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Bike box signs on Pacific Boulevard

Signs, signals, and regulations

Our priorities are the safety of:

  • People walking and cycling 
  • At-risk groups like children, seniors, and those with mobility challenges

We use signs, signals, and painted road markings to let you know where you can walk or ride your bicycle safely.

Flashing beacons to enhance crosswalk safety

We are testing rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at three crosswalks in the City:

  1. Victoria Drive and Grant Street
  2. West Boulevard and 42nd Avenue
  3. Elliot Street and Waverly Avenue

When you cross the street at these locations, press the button to turn on the high-intensity light and let people driving or cycling know you’re crossing.

Flashing beacons are suited where many people cross the road, drivers rarely stop, and a pedestrian signal isn’t essential.

Watch a video about how the beacons work.

Crossing signals

Pedestrian safety traffic signal

Pedestrian crossing signal

The walking pedestrian light means cross the street within the painted crosswalk lines if it is safe.

The flashing hand means it's too late to cross if you haven't already started so wait until the next walking pedestrian light.

The steady hand means don't cross and wait until the next walking pedestrian light.

Pedestrian safety countdown timer

Countdown timer

The countdown timer may appear next to the signals above, depending on the intersection. When you see the flashing hand and countdown, it's too late to cross if you haven't already so wait until the next walking pedestrian light. 

Road signs and markings

Know what these signs and symbols mean to help keep you safe, however you're travelling.

Bicycle symbol and sign for designated bicycle routes

Sign with bicycle for designated bicycle routes Pavement marking with bicycle for designated bicycle routes This sign and pavement marking shows that you are on a designated bicycle route.

Green-painted pavement along bicycle routes

The City is updating bicycle boxes and lanes to green from red.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

Sign with diamond symbol for dedicated bicycle lanes Pavement marking of diamond symbol for dedicated bicycle lanesMotor 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

Sign for special vehicle lanes Pavement marking for special vehicle lanesYou may ride your bicycle in lanes reserved for special vehicles like buses and carpools.

Bicycle-and-arrow symbol for routes changing direction

Pavement marking with bicycle and arrow for changing bicycle routeFollow the arrows to stay on the bicycle route.

Sharrow symbol for shared roadways

Pavement marking for shared roadways Pavement marking on green-painted pavement for shared roadwaysPosition yourself along this pavement symbol to safely share the road with other vehicles.

Shared-pathway symbol and sign

Sign of a person walking and a bicycle for shared pathways Pavement marking of a person walking and a bicycle for shared pathwaysYield 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

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

Dedicated bicycle traffic signal

Bicycle traffic signalWatch 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)

Crossbike symbol for separated crossings for people walking and cycling Crossbike symbol for combined crossings for people walking and cyclingCrossbikes 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

Bicycle box pavement symbol for advanced crossings before other vehicles Diagram for how to turn left from a protected bike lane when there's a bicycle boxPosition 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.

Keep right sign

We install the keep right sign to mark traffic circles and curb bulges.

Maximum 30 km/h

These speed limit signs are installed in school and playground zones, and on bike routes only.

Pedestrian crosswalk

We install pedestrian crosswalk signs when we paint zebra markings.

Signs not installed by the City

We do not install:

  • "No trucks" signs in residential areas because they are reserved for arterial streets and industrial-zoned areas
  • "One way" signs because they would negatively affect nearby streets and lanes
  • "Slow down", "Slow: children playing", or "Residential traffic only" signs on streets because they are not enforceable and they add to sign clutter

Where it's ok to cycle, ride, and skate

Hoverboards, motorized scooters, and Segways are currently not allowed on City streets, sidewalks, paths (including the Seawall), and protected bike lanes.

Vehicle Roads Sidewalks Seawall and park paths Protected bike lanes
Bikes Yes No Yes1 Yes
Electric-assisted bikes Yes No No Yes
Skateboards, push scooters, rollerblades, and skates Yes2 No Yes Yes
Motorized skateboards or scooters No No No No
Segways No No No No
Hoverboards No No No No
Motorized wheelchairs No Yes Yes No
Motorbikes and limited-speed motorcycles Yes No No No

Notes

  1. Where signs permit
  2. Local streets only

What's new

Learn about the updates on skateboards in protected bike lanes and Street and Traffic Bylaw amendments.

In December 2015 Council approved that skates, skateboards, and push-scooters be permitted in protected bike lanes for a trial period.

Skateboard volumes have been low and no concerns were received from the public, VPD, or ICBC during the trial period.

Council approved making the trial permanent in November 2017.

The current definition of Jaywalking restricts crossing minor streets withing a block of a signal. A review of collision data indicated there are no concerns with this common behavior. 

In November 2017, Council approved revising the definition of Jaywalking to exempt minor streets within a block of a signal. However, pedestrians crossing mid-block in minor streets will give right-of-way to motorists.

Elephant’s feet are painted white squares and can be placed outside the painted white lines that mark pedestrian crosswalks. In this case, bike crossing is shared with pedestrians.

Elephant’s feet can also be placed on one side of the pedestrian crossing markings, so that pedestrians and cyclists each have their own crossing.

Bike crossing markings are a National standard but are not defined in the Motor Vehicle Act or Street and Traffic Bylaw. 

New designs have shown the need to create separate crossings for cyclists and pedestrians by using Elephant's Feet markings.

In November 2017, Council approved their inclusion in the Streets and Traffic Bylaw.

The current crosswalk definition under the Street and Traffic Bylaw includes space from curb to property line, even when there is a marked crosswalk.

The Motor Vehicle Act defines a crosswalk as the space from the curb to property line, or if there is already a marked crosswalk, as the space from the curb to the markings.

In November 2017, Council approved updating the definition of a crosswalk to be consistent with the Motor Vehicle Act.

Report an issue or request a service

Report street light issues

Report traffic or pedestrian signal issues

Use this VanConnect form to request traffic or pedestrian signal changes, additions, and repairs.

Street lights on Union Street

Report street light issues

Use our app to report street light issues in Vancouver.

Use this VanConnect form to request sidewalk repairs in the city.

Request sidewalk repairs

Use this VanConnect form to request sidewalk repairs in the city.

Use this VanConnect form to request sign repair in the city.

Request sign repair

Use this VanConnect form to request sign repair in the city.

Report stop sign issues

Report damaged stop signs

A damaged stop sign can be a hazard to pedestrians and vehicles.

Phone 3-1-1 immediately to report signs that are damaged, missing, or blocked (for example, by branches).

Request stop sign changes

Phone 3-1-1 to request:

  • Stop signs be installed at an uncontrolled intersection
  • Directional changes for existing stop signs
  • Additional stop signs be installed (for example, change a two-way stop to a four-way stop)
Report traffic or pedestrian signal issuesRequest sign repair