One of the problems with striping roads with bike safety features such as sharrows (shared lane markings), chevrons, and dedicated lanes, is that the striping and symbols eventually wear off. All over the city, bike safety striping is fading due to weather elements and traffic. That’s a real problem, because if car drivers can’t see the striping, cyclists are put in peril.
In order to come up with a solution, the City of Buffalo has teamed up with Rigidized Metals, a local company that specializes in the development and production of deep-textured, three dimensional metals, to create an easier solution per the Complete Streets dilemma. The plan moving forward is to “refresh on-road bicycle facilities” using metal stencils produced by Rigidized Metals.
The new cycling safety effort is in response to an outcry from the cycling community. Buffalo’s Department of Public Works will now be prioritizing the “refreshes” in order to make cycling in the city as safe as possible. In order to handle the work, the City has enlisted GObike Buffalo as a community partner.
“We’re excited to continue our collaboration with GObike Buffalo to make our city more bike friendly,” said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “As we continue to grow our network of bicycle facilities, we are creating a process to maintain our existing bike infrastructure and are pleased to work with GObike through this volunteer process to make our city’s streets safer for all users.”
“Making Buffalo bicycle friendly is a great quality of life amenity that has a tremendous positive impact upon our city and business,” stated David Smith, Rigidized Metals and GObike Board member. “We were happy to support this effort by creating the stencils for GObike staff and volunteers to refresh pavement markings this summer.”
Volunteers from GObike Buffalo, armed with the new stencils and paint supplies, will tackle the city’s roadways. Believe it or not, until this point in time, the City was using heavy plywood stencils that were not at all efficient or practical.
In order to identify the streets most in need of enhanced safety measures, GObike Buffalo drafted a survey that allowed cyclists to identify the most problematic streets. The prioritized locations include routes that children take to get to and from school, as well as commuter routes.
GObike will be refreshing road striping between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the follow dates and locations:
- Aug. 01: Delaware Avenue downtown
- Aug. 08: Niagara Street, Ontario to Vulcan
- Aug. 15: Michigan Avenue, Scott to Ohio Street
- Aug. 22: Porter Avenue, Niagara Street to Symphony Circle
- Aug. 29: Connecticut Street, Niagara Street to Richmond Avenue
- Sept. 05: South Park Avenue
- Sept. 12: Elmwood Avenue
- Sept. 19: Linwood Avenue
This innovative new public/private cycling safety effort is, in part, thanks to GObike Buffalo, with support from the New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities program, and the Population Health Collaborative. At a press conference held earlier today, Mayor Brown noted that this latest Complete Streets effort was made possible via a City permit process. The City does not have the resources to accomplish the additional refresher work, which means that supplemental workforces are required. GObike Buffalo is looking for additional volunteers to help with the paint applications.
A recent survey by Buffalo Place found that approximately 2000 people commute to and from Downtown Buffalo by bike. In order to increase those numbers, the streets must be a safer place to ride.