Cycling has been growing in popularity in Québec in recent years. Between 1987 and 1995, the number of people using their bike at least once a week rose by 68%, and it is estimated that there are nearly 5 million bikes in Québec. Cycling is a major social phenomenon. The summer months see more and more cyclists on the roads, either alone or in groups.
By law, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult when riding their bicycles on roads and road shoulders where the speed limit exceeds 50 km/h.
Diversified Cycling Facilities
In Québec, cyclists have the right to ride on most roads, with the exception of autoroutes. Motorists and truck drivers must be especially careful when they see them at the far right or the road. To improve the safety of cyclists on cycling routes, which are becoming increasingly prevalent, four types of facilities are provided.
Paved shoulders allowed cyclists to share the road with motorists and truckers. Shoulder width varies from 1 m to 1.75m. Road shoulders are marked off with a white line, and cyclists travel on them in the same direction as other traffic.
Since these facilities are relatively new in Québec, the above sign is used to indicate to motorists and truck drivers that cyclists may be using the paved shoulder of the road.
Designated roadways are routes developed on low traffic streets and on roads where traffic is slow. They are recognized as bikeways. They do not have corridors reserved for cyclists, but signs indicate that they are used by them. In addition, bicycle pictograms painted on a road remind motorists and cyclists that they are sharing the roadway.
Bicycle lanes are provided in urban areas, along the pavement. They are reserved solely for cyclists and are marked off on the pavement or indicated with physical features.
Bicycle paths are specially designed for cyclists ans are generally located away from all automobile traffic. They may be reserved for cyclists only or they may be open to other road users, such as pedestrians or rollerbladers. Signs similar to those used on road are always posted on cycling paths and, when possible, markings are also used.