A new pilot will see five kilometres of separated bike lanes built in Kitchener as part of a project to keep cyclists safe.

As of Friday, construction of the rubber curbs and flexible posts had begun on Queen’s Boulevard, Belmont Avenue and Water Street.

Those roads were chosen as "natural connection points" between residential areas and other cycling routes, a press release from the city says.

Water Street was appealing because of its existing painted bike lanes, which will offer a direct comparison in the effectiveness of the two systems.

The other two roads were chosen because they’re wider than the average street.

"These roads see over 10,000 cars per day at speeds averaging up to 60 km/h in some sections, and 70 per cent of cyclists are riding on the sidewalks to avoid traffic," said Ward Eight Coun. Margaret Johnston.

Data that the city collects during the project will help determine whether protected bike lanes would be feasible in other parts of the city.

According to Aaron McCrimmon-Jones, manager of transportation planning, the city will be using a sensor that detects when someone travels down the street by car, bike or foot.

"We’ve been measuring these streets for several months, so we have data about how the streets are currently being used," he explains.

Construction is expected to finish in September, with the pilot program itself running until September 2020.

It’s budgeted to cost around $430,000.