Cycling 'crossrides' explained

Crossings for people, bikes

The City of Victoria has rebuilt the intersection of Fernwood Road and Haultain Street to include centre islands, “crossrides,” “sharrows” and a right in, right out (RIRO) restriction for Haultain. This has resulted in confusion among road users leading to collisions.

According to the person who asked me about this, the conflict is caused by cyclists who fail to stop for the stop signs on Hautain and fail to yield to cross traffic on Fernwood.

This RIRO intersection design is meant to reduce motor vehicle traffic by diversion in a quiet residential neighbourhood and make it more attractive as a cycle route. The traffic islands and centre bollard prevents motor vehicle traffic from travelling straight through on Haultain.

The first pavement markings found as you approach the intersection on Haultain are “sharrows.” These announce the cyclist may be using the left side of the lane in preparation for crossing the intersection.

According to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Devices for Canada, the “crossride,” or a series of square markings and cyclist symbols in an intersection, indicates the path cyclists crossing an intersection will use.

Cyclists on Haultain intending to cross Fernwood will approach the intersection using the left side of the lane. They will stop at the marked stop line as required by the stop sign. Having yielded as necessary, they will cross using the crossride for their direction of travel.

Once across the intersection riders will move back to the required position at the right side of the lane.

The cycle lane and crossride may also be used by other modes of traffic depending on the municipality and its bylaws.

Perhaps you've already heard of an “elephant's foot” crosswalk. This is actually a combination of a crossride and a crosswalk. The two may also be marked side by side.

Motorists do have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, but there is no requirement to yield in the same manner for cyclists in a crossride. That includes when the two are combined.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

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