Following is the response that several people were emailed yesterday after they contacted City Hall about the paving and re-striping on Main Street that was featured August 1st on Buffalo Rising (see here
). Here's the response from The City:
We have received several inquiries as to why bicycle lanes were not included in the recent restriping plan for Main Street between Delavan Avenue and Humboldt Parkway. I offer to you the following reasons why bicycle facilities were not included on this stretch of Main Street at this time:
Purpose and cause for this restriping project
The main reason why this project was undertaken at this time was in an attempt to mitigate the problem of recurring crashes into the center median in front of Sisters Hospital. Shifting of the northbound traffic lanes at a point further south of this median was determined to be the most effective measure that could be taken to improve public safety. The addition of bicycle lanes to this section of roadway would necessitate an even further lateral shift of traffic to avoid contact with the median.
This section of Main Street has an Average Daily Traffic volume of 22,675 vehicles (among the highest volumes in the city) and is also established as a Truck Route. Guidance in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide suggests using treatments which provide greater separation between bicycle and motor vehicle traffic on streets with high traffic volume and regular truck traffic. The pavement width on this section of Main is not enough to provide necessary separation on-street. The appropriate treatment for this section of Main would be separated from the pavement to the west of Main Street and would come at a substantial cost (in excess of 20% of the entire project).
The department has several planned improvements thru 2014 (see map below) that are designed to enhance the connectivity of bicycle routes throughout the City. This small section of Main Street would not serve as a meaningful connection at this time and due to its limited distance, may not provide the intended safety benefits of a bicycle lane. Further connections along Main Street are being considered for the next phase of bicycle route planning, thru 2018. This gives us time to properly plan and identify funds for a more appropriate treatment (i.e. the installation of a separated path) on this section of Main.
Included as part of the planned improvements thru 2014 are a combination of bicycle lanes and shared lane markings on Humboldt Parkway to the east of Main and Elmwood Avenue to the west of Main. These parallel routes provide alternates for travel to and from many of the destinations which would be accessed via Main Street.
One of the key elements of Complete Streets is that while it is important to consider all modes of transportation, not all modes are appropriate for all streets in all contexts. In this case, multiple collisions with an inanimate object located between the curb lines necessitated a restriping project to correct this specific problem. It would have been inappropriate to add on-street bicycle lanes into the equation on a high volume thoroughfare with regular truck traffic while introducing a lane shift until further resources are identified to ensure we are accommodating bicyclists in a safe manner and in accordance with national best practices identified in NACTO's Urban Bikeway Design Guidelines.
^Click to enlarge