As the road construction project along Porter continues, cyclists have been wondering about the lack of bike lanes (from Niagara to LaSalle Park). The completed stretch from Niagara Street to the waterfront is barren of bike lanes, which is unfortunate, although Seyed Ghasemi (Dept. of Public Works) tells me that the wide sidewalk (top photo) that runs along the North side of Porter is to be shared by cyclists and pedestrians. Apparently that sidewalk will be painted with bike symbols to make cyclists aware that it’s OK to ride along the path. From the Peace Bridge to LaSalle Park it looks as if cyclists will have to fend for themselves back on the street or on narrow sidewalks (that are illegal to bike on) as cars enter and exit from the 190. It would be nice to get some effective crosswalks added at these intersections, as well as additional traffic calming measures and overall safer bike conditions.
The plan for Porter from Niagara to Symphony Circle (bottom photo – Phase 2) will have bike lanes on either side of the street. This was a major inclusion that was incorporated by the Department of Public Works with support from Rivera’s office as well as cyclist advocates such as Justin Booth from Green Options Buffalo. One day, Porter could be one of the best cycling routes in the city, since it connects to the Richmond Avenue bike lanes that connect Allentown with the Olmsted parkways. Porter also connects to the bike trail that runs along the Black Rock Channel – the same route that leads from the entrance of LaSalle to the trail behind the Waterfront Village and on to Erie Basin Marina, the Inner Harbor, etc.
Justin Booth tells me that there is a Department of Public Works plan to add bike lanes on Elmwood Avenue that will connect Buffalo State College to new lanes on Forest that will then lead to Richmond. Due to that narrow section of Richmond (between Forest and Bidwell), cyclists will have to settle with road sharrow markers until they reach the bike lanes at Bidwell. Of course, at Porter cyclists will be able to navigate safely to the Peace Bridge, and there are talks regarding best routes to deliver cyclists downtown (such as Niagara Street). The bike trails on the Canadian side include trails along the Niagara River as well as Rails to Trails along the lake that take riders all the way to Port Colborne and beyond.
Now let’s get some bike lanes on Main Street, Michigan, Delavan (between Main Street and Delaware)… and where else?