FAQ: What about bike lanes and intersections?

A common question about the protected bike lanes on Laurier Blvd is what will happen to the turning lanes at the intersection with Windsor Dr. Some are assuming that turning lanes would disappear, which is not correct. Laurier’s current configuration is actually quite accommodating – it’s a road that’s paved four lanes wide, but only has two travel lanes, making lots of room at intersections.

To be clear, the engineering design work has not been done yet. However, that work will result in a design compliant with the Ontario Traffic Manual various volumes on intersections, lane markings, signage and cycling facilities.

On Laurier at Windsor, compressing the single “leaving intersection” from it’s current two-lane width to a single lane frees up a lane width to accommodate the protected bike lanes. Below is an illustrative sketch. While the Laurier features are to scale, no signage is shown, and this is not an engineering drawing. The top sketch is the current intersection.

LaurierWindsorOld
Laurier-Windsor: Current
LaurierWindsorNew
Laurier-WIndsor – Proposed (illustrative)

Note that:

  1. The designation of the lanes has changed so that the straight through lanes line up with the exit lanes (which are a full single lane wide).
  2. The protected bike lanes occupy a lane width through the intersection.
  3. While the sketch is illustrative, it is compliant with the Ontario Traffic Manual – Book 18 “Cycling Facilities”.  One of the benefits of that is that the traffic flow – autos and bikes – would be familiar to those who’ve driven in other cities, many of which have similar facilities.

There are other features that could be added (a “bike box”) to facilitate westbound cyclists turning left onto Windsor. These details, and signage are left for the engineering design stage.

Treatment of the Laurier-Stewart intersection would be similar, with the protected bike lane eventually crossing Stewart and continuing into the proposed industrial park – a great commuter link as well as a route through that industrial park to whichever other road is the second access.

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.