Protected bike lanes are coming to Waterloo thanks to a decision from the region.

Regional council approved funds for the pilot on Thursday night. A contractor plans to start work almost immediately.

The lanes are destined for the university area where cycling is common, along streets like University Avenue, Columbia Street and Albert Street.

The nine kilometre project will comprise of dedicated lanes, bollards, curbs and flower boxes to separate cyclists from traffic.

The region has installed hundreds of bollards in Uptown Waterloo over the summer to enhance cycling safety, and says this roadway likely won't be the last to get cycling infrastructure.

"Active transportation is fairly high priority in our strategic plan," Coun. Tom Galloway explains.

"Providing safe pedestrian and cycling facilities is a high priority and we are investing fairly significantly in the region, particularly in those facilities. And this is a good example of it."

The lane installation will cost roughly $1 million. The region is also considering extending the bollards to go along King Street to University.

That decision is not yet final and will be considered in 2020.