Envirocentre Winter Cycling Guide
Burlington, a Bicycle-friendly Community
In 2012, the City of Burlington became a Bicycle-Friendly Community, receiving a bronze rating by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
Currently, the city offers the following cycling infrastructure:
- 48 km of bike lanes
- 47.3 km of bike route streets
- 6.4 km of bike lane/sharrow streets
- 11.7 km of paved shoulders
- 52.5 km of multi-use paths adjacent to the road
- 31.6 km of paved off-road, multi-use paths
To learn more about different types of cycling infrastructure, view Burlington's discussion paper, Cyclists and Bikeways: What's Your Match? A Guide to Bikeway Options For a Variety of Cyclists.
Cycling Master Plan
In July 2009, Burlington City Council approved a Cycling Master Plan.
The three primary goals of the plan are:
- Identify and address areas in the city that are barriers to cycling or uncomfortable for cyclists.
- Develop policies and other initiatives to create a bicycle friendly Burlington.
- Develop a long term cycling network and implementation plan.
Cycling Advisory Committee
Visit our Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee page to learn more about cycling routes, cycling events, road safety, Burlington in-gear newsletter and more.
On-road bike counts... (PDF)
Multi-use path bike and pedestrian counts... (PDF)
Improvements to Cycling Infrastructures
- Improvements to Centennial and Hydro Corridor multi-use paths including paving, a refuge island on Guelph Line, intersection pedestrian signal at Walkers Line and the Hydro Corridor multi-use path, way-finding signage, 26 public art benches and new bridges.
- The Duncaster staircase allows cyclists to easily walk their bike up the stairs
- Widening of the narrow bike lanes throughout Burlington to bring them to a standard of 1.3 m to 1.5 m
- On-road bike lanes added in 2012 on Appleby Line and Walkers Line south of New Street
- Coloured lanes:
- Green bike lanes were added at two city intersections
- Blue bike lanes were added at the Fairview Street/QEW interchange. Narrower vehicle lanes to promote slower speed and a reduction of the existing posted speed through the interchange from 60 km/hour to 50 km/hour as well as landscaped median islands.
- Green treatment and painted edge were added on part of North Shore Boulevard to define this multi-use lane and alert motorists of the separated lane.
- Buffered on-road bike lane along a 2.4 km stretch of roadway on Palladium Way between Appleby Line and Walkers Line in the Alton community.
- Bike Route signage and sharrows (road markings) are installed on roads identified in the cycling master plan as bicycle priority streets in Burlington.
- 158 enhanced sharrows and 20 "Share the Road" were added in 2013 on Lakeshore Road between Old Lakeshore Road to Burloak Drive.
The City of Burlington recently installed sharrows on the newly paved section of Fairview Street, east of Guelph Line. These markings serve as a reminder to cyclists and motorists to share the road.
|Commonly Asked Questions about Sharrows
|What is a sharrow?
Sharrow is short form for "shared lane pavement marking." The pavement marking includes a bicycle symbol and two white chevrons.
|What do the sharrows mean?
Sharrows are used to indicate to both motorists and cyclists the appropriate line of travel for cyclists.
|If I am driving a car and see sharrow markings, is the lane for bikes only?
No. Sharrows are used in lanes that are shared by motorists and cyclists.
Sharing the road means motorists should:
- only pass a cyclist where there is enough room to to do safely (at least one metre between
motorist and cyclist),
- reduce your speed when passing a cyclist
- watch for cyclists when making lane changes and turns.
|Where are sharrows used?
Sharrows are used in curb lanes, e.g. beside the curb or parked cars. They are also painted in the middle of narrow roadway lanes where there is not enough room for a cyclist to travel alongside a motorist.
|How are sharrow markings different from a bike lane?
Bike lanes are a dedicated space for cyclists where motorists are not allowed to park, stop or drive. Bike lanes are painted on the road with bicycle symbols and a solid white line.
In comparison, sharrows are used in lanes that are shared by motorists and cyclists. Travel lanes with sharrows do not have a separate white line indicating a dedicated cycling area. Instead, chevrons and a bicycle symbol are used to indicate where cyclists should ride, and where motorists should expect to see cyclists.
|Why not just use bike lanes instead of sharrows on city streets?
Bicycle lanes are preferred to sharrows for cycling traffic but not all streets have enough room for bicycle lanes due to high demand for on-street parking and/or the inability to eliminate or narrow regular traffic lanes.
On streets where bicycle lanes cannot be accomodated, the city will use sharrow markings instead.
Bike Racks and Shelters Initiatives
- 33 bicycle rack facility at the downtown parking garage on Locust Street.
- Bike racks and/or shelters added at Tansley Woods, Brant Hills Community Centre and Seniors Centre
- 24 public art bike racks were installed throughout the downtown. The project was completed in partnership with Tourism Burlington and the Burlington Hotel Association.
- Mountain Equipment Co-op donated cycling repair kits for use free of charge at the hotels and at two community centres.
- All registered members of the Welcome Cyclist Network offer secure bike racks/shelters, cycling maps and a bike repair kit for emergency use.
Cycling Maps and Tools
Take a look at our calendar for upcoming cycling events around the city.