Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
Local cyclist Ken Shields bikes in the designated bike lane on Vickers Street Thursday afternoon.
THUNDER BAY -- Bike lanes in the city are officially open for the season.
Thursday marked the opening of the bikes lanes and it's a day the city's active transportation coordinator Adam Krupper has been waiting a long time for.
"The weather is a little drizzly and rainy but at least it's not snowing. It's a good start," Krupper said.
The opening of the lanes means parking restrictions now apply in the designated cycling lanes and motorists also can't drive in the lanes either, particularly when turning right at an intersection.
New bike lanes will also be painted on Pioneer Drive, Valley Street, Winnipeg Avenue and Grenville Avenue.
The city is also trying something new called painted edge lines on Ray Boulevard, McKibbin Street and Ford Street.
The edge line is a painted line 1.2 metres from the curb where parking is still allowed.
"It allows motorists and cyclists to recognize the route as a cycling route," Krupper said.
While there have been calls for a north-south link in the Memorial Avenue area by the cycling community, the city doesn't have plans in the immediate future for a project like that.
However, city project engineer Mike Vogrig said there is work being done on Golf Links Road that includes an off-road, north-south route.
"Once that work is complete, there will be a link from Red River Road to the Harbour Expressway," Vogrig said, adding there is also a plan for road work on Balmoral Avenue.
That project spans from Lakehead University to Waterloo Street and it could include more off-road cycling trails.
The city will be working on the Golf Links and Balmoral projects over the next five to seven years.