Bike Lanes

People serving People

Note: this page was updated on Monday, April 9, 2018 and a frequently asked questions page has been added at the bottom. An alternative proposal for the sections of the route on Cathcart Boulevard from Colborne to Christina and Colborne Road from Cathcart to Lakeshore is also provided at the bottom of the page.

At the February 26th meeting, Sarnia City Council directed City Staff to solicit public input on the proposed 2018 bike lane program.

There has been significant interest to date with over 100 people attending the public meeting on March 27, 2018 and over 100 comments submitted. Based on the level of interest in this proposal the deadline for submitting feedback has been extended to Friday, April 27, 2018.  Comments received will be summarized in a report for the Council meeting on Monday, May 7, 2018, rather than on April 16, 2018 as originally noted.

If you missed the public meeting you can view the display boards here .

Dedicated on-street bike lanes provide a safe space for cyclists and make active transportation a more attractive option for the approximately 60% of the total population who are not comfortable cycling in vehicle lanes. Providing active transportation alternatives makes our city a better place to live, enhances the health of our community, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.


The original proposed route includes:After bike lane

  • Adding bike lanes to the existing 2-lane sections on:
    • Russell Street from London Road to Maxwell Street (no parking as existing)
    • Capel Street from Maxwell Street to Exmouth Street (remove 2 hour parking on east side)
    • Cathcart Boulevard from Colborne Road to Christina Street (remove parking from south side)
    • Colborne Road from Cathcart Boulevard to Lakeshore Road (Remove parking from west side)
  • Reducing the 4-lane portion of Capel Street from Exmouth Street to Highway 402 to 2-lanes with bike lanes (no parking as existing)
  • Converting Colborne Road from Highway 402 to Cathcart Boulevard from a 4-lane road to a 3-lane road. This would include two through lanes, a two-way centre left turn lane, and bike lanes. (remove parking on both sides)

This route will create a major north-south cycling corridor in the west end of the City that links neighbourhoods, parks, schools, shopping plazas, the hospital, and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. This route was identified as a high priority in the City’s Transportation Master Plan.  In the fall of 2017, Lambton Public Health conducted cyclist counts at various locations around the city.  Colborne Road had the highest volume with 89 cyclists in a 2-hour period.

The project includes a road diet on Colborne road which will convert the existing 4-lane road into a 3-lane road with bike lanes. Road diets have been proven to reduce vehicle collisions, enhance safety for all modes of transportation, and maintain similar road capacity for vehicles.

Aerial Views

London to Maxwell Aerial

Maxwell to Exmouth Aerial

Exmouth to Guthrie Aerial

Guthrie to Cathcart Aerial

Cathcart to Lakeshore Aerial

Colborne to Christina Aerial

Before and after pictureImpact to on-street parking is always a concern when implementing bike lanes. Historical road design has focused solely on vehicle traffic and a better balance needs to be achieved in the City that supports all modes of transportation.  Parking reductions are required along this route to accommodate the bike lanes and are specified in more detail below.

The City welcomes your feedback on this proposed cycling route. Written comments related to the project should be submitted to the Engineering Department by Friday, April 27, 2018.  Comments can be sent by e-mail to, or mailed to the Engineering Department, 3rd Floor, Sarnia City Hall, 255 North Christina Street, P.O. Box 3018, Sarnia, Ontario N7T 7N2.

A report will be prepared for the Monday, May 7, 2018 Sarnia City Council meeting with a summary of the feedback received.

Road Diet

Historically, cities have widened 2-lane roads to 4-lane roads when traffic volume growth indicated the need for more capacity. Over the past decade the transportation engineering industry has recognized that a 3 lane road is a safer alternative that provides similar capacity improvements.  Many municipalities are implementing road diets and converting existing 4-lane roads into 3-lane roads with studies showing a decrease in overall collisions in the range of 19% – 47%


Table 1 – 3-Lane vs. 4-Lane Cross Section

3-Lane 4-Lane
Sightlines are improved when opposing left turn vehicles are aligned Sightlines are limited when left turn vehicles are offset
The number of conflict points is reduced by eliminating lane shifting Drivers often shift lanes to avoid parked or turning vehicles
Less lanes simplifies crossing for pedestrians Multiple through lanes complicates crossing for pedestrians
Spare asphalt can be reallocated to provide dedicated space for cyclists Cycling on multilane roads where vehicles often shift lanes increases safety risks

Aerial View

On-Street Parking Impact

Existing road width currently used for on-street parking will need to be reallocated to be used for the proposed bike lanes. In general, on-street parking will be fully removed on sections where it is already limited to no parking from 7am-7pm or 2 hour parking from Monday to Saturday.  Where there is all day on street parking available it will be reduced to one side of the road.  The proposed parking changes are:Bike Lanes

Alternative Proposal

Based on feedback received to date an alternative proposal has been developed and is under consideration for the sections from:

  • Cathcart Boulevard between Colborne Road and Christina Street
  • Colborne Road between Cathcart Boulevard and Lakeshore Road

In the original proposal these sections included the addition of bike lanes which required the removal of parking from one side of the street. Although traffic volumes are lower, and with only two lanes there is more space for sharing the road with cyclists, the original proposal included standard bike lanes to create a complete bike lane network connecting to Canatara Park and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail/Baxter Park & Beach.  An alternative proposal for these sections would be to define the parking with pavement marking and paint sharrows (bike symbol with arrows) in the through lane.  The pavement markings and bike route signage would provide additional notification to drivers and cyclists that this is a bike route.  These two sections would remain as 2-lane roads with parking on both sides as they are now.  The City is interested in your feedback on this alternative option.


Frequently Asked Questions