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Bike News (or no news) on Hertel and Kenmore

During the flurry of street paving activity that we are seeing right now in the city, some BRO readers have been wondering about bike lanes and sharrows for Kenmore Avenue and Hertel Avenue.

First off, there is a huge street paving project underway on Kenmore Avenue – a commercial thoroughfare that desperately needs a spruce up and maybe even a new identity (it’s currently part urban, part sprawl, part new, part old, part commercial, part residential, and has no real uniformity or long term direction). Currently Phase 2 of the Kenmore Avenue construction project is underway (mill and overlay work on both sides of Kenmore Avenue between Colvin and Elmwood Avenue), and readers are inquiring whether bike lanes or sharrows are being incorporated into the project.

I asked GOBike Buffalo’s Justin Booth if he was privy to whether bike amenities were being added to the joint City-County project, and he shared that a section of the street is slated to have bike facilities. It is interesting to note that the County owns and maintains the westbound lane, and the City owns and maintains the eastbound lane. The County completed mill and overlay work between Fairfield and Colvin in 2013.

At the same time that Kenmore Avenue is being fixed up, another reader is wondering if the street work on Hertel Avenue (around the North Park Theatre) will provide any bike-friendly features. When I asked Justin about that project, he was not aware of any bike facilities scheduled to come to the street. He then provided me with the most recent Complete Streets map to pass along to those who are inquiring about enhanced bike lanes, sharrows, etc, being implemented throughout the city.

According to the map, there is a small section on Kenmore, around the University District, that is getting bike facilities (I am assuming sharrows) and nothing planned for Hertel. It’s unfortunate that Kenmore is not the recipient of more bike measures. As for Hertel, without complete mill and overlay, the City may not warrant Complete Street measures to take effect.



Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • JSmith11

    North Buffalo has definitely been neglected in the recent wave of bicycle infrastructure. I don’t think there are any bike lanes north of the Scajaquada apart from the older ones on Niagara and Vulcan in Riverside.
    I would particularly like to see Colvin striped for bike lanes. It is definitely wide enough – one of those “lane and a half” streets that people make their own second lane on. It is a major corridor from the North Park area to Delaware Park and the bike path over the Delaware Avenue bridge and beyond that to the Scajaquada Creek bike path. Let’s calm traffic and make it more comfortable and safe for families and kids to ride to Delaware Park.

  • LouisTully

    JSmith11 Starin and Delavan are the same, create-a-lane.

  • RMGreenfield

    Let’s just do follow whatever model Montreal did. That city is so bike-friendly! Really, this can be tourist attraction. For real.

  • qwerty1010

    WTF is going on here.  We put bike lanes everywhere else, all over the Elmwood Village and the greater West Side, We put them all the way down Filmore but not on Hertel?  Hertel is a main East-West route through North Buffalo. 

    How much could it possibly cost to put down some goddamn sharrows?  North Buffalo deserves better.  Hertel is super wide and people speed like crazy down it.  It was one of the last major streets to get done before Buffalo learned that it needs to implement ALL of the street calming measures to make a street really poedestrian and bike friendly.

  • sharrows are not enough. period.

  • whateverr

    LouisTully JSmith11 S
    No, for sure Delavan isn’t wide enough for any bike lane.  It’s wide enough only for 1-lane of cars in each direction plus its 1 side of parking.
    For js’s suggestions about Colvin & Starin – those are wider than Delavan, so possibly yes they could fit bike lanes…  although to have a bike lane in both directions on those might be a tight fit in their portions that allow parking.

  • LouisTully

    whateverr LouisTully JSmith11 Um.   I suppose I should have been more clear.  How about Delavan from Delaware all the way to Jefferson.  But certainly Delavan from Delaware to Main.  It’s certainly wide enough for just about anything you want to do with it.  You could have 2 lanes each direction and a turn lane.  It’s very wide

  • Buffalo1985

    If there is room on hertel I would love to see something similar to delaware from north st to downtown. I don’t think kenmore is wide enough though to add any separate bike lane. Kenmore def needed to get repaved, it’s been in rough shape for years. A freshly paved street, new sidewalks and some planters would go a long way on kenmore.

  • OldFirstWard

    Just wondering… has the city actually put out those traffic counters to count bicycle usage on city streets?  What statistical information is available to justify changing traffic patterns to allow for bike lanes?  I do not see much bike activity anywhere beyond the occasional handful.  This myriad of everyday users is sounding more like an urban myth attempting to build support for a cause.

  • greenca

    whateverr LouisTully JSmith11
    Starin should be re-striped with bike lanes.  It should only have one traffic lane in each direction, not the de facto double lane inbound in the morning and outbound in the afternoon.  That only encourages speeding on a residential street.  Didn’t LoCurto propose this a couple years ago?

  • JSmith11

    True in concept, but some streets are more bike-friendly than others. Bike lanes (and especially protected bike lanes) are proven to encourage new riders that would not be comfortable just “running with the elephants” in a high-speed shared traffic lane.

  • JSmith11

    whateverr LouisTully JSmith11 
    I was mostly referring to the stretch of Colvin between Linwood and Amherst, which doesn’t have a parking lane. I think you could probably fit bike lanes on the other portions, but I’m not sure. I agree it is tighter there.

  • OldFirstWard Delaware, Linwood and Richmond certainly see heavy use at morning and evening commute times and well into the night in some cases.  More routes to destinations would likely further increase use.

  • whateverr LouisTully JSmith11 Delavan East of Delaware is very wide and the heavily trafficked Linwood bike lanes dead end there.  It would be nice to see them extend to Humbodt east and to Delaware West.

  • whateverr

    js>’mostly referring to the stretch of Colvin between Linwood and Amherst, which doesn’t have a parking lane’
    I agree for that part (& figuring you meant Linden)

  • whateverr

    True, in Delavan’s wider portion between Delaware-Main the westbound car traffic could be reduced to 1 lane (from current 2 lane width) without a big downside… then space from a removed lane could be re-used for a bike lane on each side.
    However, doing that change where Delavan approaches Delaware from that direction might cause removal of right turn lane which I think gets a lot of use now (otherwise if that lane isn’t removed, then bike riders would have their bike lane suddenly end before it?  That wouldn’t seem safe. Here’s street view )
    In totality, I don’t know if removing the right turn lane that would make things safer or less safe at that intersection. Possibly a better idea could be to add bike lanes on Delavan only east of Linwood to Jefferson, and have west of Linwood remain current shared lane approach.
    And yes, a full sidewalk should be added there.  LT>’no sidewalk on the Forest Lawn side, yet there are bus stops, along Delavan and Delaware.  Impractical and certainly unsafe.’
    There are a few small areas of sidewalk on that side, but not much. It’s another example of public $ spending that’d be much better than govt giving it to away to a few businesses it selects.

  • whateverr

    r>’would be nice to see them extend to Humbodt east’

    East of Jefferson to Humboldt, I think Delavan’s width plus considering its side of parking makes it more of a close call whether or not bike lanes would fit.  I don’t think it’s as narrow there as it is west of Delaware, so maybe there might be enough space. 
    On block between Jefferson & Main, there’s no parking on either side, so plenty of space for bike lanes as is without even needing to reduce a car lane.

  • whateverr

    Buffalo1985 grad94  
    Hertel doesn’t have spare width for bike lanes… unless the left turn lane was removed which would be a bad idea.
    g>’sharrows are not enough. period.’
    But on streets where bike lanes won’t fit, are sharrows better than not having them?  I recall when those were added onto the narrow part of Elmwood, some web comments (I don’t recall if on BR or elsewhere) predicted sharrows would do more harm than good… because they’d encourage bike riders to be less careful or arguments of that nature.
    Now that sharrows have been around for a while in Buffalo and some other U.S. cities, I wonder if any objective studies have been done about changes in accident rates.