Dedicated bike lanes
These are your safest option while cycling.
Bike lanes are only for cyclists and cannot be used by other motorists. When you are riding beside parked cars or other vehicles, always keep to the left side of any lane. That way, you are outside of the ‘door zone’, which is the area along the side of a parked car when an opening door can hit or seriously injure you while riding your bike.
Contraflow bike lanes
Use to ride against traffic on a one-way street.
A single or double solid yellow line marked with an arrow that indicates the direction of travel is a contraflow lane. Be cautious while riding past oncoming traffic.
Use to ride alongside other vehicles.
Look for ‘sharrow’ pavement markings, which are two v-shaped arrows and a bicycle. Look for signage stating if you should ride in single file or beside other vehicles on the highway or pathway.
Use to become more visible to motorists at intersections.
As a cyclist, you're smaller and more vulnerable than other vehicles on the road. To help you become more visible, look for bike boxes at intersections. They give you a head start when turning and have proven to significantly reduce the number of collisions between right-turning motorists and cyclists travelling straight through the intersection. They also improve safety for pedestrians.
Know the rules for shared-use.
If a sidewalk has signage stating that it's shared-use, cyclists can ride there. Otherwise, only bicycles with wheels less than 50cm in diameter (the size of a child's bike) are permitted on sidewalks and pathways. Remember to give the right-of-way to pedestrians and always use an audible signal like a bike bell or horn before passing someone. To help keep yourself and others from getting injured, travel at a safe speed.
Learn more about the fines for cyclist infractions.
Increasing your visibility
When you are cycling, you are smaller than other vehicles and more vulnerable in a collision. You can mmake yourself more visible on a bicycle by following these tips.
Use reflective tape
Place reflective tape around your wheels and on any part of your bicycle that is closest to a light source. At night, reflective tape will make your bicycle look bigger than it is. It's also required by law to use reflective tape anytime you ride your bicycle after dark and to mount one red reflector on the rear of your bike.
Wear bright safety gear
You are just as visible as your bicycle when you are on the road. Wearing high visibility clothing in bright colours like orange, yellow and white can draw other motorists' eyes to you. Learn more about additional safety equipment.
Use bike boxes
Look for bike boxes at intersections. They give you a head start when turning and have proven to significantly reduce the number of collisions between right-turning motorists and cyclists travelling straight through the intersection. They also improve safety for pedestrians.
Avoid the ‘door zone’
Whether you are driving on the highway or parking, always position yourself where other motorists can see you. The ‘door zone’ is a one metre area along the side of a parked car where an opening door can hit and seriously injure you while riding. When approaching parked cars, even if you are in a bike lane, always ride on the left side of the lane so that you are away from vehicles. Slow down and pass carefully out of the door zone if you see someone in their car.
Signal your intent
To signal a left turn, hold out your left arm straight out. To signal a right turn, bend the left arm up at the elbow (90 degrees). To slow down or stop bend their arm downward (90 degrees).
Was this page helpful?
Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca. If you require a response, please go to our Contact page.
You will not receive a reply. Submissions that include telephone numbers, addresses, or emails will be removed.