victoria Ave bridge through to 8th Street. 4) Enhanced security at common bike locking points (would prefer surveillance to additional police presence)

Thoughts?

6 Votes
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Ira GeresCodd about 1 month ago

I think alot of people on here are probably from the east side and don't realize that when you come from many parts of the west side you can't get to 24th street without crossing idylwyld because tony tomas mall and the train tracks are there so you have to go to either 25th street or 23rd street and 23rd has been a bike lane for a while now so you could argue it makes sense to connect to the downtown there. 24th street and 25th street are bike lanes, as is 2nd ave, they just aren't protected or painted very well. Bike lanes are likely going to be on most downtown streets eventually.

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John Tapper 2 months ago

I only tried it a couple of times, because I now plan my bike routes specifically to avoid these streets. The new lanes are terrible. I can't see cars, they can't see me. Pedestrians are stepping out from parked cars without looking or just walking along the bike lane. Lanes are full of debris and gravel.

6 Votes
 
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Landon Grubb 2 months ago

These specific bike lanes on 4th ave and 23rd are terrible in their current form. The reorganization of 4th ave because of the bike lanes is awful. Having to swerve around parking lanes and bike lanes just to "stay in the same lane" to go straight done the street is a nightmare, especially in the winter when no one can see the lines. Now because of these bike lanes drivers have to not only focus on driving a busy downtown street but also have to hope that the car beside them knows that the lane there in is a right had turn lane only and that they don't crash into you when you go straight through the intersection. The position of the bike lanes makes it very difficult to see cyclists who are using them because they are hidden by a whole row of parked cars. This obstruction of the bike lanes is a danger to both the cyclists and the motorists. This comes into play both when cars are making right and left hand turns on 4th ave. When turning right your some how suppose to crank your head around to try and see if a cyclist is coming behind a row of parked cars, while also making sure your watching for pedestrians and other vehicles. This need to be able to see behind you to turn right is terrible traffic planning, this is why we don't allow right had turns from the left lane, its just dangerous. Additionally the "No Turning Right on Red" makes no sense to be in place as your allowed to turn right from coming out of a parking lot so there is no difference between doing that and turning right on a red light when safe. Beyond the safety and traffic flow perspective the pylon markers indicating the bike lanes are a terrible eye sore downtown. The notion of have bike lanes in our downtown core is a positive one but it just isn't working in its current format. The city needs to remove these bike lanes and look to integrate bike lanes in a more seamless flow with other traffic (both vehicles and pedestrians).

4 Votes
 
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Anne Gent 2 months ago

I applaud Saskatoon for trying to become more bike friendly, but I disagree that the bike lanes have been a success. First off, when I learned to drive we never took any training on how to handle bike lanes - we were taught they were a vehicle on the road and had to obey the laws of the road just like cars. Having bike lanes suddenly appear downtown was confusing and dangerous for me and bikers (I have yet to see a biker using one). White posts, some lines, green boxes - educate the public first if you want to do something like this on some of the busiest roads in the city. The downtown traffic used to flow so nicely, I think they need to be removed and reassessed to help restore the balance. With some long term planning (we have snow, posts won't work here) and some logical route mapping I think we could do good things for the bikers of the city. What we have now is not working.

3 Votes
 
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Adrien Blais 2 months ago

I was definitely disappointed with the condition of the pavement surface on the 23rd street lane. Bike lanes need to be smooth. Unlike biking in a normal driving lane where there is 12 ft of space at your disposal to avoid potholes, the 3 or 4 ft of space in the protected bike lane does allow for much space for avoiding potholes. The 23rd street lane also had inadequate drainage.

The 4th Ave bike lanes seem to have some flaws with their geometric design. The angular jogs at the intersection of 21st and 22nd need to be improved. A civil engineer would never design a street with hard angles. Give us a simple curve at least.

Lastly connectivity is an issue. Why did the 4th Ave lanes stop at 24th? Presumably this lane would be used by people living in residential neighbourhoods north of downtown, yet it was stopped one block short of city park.

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Scott B 2 months ago

I don't think that the city should have put bike lanes on 4th avenue. The city has screwed up the flow of traffic and the lanes that they have created for bikes are too small and underused. more often then not you see bikes riding on the road as opposed to using the lanes. I drive heavy equipment, and the city has screwed up the lanes and made one spot too small to even fit in the lane if there is a parked car. I feel this project was a waste of money and i hope the city realizes this and puts 4th avenue back to the way it was.

6 Votes
 
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Clint Urbanoski 2 months ago

Somewhere I read on this that "300 bicycles a day use the bike lanes." Not sure where the bikes were counted but driving downtown I hardly see any cyclists using the bike lanes. Traffic is grid locked because of the silly no right turn on red signs. I do my best to avoid 4th avenue now because it's a complete mess with the bicycle lanes. The only way to improve 4th avenue and the bike lanes is to GET RID OF THEM. We have winter six months out of the year. This is not Victoria or Vancouver. The Saskatoon Safety Council was against them from the start. Maybe listen to professionals in the safety field.

6 Votes
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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

The other day I used the bike lane on 4th. I noticed there were 4 of us biking in one block, so I counted the number of people in cars in the same block: 2. They were also using at least 6 times as much pavement as the people on bikes were. Cars look bigger, so they seem to imply more people, but if you stop and count the story is not what you might expect. As a taxpayer, I'm very happy the lanes are there.

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Dave Palibroda 2 months ago

The majority of issues with the protected bike lanes are pilot project issues, when they are permanent the drainage, snow clearing etc issues can be easily resolved.

The biggest improvement would be public education and better signage. The biggest problems seem to be people driving just don't get it. Traffic hasn't slowed down because of the bike lanes, if it has slowed down it is because of the poor signage showing where the traffic lanes actually are, for a left turn and straight travel.

Please educate the public on why the no right turn on red is there.

Please educate the public on the actual cycling counts and usage increases, despite people in protected bubbles with blinders on don't notice all the people and children using them .

Please educate the public on how many people actually use the protected bike lanes in the winter.

Please educate the City of Saskatoon staff and contractors on how to work in and around a bike lane. Educated them on not intentionally creating hazards and dangers.

Please don't make decisions based solely on emotion from people who hate bikes and hate people who choose to bike. Hate that is spewed regardless of if they are talking about downtown protected bike lanes, bikes on road, bikes the sidewalk, bikes in their field of vision.

5 Votes
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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

Protected lanes will never have the volume of cyclists necessary to justify the cost to taxpayers simply because of our winters. It simply isn't realistic to say tons of people will choose to cycle on bitter cold days in snowy, icy weather.

It isn't about hating bikes or the people that ride them. It's about making sure lanes don't impede the flow of traffic, making sure they are as efficient as possible without wasting taxpayers' money and making sure they are on nice wide streets so that traffic lanes aren't messed up, misaligned, or removed altogether.

Motorists are frustrated, feeling like decisions are being made to benefit a small group of cyclists, so is that fair either? No.

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Zack MacGregor about 1 month ago

Have they ever said what the cost is? They have said that there are 170 users per day year round and 300 per day in the summer. What percentage of trips through downtown is that?

You've stated a few times about the unnecessary costs to tax payers but I don't see any information to back that up. If cyclists represent say 1% of downtown traffic per day, what percentage of road costs are going into the bike lanes? I doubt very much that the lanes are using up 1% of the total budget for downtown road maintenance.

Wouldn't it actually be fair if the portion of my property taxes go to the portion of the downtown roads that I use? Contrary to what most people think of cyclists I also drive. I plate two vehicles, I put gas in them, I pay property taxes. Property taxes fund most of the city road work.

2 Votes
 
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Dave Palibroda about 1 month ago

Despite your belief a lot of people bike in the winter and a lot of people use the bike lanes year around. The City of Saskatoon winter snow clearing survey showed that over 10% of the nearly 2000 people who completed the survey bike in the winter. Also there are large groups of kids, such as the grade 8 students from Eco-quest who benefit from the safe bike lanes use them often all winter. Is it fair to put these kids in danger because you just don't get how people can bike in the winter?

The city has just made some pretty awesome improvements to help improve traffic flow on 4th. Traffic isn't impeded by the bike lanes it's impeded by drivers. Remove the bike lanes and traffic will be just as bad or probably even worse.

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Rod Bell 2 months ago

IF there are bike lanes at all downtown, the north-south lanes should be restricted to Spadina. Under no circumstances should bike lanes be allowed on main streets between Oct 15 – April 15. The certainty of snow during most of that period already makes it difficult to navigate streets by vehicles during the winter months. Dedicating bike lanes on either side of 4th Ave all winter for a very few cyclists is madness. Cyclists who insist on driving in poor weather conditions should be ticketed for dangerous driving as they create many unsafe situations.

As citizens we already adjust to different speed limits in school zones during the summer months. If we must have bike lanes, at least get rid of them in the winter. If it is too expensive to install and uninstall the barriers for the lanes…..get rid of the lanes. Don’t let that cost be a reason to restrict road access all winter long.

I would propose that new streets would be designed to accommodate bike lanes. I appreciate that it would be welcomed by some cyclists, and I don’t want to limit their opportunities going forward. I just don’t want to concede existing space on already crowded streets to that group.

6 Votes
 
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Brodie Thompson about 1 month ago

I would like to see more bike infrastructure. We need to take the next step to a minimum grid. The pilot has allowed for lessons learned with respect to design, implementation, maintenance, costs, etc. An expansion of good cycling infrastructure will result in cycling becoming a very comfortable and efficient choice. That will cause a shift in mode share.

I would prefer to see better pavement condition and storm water drainage in a permanent bike lane. I realize the pilot was limited in this regard to the condition of the existing streets.

Please do not route bike lanes through the bus mall.

I would like to see improvements to how bike lanes and bus stops interconnect. The current "wait for bus" sign/system is suboptimal to a person riding a bike.

4 Votes
 
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Jason FC about 1 month ago

Nothing can improve it. In it’s current form it needs to be scrapped and 4th Avenue returned to being a functional artery between downtown and the Broadway bridge rather than an experiment in “active transportation”.

If the goal of the bike lanes was to increase safety, encourage people to use their bikes and reduce traffic congestion downtown it has failed. The city claims to want a vibrant downtown, but bike lanes have proven to be counter productive with many people actually choosing to avoid the downtown because of the problems they have caused. I also don’t believe there are more cycling commuters. If someone didn’t ride their bike before, they’re not doing it now because of the bike lanes.

The lanes have been expensive, underutilized and in my opinion incompetently planned and implemented. 4th Avenue is a mess. Continuing to tweak them is just throwing away money. Those involved need to step back and evaluate if the cost, utilization and detrimental effects on downtown traffic are offset by the minuscule advantages of having the lanes.

3 Votes
 
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Ellen Quigley about 1 month ago

It seems there is some consensus on a few things -- that the bike lanes need to have better signage (and be accompanied by public education), that there should not be jogs/right angles in the lanes and that they should not end abruptly before connecting to other bike lanes, that the lanes should be cleared of snow and debris, and so on. Many people pointed out that these were probably the wrong streets to choose, not least because of the bus mall. The other problems, as some have noted, have to do with the fact that this is a pilot project. It is worth noting the following, though, as has been pointed out above:

a) Only 6 parking spots were removed due to this project; if we have fewer people parking downtown because they are cycling instead, we may in fact end up with more parking than we had before. b) Bike lanes cost way less money than other transport infrastructure does. Almost all of the transportation budget goes to roads, parking, etc., so spending at least a proportionate amount on cycling (as in, 2% of the transport budget if 2% of the population cycles) only seems fair. c) More cyclists = less air pollution, less traffic, and lower road repair costs for everyone. d) To get more cyclists, you need to make infrastructure safe for unconfident cyclists. There is an enormous pile of evidence showing that you get more children, older people, and women on bikes as soon as you add protected bike lanes to the transportation system.

I hear the complaints about the poles, the lack of signage, and the weird jogs in front of Hudson's. Let's fix all of that. But then let's also join the 21st century -- and cities all over the world, including Calgary -- in making it easy to bike in Saskatoon, as this will lessen traffic and air pollution and repair costs for everyone. Cyclists are doing us all a favour in this sense, and the last thing we should want is to put their lives at risk.

2 Votes
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Jason FC about 1 month ago

Saying that 2% of Saskatonians cycle therefore 2% of the road maintenance budget should be used on bike lanes is disingenuous when peak averages in the downtown area are only 300 riders after 14 months. When you consider many of those riders were probably counted twice with a ride into and a ride out of the downtown as part of a bike commute the actual usage is much less. We’re not counting unique users here. Your 2% implies that every one of Saskatoon’s 5900 cyclists (2% of 295,000 metro) are going to use the downtown lanes which is completely untrue and unrealistic. I also don’t agree with reduced repair and infrastructure costs. The vast majority of road damage is caused by our climate not by traffic usage. To make it sound as though if you add enough bikes to the mix we won’t have to repair roads as often is not simply not true.

Let’s face it… no-one is going to change anyone’s mind in this discussion. Every participant on this forum is entrenched and not going to be changing their views. I also don’t think anything presented here will significantly influence the city with regard to the lanes. The lanes are part of a multi-decade transportation plan that they hope will help a growing city that isn’t scaling particularly well even now with regard to traffic. Their constant pushing of the city bus system is another example

In my view all that can really be done is present real numbers and look at the actual costs of the current lanes. If you extrapolate the costs with the addition of more kilometres worth of protected lanes, you can start to see why I don’t feel the existing plan, implementation and associated costs are sustainable.

Saskatoon road Maintenance budget = $61,000,000

1150 kms of road in Saskatoon = a cost of $54,000 per Km

4 Kms (guesstimate) of current bike lane with a cost of $150,000 to maintain = $37,000 per Km of bike lane

Total cost to maintain street and bike lane on affected roads $91,000 per km per year

Cost to implement lanes = $300,000 or $75,000 per km

Total cost to implement and maintain in first year $112,000 per km

Average daily usage 300 riders (but probably closer to 200 considering two way commutes) If you divide that out by 4 lanes of bi-directional travel over a 16 hour period it’s 3 riders an hour averaged through all of downtown

Current fraction of 2016-2017 road maintenance/improvement budget used in pilot project 1/136

Current fraction of population using the bike lanes 1/1475

1 Vote
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Rick Smith about 1 month ago

Ellen Quigley - The consensus actually seems to be get rid of the bike lanes . . . .

1 Vote
 
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Kevin Dunbar about 1 month ago

Your being pretty unfair to the bike lanes, trying to compare the the capital and operating expenses of the lanes versus just the operating expenses of the road network. If you want to be fair the operating and capital transportation budget is 192,000,000 - the capital and operating expense for the bike lanes came out of the active transportation budget which is 300,000. Somehow 0.15% of the transportation budget not being spent on cars doesnt seem so bad

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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

0.15% of the transportation budget being spent on the transportation option that causes no air pollution, almost no congestion or parking issues, improves people's health and happiness and makes workers less likely to take sick days, I'd say we are drastically underfunding the cycling budget. I can't understand why we aren't putting at least 5% toward cycling.

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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

@Jason FC If it was true that our climate was causing the damage to roads, the Meewasin Trail would be a mess. It never gets resurfaced despite a large volume of foot and bike traffic. The fact is heavy vehicles take a toll on taxpayer's roads. Your numbers, btw, are comparing oranges to tricycles. Yes, cyclists do pay taxes and yes they do want bike lanes. Why would you want bikes out of the lanes and in your car's way anyhow?

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Katya MacDonald about 1 month ago

I think that the inherently experimental nature of the current bike lanes does make some drivers and cyclists uncertain about their utility. I very much appreciate the existing lanes, and use them whenever I bike downtown, but two significant factors would improve the experience for all road users: 1) the pavement in the lanes is sometimes poor -- there are crumbling patches and holes that make it safer in some areas to ride in the regular traffic lane; 2) merging back into traffic when the lanes end creates ambiguity. Unless bike lanes connect to form a functional, safe, usable network, that ambiguity persists and leads to ongoing misunderstandings from motorists.

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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

To be clear, I believe the best way to improve bike lanes in Saskatoon is to either remove them, or make sure they are only on streets with plenty of room, much like Spadina Crescent, where there are bike lanes WITHOUT white poles. The bike lanes on 4th Avenue are simply a mess and, I believe, a hazard.

I have a number of problems with the 4th Avenue bike lanes and they are as follows:

1) The lanes of traffic no longer line up on 4th Ave. For example, when cars come off the Broadway Bridge and are heading south, people do not understand that the lanes have changed and they panic in the middle of the intersection to figure out how to go straight through. I have personally witnessed about 5 "almost collisions" at the intersection of 4th Ave and 20th Street. The lane issue continues all along 4th Ave and is especially bad at the 23rd Street intersection, where the lanes again do not line up and drivers, again, panic wondering how to go straight.Traffic is also ALWAYS backed up at this point as there is now only one lane of traffic. It is a BIG problem. The 4th Ave lane past 23rd that used to allow traffic in the right lane now hold parked cars and drivers have to zig zag around those cars. Then, at 24th Street, drivers trying to turn right no longer have any room to get over to the right, as parked cars are in the way. IT IS JUST A HUGE MESS!! When the lanes were installed, I was astounded to see how poorly laid out all of the traffic lanes were. THE MOST IMPORTANT TAKE AWAY here is that the traffic lanes need to line up and there simply isn't room on 4th to facilitate that WITH the lanes, so they need to go. Traffic lanes that line up and enable traffic to flow smoothly need to be the priority.

2) The white poles are unnecessary and are in the way. My issues with them are a) they are in the way in scenarios like trying to get over to make a right-hand turn b) they are distracting when driving c) they make specialized snow removal equipment necessary which is something taxpayers SHOULD NOT need to spent money on. Bike lanes should not have poles, so that when the coast is clear, a driver can still go into the lane (to make a turn, for example). The bike lanes up on Spadina clearly allow bicycle traffic, but don't get in the way of motorists. This is how they should ALL be.

3) The green boxes painted on the road are a) incredibly distracting when driving and b) extremely confusing. No one knows what they mean and they make things overly complicated. Drivers have enough to think about when driving in downtown traffic without having to try to figure out what's going on with the bike lane project this week and what the colours mean and where turns are or aren't allowed, etc.

4) Drivers should be able to make a right-hand turn on red light. It makes no sense to prohibit drivers from turning right on red lights. Basic traffic lessons dictate to only complete turns when it is safe to do so. I can see that prohibiting turns might be necessary if there was a steady stream of cyclists but in my experience, drivers are usually left sitting there, holding up traffic, waiting for cyclists who just aren't there. Once again, traffic is needlessly impeded for no good reason.

5) I'd simply like to express the observation that the lanes are not used very frequently and hardly ever in the winter. I support the idea of pole-free bike lanes on certain city streets to encourage cycling, but it makes no sense to put infrastructure in place and spent a lot of taxpayers money to put pole lanes on streets where they just don't make sense, especially when they just aren't used enough to justify it and THEY JUST CAN'T be used enough because of our winters. No matter how much we wish and hope, Saskatonians will never take up cycling en masse just because it is not practical/possible in a place where it's winter and -20 half the year. I would BEG Council to remove the lanes from 4th Avenue, admit the test just didn't work there, and go back to the drawing board to something that makes more sense for everyone. This shouldn't be a battle between motorists and cyclists. Rather, there should be a common-sense answer to enable cyclists to get around without messing up all the driving lanes downtown...

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Zack MacGregor about 1 month ago

I'm curious what specialized snow removal equipment is required? The only equipment I've seen removing snow from the bike lanes is the same ones they use to clear sidewalks and the meewasin trail. Equipment that's already owned.

The poles are necessary. That's what makes it a protected bike lane. The old bike lane on 4th ave was used as an extra parking lane by every delivery truck and everyone dropping someone off.

I agree that Spadina would be a great place for a bike lane but the current one is nearly useless. It's usually full of debris, people passing left turning vehicles, and in the winter it's full of snow. It also disappears in front of the bessborough and doesn't connect with the university bridge.

If the city could make some improvements there I would be all for moving the 4th ave bike lane to Spadina.

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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

Why not both?

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Brynn HarrisHamm about 1 month ago

I'd also like to add how much the white poles make parking downtown more difficult and awkward. For example, it's like the parked cars are awkwardly hanging out in the middle of nowhere in the street, and parallel parking is more of a challenge without being next to the curb. It's simply not a good set-up.

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Tony Sweet about 1 month ago

Allowing bicyclists to go through the bus mall would be great. I feel responsible enough and that I give enough room to safely traverse through

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Julia Loran about 1 month ago

There are very few ways to bike east/west in the city that are safe for the average cyclist. A protected lane through the bus mall would be useful or do the east/west lane on another street. Someone had suggested protected lanes to U of S and Sask Polytechnic. That would be well utilized. There is a sidewalk on 33rd between Idywyld and 2nd Ave that joins with a shared path to the river. Make the sidewalk wider to accommodate a shared pathway would also be well utilized.

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Garry Gross about 1 month ago

The best option is to remove these things. IF i was willing to get rid of a traffic lane it would be to try and improve our transit system not this mythical bike rider. Transit is useable 12 months and by all people as a senior I'm not going to ride my bike downtown.

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Kevin Dunbar about 1 month ago

Having the bike lanes go through the bus mall is ridiculous. I timed myself walking through the bus mall it takes between 1/5 - 2 min, the same distance on bike takes 20 seconds. Drivers complain when forced to wait for more than a single light cycle at a light so what makes it ok to make a cyclist walk an entire block. The bike lane is supposed to encourage people to ride, but the bus mall actively discourages people from using the bike lane. Added to the problem of the bike lane going through the bus mall is the number of bus stops between 1st and 2nd on 23rd. Having to stop repeatedly behind the buses is frustrating, but worse is the number of people who use those stops for a loading zone. I have observed vehicles sitting across the bike lane for an hour or more.

Something needs to be done to improve the bike lane around the multiple parkade exits on the southbound side of 4th avenue bike lane. Cars are often stopped across the bike lane for significant periods of time either when entering and/or exiting the parkades. I don't know what can be done to improve this, but something needs to be done. Maybe the southbound bike lane should be moved to 3rd ave where there are no parkades. Also the visibility of cyclists for cars entering/exiting the parkades and back alleys downtown leaves much to be desired, parked cars along the street can be so close that it is sometimes hard to see far enough down the bike lane to be sure there is not a cyclist.

The left turn bike boxes are not placed to direct bikes into lanes on the street. The boxes are positioning bikes beside cars instead of positioning the cyclist infront of the cars. Using the bike boxes seem to direct cyclists into parked cars or cement curbs. Using the boxes as painted results in the cyclist being squished between cars in the traffic lane and parked cars or curbs.

The turns in the bike lane around Hudson's patio and the bulbed curb at 22nd and 4th are too sharp. The turns feel unsafe at relatively low speed and should be more gradual.

I had issues with the visibility of cyclists at intersections. This may have been addressed with the recent changes but given I only have a weeks worth of riding with the improved design I cannot say if the fix was sufficient or not. I am concerned with the change for cars to turn right on red that cars will be stopped across the bike lane similar to the way cars stop across the bike lanes coming out of the parkades. However since the change is so recent I have not been able see if it will be problem or not.

The cycling network immediately connected to the protected bike lanes have some issues the worse of which is sharrows are still being painted beside parked cars which leads to door zone riding

The start of the northbound bike lanes at the bottom of the Broadway bridge is dangerous. Some cars go straight through the painted off area and some merge over after the painted off area. I have seen several almost collisions there, I think something needs to be implemented there to make it more orderly and predictable.

1 Vote
 
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Mel Brockman, Researcher/Evaluator about 1 month ago

Having read through some of the negative commentary on both threads re: the protected bike lanes, it is clear that some people have no concept of cost scale, taxes, and spending. Several people have said that the bike lanes are too expensive to build and maintain, or that cyclists should pay for the bike lanes themselves. Do we expect motorists to pay out of pocket for the building and maintenance of the roads they drive on every day? There is clearly a disconnect, because cyclists do pay for the bike lanes, through paying taxes. Some of our taxes also go to road building and maintenance, and hey, that’s great too, because a lot of us also own cars. It somehow needs to be made clearer to people that all property owners pay taxes, and that a portion of those taxes is used for the transportation budget, of which a minuscule percentage (less than 1%?) goes to cycling infrastructure and the rest goes to vehicle infrastructure - that's not proportionate to what the City's data says about road share: ~4% of residents commute by bike. People need to see the head-to-head comparison of the cost per resident for cycling infrastructure versus vehicle infrastructure.

In terms of the lanes themselves, one thing I've had issues with is cars turning right on a green light. I've had a few close calls, but am always looking to see if the driver notices me. I think the signs need to be improved. The current ones have a confusing pictorial representation of drivers yielding to cyclists when turning right. I think there needs to be words (e.g. "Watch for cyclists on right").

For future consideration, as much as I'd love to see more protected bike lanes, connectivity should be one of the key criteria in deciding where they should be (i.e. minimum grid). If it's just a little stub that doesn't meet up with anything, its potential will never be fully realized.

1 Vote
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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

You are absolutely correct about the funding. The truth is that cyclists are subsidizing motorists through the huge burden that car driving puts on our property taxes. Furthermore we've been starving cycling of funding since before WW2. If we were to do some catch up on the missed spending on cycling for those lost decades, it would likely amount to hundreds of millions of $. As a result of our lack of spending on useable bikeways, fewer people cycle. Fewer people cycling is now used as an excuse not to fund bikeways. We can do better.

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silas dain about 1 month ago

The best way to fix these bike lanes is to get rid of them. My office was on the west side of downtown and in the 2 years? that this "project" has been on, I have seen a grand total of 6 bikes in the bike lanes. It is a complete waste of time, money and resources from what I have seen. When trying to drive in the downtown area it is a complete mess.\I could not imagine owning/operating a business downtown that relied on people coming in. We have purchased a building in the north end and are happy to be out of downtown, in large part due to this getting implemented

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Jeff Keyes about 1 month ago

I have used the downtown bike lanes as a cyclist and a driver. I do not find them particularly good for either. When operating a vehicle, I find it difficult to determine with any confidence when the lanes are clear and when it is safe to proceed. The visual sight lines are too busy for clear sight lines. When cycling, I tend to avoid the downtown bike lanes altogether. I generally use the Meewasin path as the main artery and branch off from it to my destination. When I reach the areas that are congested, I simply get off and walk the bike. Much easier and much safer. Its OK to have areas where cyclist can walk their bikes. I think we can do better.

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rahatjan kira judge about 1 month ago

I use 23rd bike lanes a lot and would like to suggest that bus mall area become bicycles and buses only. Also some enforcement of cars parked on the bike lanes would be good improvement. We need continuity so cyclists of all ages from all part of the city are encouraged to use them. I love the fact cycling lanes are truly protected by curbs and parked cars.
Biking is a healthy choice and many cities are adding them to improve lives of their citizens. Bike lanes solve problems such as obesity, air pollution and traffic congestion. I bike year around and got rid of my car 10 years ago. I have seen seniors, kids biking too. Transit is not too reliable but my bike is. All the best!

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Robert Judge about 1 month ago

I don't understand why the lanes were changed to swerve away from the curb at intersections this year. When I stop at red lights, I find it useful to put a foot on top of the curb while waiting - it's easier to reach than the ground. In places like Copenhagen they even put special footrests for cyclists at intersections.

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