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Apr 14, 2022

6 min. read

As many of us rekindled a love for bike riding during the pandemic, towns and cities across Ontario have invested heavily in cycling infrastructure, dramatically reshaping roads across the province.

To avoid confusion about bike boxes, cycling tracks and other new signs you may notice when out riding, this guide explains six changes you may see on your local streets this spring.

Bike boxes

These green boxes are designed to make it safer for cyclists to turn at intersections by separating them from traffic.

As a rider, if you approach a red light, simply stop in the box ahead of any cars that may be waiting.

If the box spans the entire lane, wait on the right, left or center of the box, depending on your direction of travel.

When the light turns green, you can proceed, but don't forget to signal where you're going.

As a driver, be aware of the space and always allow cyclists to move first.


These painted rectangles are the cycling version of crosswalks.

They allow riders to stay on their bikes as they cross an intersection and often link stretches of dedicated cycling lanes.

If there are no crossrides, cyclists should walk their bikes through a crosswalk as it’s illegal to ride across one.

Cycle tracks

Unlike bike lanes, which are usually painted on a road, cycle tracks are physically separated from vehicle traffic, often by a curb or buffer zone.

Some are even raised a few inches above the roadway to further distance riders from cars.

While you might spot people walking or jogging in a cycle track, they're intended for cyclists.

Bike lanes

The most well-known cycling signs are those sections of a lane dedicated to cyclists.

In Ontario, they’re identified by solid white lines and a white diamond and a bike pavement marking. They will also have a road sign signaling the beginning of a bike lane with a similar design.

It’s illegal for motorists to drive or park in a bike lane. But they may cross into one when making a right turn.


sharrow pavement marking indicates the lane is shared by bikes and cars. They are often found on streets not wide enough for dedicated bike lanes and have high cycling traffic.

Cyclists are urged to ride down the centre of the chevrons. This discourages drivers from trying to squeeze past them, which is a common cause of collisions.

Yield signs

This sign reminds drivers to watch for cyclists when making a right turn.

They’re often found in areas where a bike lane crosses a street.

Drivers should not speed up to beat a cyclist through an intersection, which can lead to a potentially fatal collision, say road safety advocates.

As more Ontarians rely on both cars and bikes to get around, we need to follow the rules of the road and do our part to share the space and help keep all road users safe.

Ride safe

For more cycling safety tips, caasco.com/cycling.

Image credit: Maxvis/iStock

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