Bike lanes across the city of Thunder Bay officially open on Tuesday.

There's a $125 fine for motorists caught driving in a bike lane. However, according to Adam Krupper, the city's Active Transportation coordinator, some of those lanes may be a little hard to see right now.

"There are certain streets where the markings and the lines have worn out considerably," Krupper said. "And those will be painted along with the city's regular line-painting schedule. Because bike lanes are there to protect cyclists, those streets will be a higher priority."

Getting personal

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has kicked off a bike safety awareness campaign called "You Know Me.  I Ride A Bike." 

The stars of the project are Thunder Bay cyclists who are out on local streets and highways every day. The area residents will share their stories to remind motorists that they are people with families, and that they come from all walks of life.

The CBC's own Ron Desmoulins is one of the personalities profiled in this campaign.

Thunder Bay's newest bike lane — on Shuniah Street — currently has no markings, but it will be painted for the first time this spring. The city said if the weather is good, painting could begin next week.

Bike lanes are located on Balsam, Court, Fassina, John, McIntyre, Shuniah, and Walsh Streets, as well as Syndicate Avenue.

"Now that it's cycling season, motorists can expect to see a lot more cyclists on the road," Krupper said. "Every year, we see an increase in the number of cyclists, so we are asking that everyone respects the rules of the road to keep each other safe".

Thunder Bay Police traffic sergeant Glenn Porter noted that roads are "public infrastructure … for all to use and enjoy in safety."

"Each user has equal rights, and equal responsibilities," he said. "Road safety is the prime concern for all users of city streets, whether motorists, cyclists or pedestrians."

The fine for parking, stopping or idling in a bike lane is $25.