Advisory Bike Lanes

Question MarkA DriveSmartBC web site visitor asks "Currently the City of Victoria is bringing in new Advisory bike lanes. I can find nothing in the drivers license training or bc motor vehicle act that gives a legal driving approach to these type of lanes or trains new and old drivers to manage these lanes? Please advise where this is covered in driver training."

Well, I'm going to dare to say that you already know what to do and have probably been doing it from the time you started to drive, regardless of how old you are.

Imagine a narrow road that has no markings at all used by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Chances are good that you drive down the center until you meet another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. You both slow, make sure that you can move to the right safely and pass by each other carefully. Simple, right?

An advisory bike lane may add signs to notify drivers at the start and lines on the pavement to formalize what we already do. They will probably have a speed limit of 30 km/h.

advisory cycle lane sign

For the example given, there are two designated use lanes for cycles, one on each side of a center lane for motor vehicle traffic. They are defined by a single broken white line so motor vehicle traffic may move into the cycle lane if required.

advisory cycle lanes

You already know how to make a safe lane change too. Since you are a guest there, the cyclists have right of way and you will have to wait your turn to use the cycle lane. In fact, it is possible that opposing drivers may actually have to come to a halt and wait their their turn if the cycle lanes are busy.

This situation should only occur where it is not possible to widen the roadway to accomodate two way traffic and cycle lanes.

Parking is not allowed unless there are marked parking areas delineated on one or both shoulder sides of the cycle lanes.

According to BC's Active Transportation Design Guide, advisory bicycle lanes are not considered an all ages and abilities bicycle facility type as protected cycle lanes are. Learn more about them in Chapter D.5 of Cycling Facilities.

Our Learn to Drive Smart and Tuning Up for Drivers guides do not give specific examples of this situation, but do teach you all about the bits and pieces that go together to make it function.

It's not a mystery, just something that is relatively new to BC. As you would in any other unfamiliar situation that you encounter while driving, slow down, think ahead and proceed with caution!

NOTE: The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition advises that the City of Victoria has decided not to install this type of cycling facility on Richardson after the broadcast of this CHEK TV story.

How do we train cyclists to learn the rules of the road, behave like vehicles not pedestrians and to have the confidence and hand signalling skills to "take the lane" when appropriate? There are many cyclists who believe and act as though they are pedestrians! Riding on sidewalks, using pedestrian infrastructure such as crosswalks and pedestrian activated traffic lights, etc.

How do these people learn they are a vehicle not a pedestrian?

It is not My driving ( riding ) I worry about it is the idiot drivers that will try to intimidate because they are larger.

I spent part of the winter in San Diego and what a treat of a city to ride in. Drivers are mostly courteous to bikes, there are lots of bike lanes and well signed, bikes have the same rights as cars In most lanes and can take a full lane.

BC needs a little more of this and more bike lanes on the secondary highways,

As a cyclist and a car driver.Why can't we coexist.Our country is big enough for all of to live to get along together. Canada is not used to seeing this many cyclist coming on to the roads,not all but many think the road is ALL THEIRS.As a cyclist I'm still a vehicle subject to the same rules. Yes and that includes being courteous to all other vehicles.Bicycles are not going to go away and if anything there's gonna be more and more on the road.Next time you see a cyclist ask yourself now much time will cost me if I don't let the guy go by and get out of my way.  Riding in traffic isn't easy,some of the cyclist are scared because of the aggressive drivers that can care less for all other vehicles. Hit that cyclist and see how much time you'll be spent for the next years of your time and money. Regardless if the cyclist made a mistake at least your going home to night. This applies to cyclist as well. If you can't be seen as a vehicle.I can't give you that right away. Use a bright white light night and day.with a red on your rear to be seen on that new bike  

Ride safe and share the road for another day. 

It never comes into this debate that in fact a bicycle is a non paying no tax no mot vehicle upon the road.It is a form of transport that demands that the rider knows how to ride the machine.That said and done is the root of the matter. Easily gratified and executed in the form of a ministry of transport test. No bike lane required .An age limit too would fit the bill. People under age of 18 cannot us a bike on  road. Hard yes but lives saved many. A six year old on his brothers bike shot out onto a major road from his fathers garage. Result he was hit by a police car doing 50mph in a 30 zone. Investigation came to the end with police in chase of villains. End of story.

So now the City of Victoria is planning on changing an important arterial route utterly, by attempting to impose a whole new set of rules on motor vehicle drivers? Good grief.

Why do these know-nothing do-gooders (not the qualified Traffic Technologists who they should be employing) think that by making up a new set of rules about right of way favouring cyclists is going to magically take effect to everybody's benefit, just by painting some lines on the road and putting up some signs? This is retarded (yeah I know I'm not supposed to say that these days, but it fits).

Vision Zero is a desirable goal (not that it will ever be wholly realized). But it's when you separate conflicts between vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, that realistic results will follow. Ideally, they have to be prevented by removing or reducing the conflicts.

But demanding that everyone obey the rules (especially new rules) isn't ever going to automatically result in less conflict. Take pedestrians, for instance - most of their fatalities occur in marked crosswalks (so oftentimes they didn't even see what was going to kill them because they weren't even looking out for their own safety).

The fact is, drivers who survive long term with minimal collisions happening to them do this by taking a defensive approach to their driving; they never expect everyone to follow the rules, but they maintain excellent seeing habits and space separations (that Smith System video recently posted on this site was a classic, by the way).

But sometimes it seems to me that cyclists (and I realize all are not the same in how they conduct themselves on the road) are ignorant and oblivious of what other road users are doing - or likely to do, next. 

I was looking at some dashcam videos recently, and there's this scenario on #3 Road in Richmond where they've painted in a nice cycle lane on each side (why oh why do they use major arterials to create cycle routes, I scream, but never mind that). And there's this driver in the right hand lane who is ahead of the cyclist and apparently oblivious to him; but he puts on his turn signal properly (perfectly visible to the cyclist), slows before the turn (obvious to the cyclist) and then ... turns right. Just like he said he would.

That's when the cyclist rode straight into the side of his car. I hope it hurt. Because it's one of the stupidest things I ever saw.

People need to realize that most bus drivers and truck drivers get through their driving days successfully, because they always and habitually compensate, to some degree, for the potential mistakes of others. The thing is, they're probably the least vulnerable, in terms of personal injury or worse; they just want to ensure, so far as they are able, that they don't get involved in a crash.

Maybe cyclists could try thinking the same way. Eh?