Mayor Byron W. Brown has taken a very positive first step to create Buffalo as a Bicycle Friendly City. This past weekend the mayor, along with Green Option Buffalo, announced the implementation of a commercial district bicycle parking program which will install bicycle racks in commercial districts throughout the City along public right of way in order to facilitate greater opportunities for traveling by bicycle.
“In a time when we are faced with an increase of challenges, both from the impact of global warming and ever increasing gas prices, we have to look at all reasonable alternatives that will strengthen our residents’ quality of life,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “By placing new bike racks throughout our commercial districts, as well as other designated areas, we are working to make Buffalo a greener and more environmentally sound city. We will provide business district organizations with a chance to request new bike racks for locations they designate in their respective sections of city.”
An installation request form (see attached) is available through the city’s Department of Public Works and it will also be available through the city’s website. Any city-based business, business organization or building owner can request the placement of bicycle parking in locations they designate in their respective commercial district which will then be installed by the city free of charge.
The parking program will allow a business or building owner to identify if an existing parking meter is available to be converted for bicycle parking use, if not, a free standing rack will be installed. Businesses also have the ability to identify if they would like their new racks to be a part of the Blue Bicycle initiative which will identify the location as a new hub increasing bicycle sharing access as well.
Funding for the program was secured by Green Options Buffalo, the city will provide the initial $25,000 investment, but will be reimbursed up to 80% from federal grant funds through the federal Clean Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement program. Importantly, more resources through this federal aid program can be tapped, up to $100,000, if demand is generated. Thus, it is important to start reserving your bicycle racks now!
In addition, Mayor Brown is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which has been working collectively on climate issues. He has signed on to the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Project, an initiative that addresses environmental issues in the Untied States. Recently, mayors involved in the project adopted a resolution to integrate bicycling into the nation’s transportation, climate, energy and health policy initiatives.
According to the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Project, the benefits of becoming a bike-friendly city start with an improved quality of life for all residents. Adopting such green-oriented policies and improving overall public health can lead to a stronger urban environment, potentially leading to stronger property values and business growth.