Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Bus-only and Bicycle Lanes

See also Region of Durham – Works – Reserved Lanes (click here) for more information including animated graphics.

 Q:  How do I turn right across a bus-only and bike lane?

A:  Vehicles can enter the bus-only lane immediately before the street or driveway they wish to turn onto.  The typical allowable distance from the turning location is 60 metres.  Dashed lane markings indicate where it is acceptable to change lanes to enter the bus-only lane to conduct your turn.  Note that the regular rules for lane changes apply; change lanes only when it is safe to do so and there is no vehicle approaching in the bus-only lane.  Similarly, vehicles can turn right across the bicycle lane only when there is no bicycle approaching.  At major intersections, such as at Highway 2/Salem Road or Highway 2/Harwood Avenue, there is a dedicated right turn lane separate from the bus-only and bicycle lanes.  Vehicles are expected to enter it within the dashed lane marking zone by safely crossing over the bus-only lane and the bicycle lane well in advance of the intersection.

 Q:  If the through lane is congested, can I run up to the right turn in the bus-only lane?

A:  A vehicle can only enter the bus-only lane to complete a safe turning movement to or from an intersection or driveway.  If you drive in the bus-only lane for a distance greater than 60 metres you may be charged under the Highway Traffic Act.

 Q:  If I am riding my bicycle in the bicycle lane and about to enter an intersection, can a car turn right in front of me?

A:  As the more vulnerable road user, a cyclist must always be on the lookout for cars crossing his or her path.  In this situation, the car driver should not turn until the cyclist has passed or turned.

 Q:  If I am in a plaza and turning out onto Hwy 2 in my car, do I turn into the bus-only lane or into the car lane?

A: You can turn into either lane.  If you choose to turn into the bus lane, you can drive up to 60 metres in the bus lane to safely merge left into the car lane. If you drive in the bus-only lane for a distance greater than 60 metres you may be charged under the Highway Traffic Act.

 Q:  I need to use the accessible ramp to get on and off the Pulse Bus.  How will this work with the bike lane between the bus-only lane and the bus stop?

A:  The bus will cross safely into the bicycle lane and pull up to the curb so that the accessible ramp can be operated in a normal fashion.

 Q:  If I am riding my bike in the bicycle lane and come up behind a stopped bus, which is pulled to the curb and obstructing the bike lane, should I wait for it to move or can I pass it?

A:  You can choose to wait or you can choose to pass the bus, if you can do so safely.  A bus usually only stops momentarily at each stop.  Your decision may be based on whether you know if the bus has just arrived at the stop and is going to remain there because there are many passengers loading, etc.

 Q:  Am I allowed to use my electric wheelchair or my personal mobility device in the bicycle lane?

A:  Personal mobility devices, including wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs and medical scooters, are allowed to go anywhere a pedestrian is allowed, unless the local municipality has passed a bylaw further restricting their use.  They should be used on the sidewalk and not within the bicycle lane.

 Q:  Am I allowed to use my e-bike or my scooter in the bicycle lane?

A:  Ontario law allows users of power assisted bicycles (includes e-bike and electric scooters with a maximum speed of 32 km/hr.) to use them wherever a bicycle can go, unless the local municipality has passed a bylaw further restricting their use.  More information regarding the use of e-bikes is available on the Ministry of Transportation website (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/).

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