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Guide to cycling

Everything you need to know to get around by bicycle:
safety tips, signs and local laws, and links to maps and routes.

Routes

Whether you are cycling within the city limits or travelling out of or into Vancouver, there are routes for riders of all abilities. Extend your ride by taking your bike on transit.

Safety

Our top safety tips are also the law: always remember your helmet, and use a white headlight and rear red light and reflector after dark, when it's foggy, or when it's raining.

Be visible

In addition to using headlights and rear lights when it's dark, rainy, or foggy:

  • Wear bright or reflective clothing
  • Attach reflectors to your tires, wheels, and bike frame
  • Use reflective stickers on your helmet and bag

Position yourself

When you ride:

  • Use designated crossing points
  • Use designated bike lanes and routes when possible
  • Keep at least 1 m away from parked cars when on the road

Be considerate

To keep you and others safe:

  • Dismount or bike at walking speed in crowds
  • Walk your bike on sidewalks and through crosswalks unless otherwise posted
  • Obey the 15 km/h speed limit on shared pathways like the Seawall

Road markings

Know what these symbols and road markings mean to help keep you safe, whether you're cycling, driving, rolling, or walking.

Cycling road signs and markings

By City of Vancouver

 

  • Bicycle symbol and sign for designated bicycle routes

    By City of Vancouver

    This sign and pavement marking shows that you are on a designated bicycle route.

  • Green-painted pavement along bicycle routes

    By City of Vancouver

    In North America, green is the standard colour for cycling facilities. Green-painted pavement identifies locations for potential conflicts with vehicles, such as street- and driveway crossings. Watch for turning, crossing, or merging motor vehicles.

  • Diamond-and-bicycle symbol and sign for dedicated bicycle lanes

    By City of Vancouver

    Motor vehicles, buses, and motorcycles are not permitted to travel or stop in this lane unless making a right turn onto a cross street. Transit buses may stop at designated stops.

  • Diamond symbol and sign for special vehicle lanes

    By City of Vancouver

    You may ride your bicycle in lanes reserved for special vehicles like buses and carpools.

  • Bicycle-and-arrow symbol for routes changing direction

    By City of Vancouver

    Follow the arrows to stay on the bicycle route.

  • Sharrow symbol for shared roadways

    By City of Vancouver

    Position yourself along this pavement symbol to safely share the road with other vehicles.

  • Shared-pathway symbol and sign

    By City of Vancouver

    Yield to people walking when you're on an off-street pathway shared by people walking and cycling. Look for this symbol around the Seawall.

  • Traffic-signal sensor symbol

    By City of Vancouver

    Line up your wheels with the lines on either side of this bicycle symbol to trigger a traffic signal change.

  • Dedicated bicycle traffic signal

    By City of Vancouver

    Watch out for traffic signals specifically for people on bicycles so you know when it's your turn to cross the street.

  • Crossbike symbol (elephants' feet)

    By City of Vancouver

    Crossbikes are crosswalks with dotted lines (or "elephants' feet") for people walking and cycling. You may ride your bicycle through the crossing. Always yield to people walking.

  • Bicycle box symbol

    By City of Vancouver

    Position yourself in the green box at a stop signal so you can proceed before other vehicles when it's time to cross. Pay special attention to the green bike box when you turn left off of a protected bicycle lane.

Laws

In Vancouver, you can ride your bicycle on roads, in protected bike lanes, and, when signs permit, on the Seawall and park paths. 

Electric-assisted bikes, skateboards, push scooters, rollerblades, and rollerskates are also allowed in protected bike lanes.

Review where it's ok to cycle, ride, and skate

Park Board bylaw

The Parks Control Bylaw regulates how park paths and the Seawall are used.

Parks Control Bylaw


Bike registry

Register your bicycle on the 529 Garage mobile app or website for free. If your bike is stolen, this will significantly improve the chances of finding it.   

Report

Quickly report issues and request City services with our VanConnect app.

Download VanConnect

Or use the links below to try VanConnect in your browser.