We’ve heard some questions recently on social media regarding the use of white square pavement markings at shared-use path (SUP) crossings along the new SUP on 102 Avenue and wanted to provide some more information about these crossings.
White squares at crosswalks are a brand new road marking for the city. In Edmonton, white square markings provide a stronger sense of space and visibility for cyclists, and signal to both drivers and cyclists that cyclists are able to ride through the intersection and to look out for them. At these shared intersections cyclists are required to yield to motorists and pedestrians. When it is safe to cross the intersection, there is no need for cyclists to dismount their bikes. Motorists turning north should be mindful to watch out for cyclists and pedestrians on the shared-use path.
The provincial Traffic Safety Act does not identify a cyclist riding through the intersection as having right-of-way over an intersecting vehicle, unless the cyclist has dismounted and is crossing the roadway as a pedestrian. At the crossings along 102 Avenue, yield signs for cyclists have been installed to reflect the Traffic Safety Act. The City of Edmonton is currently working with the Province of Alberta and a number of other municipalities on a project to create positive changes for cycling within the Traffic Safety Act, which will include a review of different cycling treatments through intersections.
The City of Calgary uses these white squares at signalized intersections only. They have updated their municipal bylaw to provide right-of-way to an individual riding a bicycle across the roadway within a crossing marked with these white squares. However in Calgary, these markings are only used at crossings at signalized intersections where the signal phase would already provide the cyclist with right-of-way.
In Edmonton, white square markings provide conspicuity for cyclists, and signal to both drivers and cyclists that cyclists are able to ride through the intersection and to look out for them.
As bike routes grow in the City of Edmonton, drivers and cyclists can expect to see more of these types of crossings around the city in the future.