Brightly coloured bike lanes aim for safe cycling

City also imposes stricter penalties on drivers for endangering cyclists

There’s a new bike lane in Toronto and it’s eye-catching.

The new lanes on Richmond and Adelaide streets are yellow, bright and bold to make them stand out for drivers — which should make cyclists feel safer.

Cyclist Meredith Grace Johnson, 22, says she doesn’t feel safe on streets with other bike lanes.

“The only place I feel safe biking in this city is on separated bike lanes, such as Roncesvalles, or Sherbourne, or even just the Lakeshore bike trail,” she says.

The City of Toronto is also passing by-laws to insure road safety.

Penalties include a $365 fine and three demerit points for dooring a cyclist. Passing a cyclist within one metre brings a $110 fine and two demerit points.

Despite these laws, Johnson still feels unsafe cycling on older bike lanes, which are prevalent in the city.

“Since harsher penalties have become law this month, I’ve noticed no difference in the amount of careless driving I’ve witnessed.”

CycleTO, a cycle-advocacy group, is working to eradicate that problem by calling out those drivers.

Media spokesman Jared Kolb says he hopes that bike lanes similar to the newest addition on Richmond and Adelaide will help cyclists citywide feel safer.

“Seventy-three per cent of Torontonians say that the lack of cycling infrastructure is holding them back from riding more often,” he says. “The protected bike lanes on Richmond and Adelaide are a game changer for Torontonians enabling more people to ride bicycles.”

The City of Toronto is working to create a network of safety for those cyclists,  with plans for new equally visible bike lanes for 2016.