Saskatoon

Councillors ask for full review of Saskatoon bicycle bylaw

The Standing Policy Committee on Transportation is calling on city hall to review Saskatoon's bicycle bylaw in its entirety, not just areas of concern recently flagged by a local cycling advocacy group.

Request comes after local cycling advocacy group does its own review of decades-old bylaw

City council's transportation committee has asked the city to review the Saskatoon bike bylaw in its entirety, following concerns raised about outdated portions of the bylaw. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Councillors agree: Saskatoon's bicycle bylaw could use a tune-up.

The Standing Policy Committee on Transportation is calling on city hall to review Saskatoon's nearly 30-year-old bicycle bylaw in its entirety, not just areas of concern recently flagged by a local cycling advocacy group.

Council's transportation committee made the request Tuesday after hearing from Saskatoon Cycles about parts of the current bylaw considered impractical and outdated — or just plain confusing.

"There is confusion between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, and I think ultimately we need to have greater communication as to the expectations of each of those users on the roadway so that everyone can be safe," said Sarina Gersher, the councillor for Ward 8.

Where people can and can't ride on sidewalks is one area of confusion, she said.

Saskatoon Cycles is asking the city to allow some cyclists, particularly children riding in busy school zones, to be allowed to ride on sidewalks.   

Mixed messages

The group has also pointed out mixed messaging in the city's published information on certain cycling practices.

For example, the bylaw — which dates back to 1988 — calls on cyclists to ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb.

But the city's annual cycling guide includes diagrams of riders taking the centre of a lane.

The City of Saskatoon's Cycling Guide says cyclists are legally allowed to ride in the centre of any traffic lane, contradicting the city's own bicycle bylaw that says cyclists should ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb. (City of Saskatoon)

"I would certainly like some clarity around how we share the road," said Ward 6 councillor Cynthia Block.

"As a motorist and as a cyclist, I have been confused by this over the years and find it it difficult to comprehend what our rights and responsibilities are."

The city's response to Saskatoon's Cycle's nine recommendations is expected in March 2018 — just in time for the bylaw's 30th anniversary.

A timeline for the review of the full bylaw has not been laid out yet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Saskatoon

Story tips? guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

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