The Region of Peel Cyclists Handbook
Join thousands of people in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon who ride bicycles because it’s convenient, healthy, inexpensive and fun.
This handbook will teach you about your bicycle, traffic laws and safe cycling habits. When riding your bike, always remember to use your best judgement, take your time, and have fun!
Bike Lanes in Brampton
The City is building a network of well-connected bike lanes and recreational trails that will make travel by bike a safe and desirable option for school, work, recreation, and other trips. Here are some examples of existing and future types of bike facilities you will find in Brampton.
- Bike Lanes
Bike lanes are lanes dedicated exclusively for use by cyclists through a combination of pavement markings and signage. Bike lanes are most appropriate on collectors or minor arterial roads, depending on the speed and volume of traffic.
- Bike Signals
Separate signal head for cyclists are provided for some cycling facilities, depending on the location and phasing requirements of cyclists. The signals are recognizable from other traffic signals by the bike symbol.
Crossrides allow cyclists to stay on their bikes while crossing through intersections. They are located where multi-use paths cross a road. Crossrides are identified with a line of painted squares on both sides of the crossing, and may also include painted bicycle marks.
When you’re riding your bike:
- If the intersection has bicycle signals, look for a cyclist pushbutton. If there is a button, push it and wait until the bicycle signal is green.
- Ride cautiously across the intersection within the crossride. Watch for left- and right-turning vehicles to be sure they see you and are yielding.
- Travel at a speed that allows you to stop quickly if a vehicle turns across your path.
- Don’t pass other cyclists within the crossride. If pedestrians are crossing, ring your bell to let them know you are approaching and pass carefully.
- By law, cyclists must yield to pedestrians on multi-use trails.
If you are driving a vehicle:
- When making a turn, look for cyclists and pedestrians who are approaching or crossing the intersection.
- Signal your turn early, giving other road users time to react.
- Check your blind spot before turning.
- Cycle Tracks
Cycle tracks (also referred to as protected bike lanes or separated bike lanes) are enhanced cycling facilities that provide some form of physical protection between cyclists and moving cars – it could be bollards, curbs, or parked cars, as examples. Cycle tracks are most appropriate on arterial roads, depending on the speed and volume of traffic.
- Multi-Use Paths & Recreational Trails
Multi-use paths are located off-road, either in the boulevard of a roadway or through land without any roads. Both pedestrians and cyclists can use these facilities, and pavement markings and signage can help to clarify how users should share the path.
- Urban Shoulders
Urban shoulders are the same width as a bicycle lane, but are not used just for bicycles – they can also be used for on-street parking. Urban shoulders are typically implemented as an interim measure to provide a local cycling connection to area schools, businesses, trails and recreation centres. Once an overall connected cycling network is established, these urban shoulders can easily be converted into designated bicycle lanes.
- Bike Lanes at Intersections
Bicycle lanes are reserved for people on bikes. They are typically marked by a solid white line and a bicycle symbol.
If you are driving a vehicle, you may sometimes need to enter or cross a bicycle lane to turn right at an intersection or driveway. Take extra care when you do this.
- Watch for cyclists' hand signals. A cyclist may indicate a right-hand turn by extending their right arm.
- Try to make eye contact when possible with cyclist
- When turning right, signal and check your mirrors and the blind spot to your right to make sure you do not cut off a cyclist.
- Enter the bike lane only after ensuring that you can do so safely, and then make the turn.
- For bike lanes that have a solid line extending to the intersection, vehicles are not allowed to enter the bike lane and must yield to cyclists before they can complete their right turn.
- For bike lanes that have a dashed line leading to the intersection, drivers are allowed to enter the bike lane when it is safe and clear of cyclists. Cyclists must then pass the turning vehicle on the left or wait behind the vehicle until the lane is clear.
- Bike Queue Box
Certain intersections in Brampton have green “bike boxes,” which allow cyclists to proceed ahead of vehicles when the traffic signal turns green.
When you’re riding your bike, position yourself in the green queue box to the left, centre or right, depending on where you are headed, and remember to signal your turn if making one.
On a red light:
- Bicycles stop in the green box
- Cars stop behind the white line
When light turns green:
- Bicycles go first
- Right-turning cars, check for bicycles before turning
- Bike Lanes and Transit Stops
Buses are allowed to stop in a bike lane briefly at transit stops. When riding in a bike lane approaching a stopped bus that is loading and/or unloading passengers, you must yield right-of-way to the bus. Do not attempt to pass the bus on it’s right hand side until it has completely cleared the bike lane.
Active transportation means using people power to get where you’re going! You can use your feet, bike, scooter, or any other form of non-motorized vehicle to get you to your destination.
Did you know?! Active Transportation…
- Helps to promote well-being and positive mental health, including reducing day to day stress
- Increases physical fitness/activity, including helping to lower risks of chronic disease such as obesity and/or diabetes.
- Increases the ability to learn, improves concentration, and helps your children do better in school.
- Help to reduce traffic congestion in and around school zones which means safer streets for everyone.
- Helps to reduce your climate impact and the harmful effects of air pollution.
Make walking or rolling to school your first choice! If it were up to the kids, they would choose walking or rolling to school as their first choice. Why not make it your first choice too? Even if your school is far from home, students can walk to the bus stop! Consider different ways a pick-up or drop-off routine could include stepping out of your car and completing your journey to school by walking or rolling.
Plan and practice! As a household you can begin to practice your route to school together. You can also encourage children to walk or roll on their own, with siblings, or friends, depending on their age and maturity.