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Cycling Plans & Projects

bike

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular, both as a recreational activity and as an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. The City of Saskatoon recognizes that cycling is important to many residents and is working towards making Saskatoon a bicycle-friendly city.

Read more about the various road signs

Planning and Priorities

The City of Saskatoon has developed a Comprehensive Cycling Plan and conducted a Bicycle Facility Network Study that identified a skeletal cycling network that could be feasibly implemented within a realistic timeframe, with opportunities to expand and upgrade routes.

The Bicycle Network provides service to three main areas:

  • Downtown Saskatoon
  • University of Saskatchewan Campus
  • SIAST Kelsey Campus

Active Transportation Plan

As part of the Growth Plan to Half a Million, the City of Saskatoon has developed an Active Transportation Plan – a first for our community!

Through the Active Transportation Plan (ATP) residents will have improved options for moving around our city, whether it’s by walking, by biking, skateboarding or other forms of active transportation. The ATP will help shape changes in infrastructure and support programs that will encourage all of us to use active forms of transportation more often – whether for work, pleasure or day-to-day personal travels.

 Click here to learn more.

Cycling Advisory Group

The City of Saskatoon Cycling Advisory Group (CAG) was created to provide the City with advice and feedback on plans for cycling in Saskatoon. The concept of a CAG was brought forward as a result of the City of Saskatoon Comprehensive Bicycle Plan which guides the City in the development of facilities for cycling and implementation of programs to support and encourage people to cycle for transportation and recreation.

The Cycling Advisory Group:

  • Provides citizens' perspective, advice and input to City Administration about cycling facilities, policy issues and programs.
  • Supports a vision that the City of Saskatoon is a place where cycling is encouraged as a reasonable and practical method of travel.
  • Acts as a liaison between cyclists and the City on matters related to the planning, development and management of infrastructure, safety of cyclists and the public, and cycling programs offered to the public.
  • Provides assistance in identifying cycling priority issues, opportunities and solutions.
  • Members are active cyclists and represent a variety of age groups, user skill and comfort levels. Membership is open to residents of Saskatoon with an interest in cycling.

The group’s focus is to support a vision that the City of Saskatoon is a place where cycling is encouraged as a reasonable and practical method of travel. At this time, we are not taking applications for new members.

Projects

Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project
23rd Street | 4th Avenue

Share your feedback on the Shaping Saskatoon website. 

A Protected Bike Lane is a dedicated, marked lane for people on bikes that is physically separated from vehicles and pedestrian traffic by parked vehicles, a painted buffer and delineator posts.  

In March 2015, City Council approved a recommendation to proceed with a Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project in the downtown. 

The goal of the project is to create a vibrant and healthy downtown by improving cycling as a strategy to increase the attractiveness of and access to the downtown for businesses, residents, visitors, employers and their employees.  

Protected Bike Lanes:

  • Physically separate people on bikes from people driving vehicles
  • Make biking a more attractive transportation option
  • Increase the comfort level and feeling of safety by ‘protecting’ people on bikes from traffic and car doors opening
  • Increase the comfort of driving by making the movements of people on bikes more predictable
  • Increase the comfort of people walking by reducing ‘sidewalk riding’

Permanent Protected Bike Lanes have been built in Canada’s largest cities including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. Demonstration projects are currently underway in Edmonton and Winnipeg, and now in Saskatoon.

Watch this short video on how Protected Bike Lanes work in Saskatoon.

Protected Bike Lane Diagram

23rd Street and 4th Avenue Protected Bike Lanes

The 23rd Street Protected Bike Lane opened in 2015:

  • The lane runs between Idylwyld Drive and Spadina Crescent East in both directions. 
  • This route was chosen because of its capacity to accommodate the lane with little disruption to Saskatoon Transit buses and parking. The lane also brings people who bike directly to the centre of downtown and connects with other popular cycling routes.

The 4th Avenue Protected Bike Lane opened in May 2016:

  • The lane runs  between 20th Street East and 24th Street East in both directions, and connects to the Broadway Bridge.
  • This route was chosen because it connects to the Broadway Bridge and existing conventional bike lanes.
  • 4th Avenue has been reconfigured with a bidirectional (two-way) left-turn lane and one lane of traffic in each direction for the duration of the project.   With this reconfiguration, the centre turning lane is used to make left turns only from either direction – it may not be used as a passing lane or as a driving lane. The lane also allows for left turns to and from a driveway.  This type of lane is not new to Saskatoon - a bidirectional left-turn lane is currently in place on 1st Avenue from 20th Street to 25th Street.  

4th Avenue Reconfiguration (Example)

4th Avenue Reconfiguration

Downtown Bike Network Map

Downtown Cycling Map

 

New Road Signs
Sign Description
Protected Bike Lane These signs designate a portion of the street as a Protected Bike Lane. People walking should look for oncoming bicycles when crossing the lane. People driving are not permitted to travel or stop in this lane unless making a right turn on to a cross street or into a driveway. Transit buses may stop at designated stops.
Protected Bike Lane Ends These signs remind people biking and people driving cars that the Protected Bike Lane ends. Drivers should watch for bicycles transitioning out of the Protected Bike Lane and into the traffic lane.
Dismount Bike and Walk These signs remind people biking that they are to dismount and walk their bikes through the Saskatoon Transit terminal on 23rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues), just like they do today.
Right Turns These new signs prevent people driving cars from entering the bike boxes by restricting right turns on a red light.
Yield to Bikes These signs reinforce that people on bikes have the right-of-way through the intersection and turning vehicles must yield.

Left Turn bike box to access shared pathway to Broadway Bridge

This sign reminds people riding bikes to use the left turn bike box to access the shared pathway to the Broadway Bridge.

transit stop sign

These signs remind people on bikes to wait behind a bus that is stopped in the Protected Bike Lane to load and unload passengers.

New Road Markings
Marking     Description

Bike Box Image                       Bike Box Illustration

   

Bike Boxes are green painted areas on the pavement provided at all signalized intersections along 23rd Street between Idylwyld Drive and Spadina Crescent East and along 4th Avenue between 20th Street and 24th Street. They are placed to facilitate two-stage left turns for people riding bikes. 

People riding bikes will be expected to first proceed straight through the intersection and wait in the designated left-turn Bike Box for the green signal on the cross street to complete their left turn. 

For people driving cars, right turns on red lights are not permitted where there is a Bike Box. This applies to northbound and southbound right turns onto 23rd Street and westbound and eastbound right turns onto 4th Avenue.

Project Evaluation

Quantitative and qualitative data will be used to evaluate the project. The following indicators will be considered:

  • Number of people who use the Protected Bike Lanes;
  • Perception of safety by Protected Bike Lane users;
  • Observations of sidewalk riding downtown;
  • Whether people who bike feel the downtown is more accessible;
  • Whether people feel the Protected Bike Lanes are making the downtown more vibrant/attractive;
  • Impact on people who drive, walk or use Saskatoon Transit buses downtown;
  • Economic impact on businesses bordering the lanes and in the downtown in general; and 
  • Impact on traffic flow in the downtown.

We want to hear from you!  Provide your feedback on the Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project here.

Protected Bike Lanes - Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Protected Bike Lanes important for the downtown?
The City of Saskatoon Strategic Plan and the City Centre Plan have identified the need to improve cycling as a strategy to increase the attractiveness of and access to the downtown for businesses, residents, visitors, employers and their employees.  A vibrant and healthy downtown benefits the entire city and region.  The Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project has been planned to achieve this goal.

Why is it a Demonstration Project?  
Downtown is a complex neighbourhood and getting the balance right between traffic, pedestrian, transit and cyclist circulation; parking location and availability; and business success is a part of that complexity.  While there is confidence from the experience of other cities that Protected Bike Lanes can be beneficial to the overall success of urban areas, each project is unique and must balance the overall needs of the street and area.  Rather than committing to permanent infrastructure at the start, many communities have chosen to ‘demonstrate’ Protected Bike Lanes to get the details right.

Why was the 4th Avenue lane selected to open in 2016?
The University Bridge was closed to traffic for repairs during the summer of 2015 which impacted traffic on 4th Avenue. It was not possible to properly evaluate the project with abnormal traffic conditions caused by the closure.

Will the Demonstration Project impact parking and traffic flow?

  • Overall, less than 10 parking spaces will be lost as a result of this project.
  • No traffic delays should occur on 23rd Street.
  • On 4th Avenue, there could be a slight traffic delay at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 20th Street during the morning peak hour.  An additional delay of 6 seconds per vehicle is expected with the proposed configuration. The increase in travel time should be small (20 seconds for the average trip).
  • 4th Avenue will be reconfigured with a bidirectional (two-way) left-turn lane and one lane of traffic in each direction for the duration of the project.  Although the amount of road space devoted to motor vehicles is reduced, the assignment of left-turn lanes increases traffic predictability throughout the corridor.  The design process carefully considered detailed traffic analysis using current vehicle and pedestrian volumes for the weekday morning and afternoon rush hours. 
  • Traffic will be monitored during the demonstration project to understand the effect of the Protected Bike Lanes.

33rd Street Multi-Use Corridor

The City of Saskatoon is developing a multi-use pathway from the University of Saskatchewan to SIAST Kelsey Campus. The plan includes the construction of a multi-use pathway along the south side of 33rd Street and a roundabout at the intersection of 33rd Street and Spadina Crescent. The multi-use pathway on the south side of 33rd Street between Spadina Crescent and 3rd Avenue was completed in September 2013.