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Another Main Street Missed Opportunity

The City of Buffalo is currently footing the bill for repaving Main Street between Humboldt Parkway and Delavan Avenue. Crews have been working since last week to remove the worn out asphalt and are preparing to lay down some new lane markings today. Unfortunately, those new markings will not include bike lanes.
Any roads, new bridges, etc. in Erie County that are receiving federal money must be reviewed by the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) for a number of different reasons, including an evaluation to see if bike lanes are feasible. Since this project is funded by the City coffers alone, no such review needed to be completed.
The planted medians along Main Street between Bailey Avenue and Humboldt Parkway have been the cause of many headaches since they were installed. Snowplows and distracted drivers just can’t seem to avoid hitting them, resulting in multiple repairs throughout the year. The planted median treatment was chosen over bike lanes years ago when the project was first announced, regardless of much opposition.
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Main Street goes from four lanes of traffic, two lanes of parking, and the median to six lanes of traffic with some parking once it crosses Humboldt Parkway, which seems more than adequate for the inclusion of some bike lanes. The lack of effort to evaluate if bike lanes were a possibility marks another missed opportunity on Main Street. Additionally, when Social Bicycles completes the beta testing program and is officially launched to the public, it would have been fantastic to provide some lanes for the hopefully large additional cycling community to follow. Not to mention that this missed opportunity would have greatly enhances biking opportunities for Canisius College students and faculty. Looks like a major loophole for the Complete Streets initiative.
 Although the fresh pavement will be nice for cyclists who ride on the street regardless, those less brave souls will be stuck with the terrible sidewalk along this stretch. Anyone who as ever walked or biked there is well aware that it is possibly the worst section of sidewalk on Main Street.

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

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