The city of St. John's has begun construction on a bike path network with a goal of creating 33 kilometres of new bike paths by the end of summer.

Once complete, cyclists will be able to ride from the Village Mall in the city's west end to Memorial University on dedicated bike lanes without competing with cars and trucks for road space.

The lanes are the first phase of a 20-year plan for creating a bike-friendly city with the city, provincial and federal governments already committing $3 million to the first phase of the program.

The plan also includes creating marked cycling lanes on city streets, but the street painting portion of the plan has been delayed by the wet weather, said Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff. The current work is only the first phase of the plan.

"This is a major start-up, but it's an ongoing process, and hopefully the idea is to get more people, for health or environmental reasons, on a bike or walking instead of always relying on their cars," she said.