Bike lanes planned to make getting around easier for cyclists

Adam MacInnis
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By next spring for sure, and sooner if the sun shines, Pictou County will be more bicycle friendly.

Clint Snell shows an example of a bicycle that could be used for everyday travel. The owner of Pictou County Cycle is happy to hear that Pictou County is getting some bike lanes. See a map showing the planned lanes at ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS

Thanks to the efforts of Active Pictou County and bicycle enthusiasts in the community, bike lanes are being marked off in some portions and other areas more clearly marked as bicycle friendly roads. The route will take cyclists from the George Street Bridge to Trenton Park. Another will go from downtown out along Little Harbour Road and towards Melmerby Beach.

Rae Gunn, Active Pictou County co-ordinator, said they applied for funding for the project which will include placing signs and painting lanes on the portions that will have devoted bike lanes and received word in January that they were going to get it. Since then they’ve been getting everything prepared to make it reality.

The routes that were chosen were originally suggested in a Pictou County bikeways project that was completed in 2007. Gunn said the project will make biking more visible in the community and she hopes that with the increase in safety for bikers, more people will be pedaling both recreationally and to work and school.

During her time at Active Pictou County, she’s seen the biking community grow. She hopes that this will be the start of even more bikeways in Pictou County.

Stan Vachal, director of public works for the Town of Trenton said they are still hoping the project might get done this fall but it will depend on getting dry enough weather for the paint to dry. They hadn’t done it earlier because they were waiting for the completion of construction projects. While there will be stretches where cars and bikes will be in the same section simply because the road isn’t wide enough to accommodate a bike lane, more signs will be put in those areas reminding people to share the road.

He thinks it could be a good thing and might draw more people to Trenton Park where they have some great trails for people to bike on.

“It potentially can motivate some more people to bike out to the park,” he said.

As the changes are put into place Const. Ken MacDonald of the New Glasgow Police Services which polices New Glasgow and Trenton said they encourage people to be aware of the changes and remember to abide by the rules of the road whether they are a bicyclist or motorist.

“With bikes and vehicles sharing the road it’s a shared responsibility and it increases the overall road safety,” MacDonald said.

Clint Snell, owner of Pictou County Cycle in New Glasgow couldn’t be happier hearing about the new lanes being prepared. Aside from being good for business, as a bicycling enthusiast, he’s happy to see Pictou County become more bike friendly.

“I think it’s going to be huge,” he said. “Bicycling is growing every year.”

He said more and more people are using bikes for everyday tasks. At their store they even have wide and studded tires that the devout use to bike in winter.

“There’s a few hard core guys that will bike no matter what,” he said. “I think bike lanes like that would entice more people to ride.”


Sharing the Road with Bicycles

The Motorist – According to the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Respect for the rights of all road users goes a long way towards avoiding collisions.


Watch For Bicyclists – Most collisions involving bicyclists and motorists occur at intersections. This often happens when a motorist pulls out from a stop sign or driveway without yielding, or turns across a bicyclist’s path.


Make Room For Cyclists – Bicyclists need to ride at least 1 metre away from parked cars to avoid being hit if a door suddenly opens. Bicyclists also need to avoid potholes and debris, and to pass double-parked cars.

Bicyclists may occupy as much of a traffic lane as their safety warrants. By law motorists need to leave a metre between them and the bicyclist when passing.


What is a segregated bike lane?

A segregated bike lane is a designated on-street bicycle lane that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic through the use of barriers such as curbs, parked cars, delineators, or other street treatments. Typically 1.5m wide but can be a minimum of 1.2m in constrained situations.


Who can use a bike lane?

All designated bike lanes, including segregated bike lanes, are to be used by cyclists only.


Can I walk in the segregated bike lane?

Just as cyclists are not allowed to use sidewalks, pedestrians should not use bike lanes. This will ensure the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians.

Organizations: George Street Bridge, New Glasgow Police Services, Pictou County Cycle

Geographic location: Pictou County, Trenton Park, Trenton Little Harbour Road Melmerby Beach New Glasgow Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • trucker
    September 29, 2013 - 22:34

    well now where are walkers suppose to walk the roads are not wide enough for cars and trucks to pass with them stupid bump outs they put in new Glasgow and Trenton.and where are we going to park our bicycles when we get of will be bike licence and insurance I can see it now

  • S. MacKenzie
    September 28, 2013 - 22:48

    What wonderful news. This is great for Pictou County! Let's see more bike commuters now! Soon we will be like the lovely city of Ottawa.

  • wayne otter
    September 28, 2013 - 17:35

    Main street is barely wide enough for cars to pass each other now, adding a bike lane is totally ridiculous.

    • Rae
      October 02, 2013 - 12:51

      The segregated bike lanes stop before the "downtown" section of Trenton where the bump outs exist.

  • Bob MacKenzie
    September 28, 2013 - 07:51

    It's Great, ya gotta luv it!

  • Bob MacKenzie
    September 28, 2013 - 07:47

    It's Great, ya gotta luv it!