It’s funny. Just as I was thinking about posting a link to an article in TheAtlantic.com about the benefits of the protected bike lane, Pedal Tour operator Phil Szal sent me a note saying that he had been doing some traveling to other cities, and he was amazed at how the protected bike lane had become a standard convenience.
“It’s time for Buffalo to get DEDICATED bike lanes in the city,” wrote Phil. “It’s embarrassing that ALL cool progressive cities have them everywhere… except us.”
It’s true. Buffalo is just beginning to jump on this bandwagon. Yes, there is a Bicycle Master Plan in place, but it’s not happening quick enough. There are certain streets that are crying for bike lanes, and dedicated bike lanes (where warranted). Cyclists traveling in the city are still faced with perilous dangers, from potholes to insufficient bike safeguards from cars.
Why the heck can’t we get Michigan Avenue as a cross-city bike corridor immediately? How long will we have to wait to get bike amenities on Delavan Avenue, from Main Street to Delaware Avenue?
But The City blew it with the bike infrastructure improvements on Niagara Street, from Porter to City Hall – there is little continuity, and once again, cars are king along that stretch. It looks like an intern planned that part of the street. Actually, maybe an intern should have had a hand in the design – young people tend to get this stuff inherently, because they live the lifestyle.
Once again, do City Hall planners travel to other cities? Buffalo is nowhere close to where we need to be, to be deemed a bike-friendly city. And when it comes to attracting young people, it’s the cities with the bike-friendly culture that are winning. The City should be bending backwards to add bike lanes to Main Street, between Canisius College and University at Buffalo South (see here). We have dropped the ball on biking so many times, that we will be playing catchup for a long, long time, unless The City rethinks the Bicycle Master Plan timeline that is currently in place. It’s never too late to rethink the priorities.
Be sure to check out TheAtlantic.com article, to see where Buffalo is missing out.