Mississauga Cycling Now!

▶ Bike Lanes

Bike lanes are designated areas for riding bicycles on the road, alongside, at grade, and in the same direction as traffic.  The lanes are marked with a solid white line and periodic lane stenciling and signage to remind drivers they are there.  Cyclists might once have considered themselves lucky to even have a portion of the road allocated for their use, but with the adoption of Vision Zero in Mississauga it is recognized that people on bikes require separated and protected bicycle lanes for safety along busy roads.  Like many cities, Mississauga still has painted bike lanes.  Paint is not infrastructure.  Can bike lanes be made safer?  ▶ See also: COVID Bike Lanes; Edge Lines



$55 Fine for Stopping or Parking in Bicycle Lanes

[Posted: March 25, 2022; Updated: May 3, 2022]

STARTING MAY 2022: "Starting in May, drivers will be fined $55 for stopping or parking in bike lanes.  While physically separated bike lanes will be part of major road projects moving forward, these updated by-laws will deter this behaviour on our existing painted bike lanes, where cyclists are most vulnerable.  Enforcement by the City will begin in May.  Proactive enforcement will also occur this spring in locations previously identified by residents and on roads that have vehicle parking and painted bike lanes.  If you see drivers parking or stopping in a bike lane, we encourage you to call 311 so that the location can be flagged for enforcement."  -- Excerpt from City of Mississauga - News Release ⤵️

▶ City of Mississauga - News Release (April 6, 2022): Stopping or Parking in a Mississauga Bike Lane Will Cost You.

IMAGE: Screenshot (above) is from Google Maps, showing the all-too common occurrence of a vehicle stopped or parked in the marked bicycle lane.  This is Confederation Parkway just south of Princess Royal Drive in the City Centre.  Click link and continue moving south in Street View to see constuction vehicles stopped in the bike lane.

Background:

CORPORATE REPORT: Presented at Council (GC) on March 30, 2022.  The Corporate Report (6p PDF) from Transportation & Works concerns proposed fines for non-exempted vehicles in designated bike lanes.

RECOMMENDATION: "That an administrative penalty be established for parking, standing or stopping a vehicle in bicycle lanes by amending the following by-laws as outlined in the corporate report dated March 11, 2022 from the Commissioner of Transportation and Works entitled "Administrative Penalties for Parking, Standing or Stopping in Bicycle Lanes (All Wards)."  The recommended fine is $55.00 🧾 and if approved, enforcement could begin as soon as May 2, 2022.

APPROVED: Recommendation in GC Report (p2 of PDF) at Council: April 6, 2022.  See text box (below) for wording.

BIKE LANE - DEFINITION: It was also recommended by T&W that the City adopt a formal definition of a bicycle lane:

"The Traffic By-law (0555-2000) does not currently include a formal definition of a bicycle lane.  A formal definition would improve clarity when the City seeks to add new enforcement tools.  For example, edge lines are frequently used in Mississauga as a traffic calming device.  The lines are visually similar on the roadway to bicycle lanes, however there are specific bicycle stencil and diamond markings and specific signage that distinguish bicycle lanes from edge lines and other uses.  A formal definition gives the City a stronger foundation to consistently enforce new penalties.  A formal definition is therefore recommended to be added, with language that is largely consistent with definitions found in the Region of Peel and City of Brampton’s by-laws: 'Bicycle Lane' means a portion of the roadway designated for unidirectional bicycle traffic only and denoted by authorized signs and pavement markings."




Edge Lines: Different from Bike Lanes

[Posted: April 30, 2022]

Often confused with bicycle lanes, edge lines are painted on the road to narrow the driving lanes in residential areas.  This has the effect of calming (slowing) traffic as may be requested by residents.  Cyclists ride close to the curb and if there is an edge line they will appear to be riding in a bike lane.  Depending on the distance of the edge line to the curb, cyclists may benefit with increased distance from the traffic lane, assuming of course there are no parked cars on the street.

IMAGE: Screenshot (left) is from Google Maps, showing edge lines on Terry Fox Way which narrow the traffic lanes and leave wide 'shoulders'.

Narrow edge lines (i.e. painted very close to the curb) still convey the message to vehicles that the lane is narrowed, but from a cycling point of view, it may be necessary to ride on or to the left of the line (on the traffic side), in order to maintain a safe distance from the curb.  When such edge lines are wrongly viewed as cycling lanes, there may be surprise or anger at their narrow width, but understand: the intention is to narrow the traffic lanes, and slower traffic benefits the cyclist.  There are designated bike lanes which are too narrow, a topic to be discussed separately.

STREET PARKING?  Street parking is allowed on roads with edge lines, unless there is 'No Parking' signage posted.  Designated bicycle lanes are marked and signed (per definition above) and NO street parking is allowed, since parked (or stopped) vehicles will obstruct the bike lane and cause people on bikes to have to suddenly enter the traffic lane.