Bike route safety

We’re committed to increasing and improving bike lanes in Kelowna to provide safe, comfortable routes for diverse ages and abilities. People riding bikes and people driving cars have the same rights and responsibilities on the road. For the safety of everyone, follow the rules of road to ensure that we all get to our destinations safely and efficiently. Let’s move forward together and make our city safer for everyone. 

Basic safety principles*

  • Know and obey the rules of the road - people riding bikes have the same rights and duties as people driving vehicles.
  • Maintain your bike and ensure it is in good working order.
  • Be as visible as possible to others.
  • Learn the skills needed to control your bike.
  • Ride safely and predictably.

* Adapted from BC Bike Sense Manual

Using Sutherland Avenue two-way protected bike lanes
Bike lanes & paths
Two-way protected bike lanes

Two-way protected bike lanes are on-street bike facilities separated from vehicle lanes and parked cars by a physical barrier. This separation allows for a safer, more comfortable bike ride. Rather than one bike lane on both sides of the street, in this case there are two bike lanes side by side on one side of the street, allowing for travel in both directions. The new bike lanes on Sutherland Avenue are an example of this type of facility.two way protected bike lane on Sutherland Avenue

On your bike

  • Watch for signs, signals and road markings indicating direction of travel .
  • Watch for people riding bikes in both directions on one side of the road.
  • Use green bike turn boxes, where available, to exit the two-way bike lane and turn at intersections.
  • Know and follow the rules of the road.
  • Activate bike signals when turning or crossing at intersections.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Yield to oncoming bikes when turning.

In your vehicle

  • Watch for people riding bikes in both directions on one side of the road.
  • Yield to bikes when turning, even at a red light.
  • Use caution when turning into and out of driveways.
Green bike lanes

Solid green paint, typically applied at intersections and on corners, remind people driving vhicles to give plenty of space and to check for people on bikes prior to making a turn.

bike lane

On your bike

  • Use the green bike lanes to give yourself more separation from vehicles.

In your vehicle

  • Drive in your lane as normal and follow regular traffic rules.
  • Do not cross into solid bike lanes, unless turning into or out of intersecting roads, laneways, driveways and parking when it is safe to do so.
  • Do not stop or park in a bike lane.
  • Yield to people riding bikes.
Shared lanes

Shared lanes are typically found in areas with lower travel speeds, lower traffic volumes or within town centres that do not have formal bike lanes. Shared lanes provide the space needed to separate cyclists from parking zones and motor vehicle travelling lanes. They also serve as a reminder to motorists that cyclists will be in the same lane.

bike marker

On your bike

  • Look for road markings (called a "sharrow"), which indicate where is best to ride.
  • Be cautious of and courteous towards motorists.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Be predictable.
  • Leave space between yourself and parked cars in case of opening doors.

In your vehicle

  • Respect the space required for people on bikes to travel safely (one metre).
  • Remember that cyclists are allowed on all roadways, and they have the right to use the vehicle travel lane.
  • Be cautious when parallel parking.
  • Shoulder check before opening your door.
Cycle tracks

A cycle track is a protected bike lane with a physical barrier from roadways and sidewalks. They can be either one-way or two-way and can be located vertically at road level or raised to the same level as sidewalks. They make the street safer for all roadway users and more predictable for people who walk, bike and drive.

On your bike

  • Watch for other people riding bikes.
  • Be predictable and aware.
  • Watch for signs and road markings.

In your vehicle

  • Continue in your lane as normal and follow regular traffic rules.
  • Do not cross the barrier separating the cycle track lane.
  • Do not stop or park in a bike lane.
  • Be aware and yield to bikes when turning.
Intersections & crosswalks
Green bike box (use when stopping or turning at intersections)

A green bike box in a vehicle lane allows people on bikes to wait ahead of vehicles during a red light, giving them priority to move through the intersection when the light turns green. The bike boxes help make people riding bikes more visible and improve the safety of making turns at intersections.

bike lane

On your bike

Red light

  • If turning left, move into the bike box and stop.
  • If going straight, stop in the green portion of the bike lane or the right side of the bike box.
  • If turning right, follow regular traffic rules, signal, and be aware of other cyclists and vehicles.

Green light

  • Ride through the intersection as normal, following regular traffic rules.

In your vehicle

Red light

  • Stop as normal at the stop line, behind the green bike box.
  • Do not stop in the green bike box.
  • Do not turn right when the light is red.

Green light

  • Drive through the intersection behind people riding bikes.
  • When turning right, follow normal traffic rules, signal, and watch for oncoming vehicles or bikes.
Bike signals

Similar to a pedestrian crossing and its “walk button,” bike signals indicate when it is safe to cross. The bike signals have a specific button that is conveniently located on the pole to allow cyclists to stay on their bike while triggering the signal.

biker

On your bike

  • Pay attention to signal changes.
  • Follow the rules of the road and only cross when it is permitted and safe to do so.

In your vehicle

  • As with all intersections, follow regular traffic rules and be cautious of people walking and riding bikes when making right turns.
Painted squares at shared crossings ("elephant feet")

Painted squares at intersections – called “elephant feet” and in many cases painted green – are found on either side of a crosswalk. These give cyclists a safe area to cross a street without dismounting and without impeding pedestrians’ crossing space.

bike lane

On your bike

  • You do not need to dismount – unlike at a traditional “zebra” print crosswalk.
  • Follow the rules of the road and only cross when it is permitted and safe to do so.

In your vehicle

  • Follow regular traffic rules and be aware that people may ride through the intersection.
Bicycle-triggered crossings

The same vehicle detection system that recognizes when a car is at an intersection is now able to detect you and your bike, helping to trigger the green light so you can be on your way without having to push the walk button or wait for a vehicle. 

On your bike

  • Ride up to the intersection as you normally would, stopping at the stop line within the bike lane or turning lane.
  • Wait for the signal to change to green. The system does the rest.