There is an effort underway to push for traffic calming measures on Bailey Avenue. According to a number of ped-bike activists that I have spoken to, the street has become a thoroughfare for speeding cars, which presents a hazard for anyone looking to walk or bike. Recently, another cyclist was struck and killed by a car – the incident prompted this group of activists to take their platform to another level, including setting up a Change.org petition.
It was cycling advocate Rebecca Reilly who told me that the problem is serious and continues to escalate with every senseless accident. Aside from hosting a Rest In Peace ride, the community has also requested that the City get proactive, by implementing traffic calming measures to rectify problematic issues brought about by:
- Safety stripes have not been painted in years
- Lack of crosswalks
- Street should be narrowed or bike lanes should be added – let the community deem the best tactics
“Cars are going down the avenue upwards of 50 MPH,” said Reilly, who has been fighting for safer street calming measures and road diets along with organizations such as GObike Buffalo.
Then there are people like Eddie Ice Cream Jones who have placed flowers on their bikes to pay tribute to those who continue to lose their lives by simply trying to bike and walk around Buffalo. Jones is also an outspoken voice in the community, who attends “as many meetings as he can,” in hopes of getting the City to take these issues more seriously. When asked, Jones said that he often feels as if he is risking his life getting around town on his bike. He has never owned a car, and will continue to operate his masonry business by cycling from job site to job site. Jones is not only an advocate for getting more cyclists out on the roads, he’s also a proponent of training Buffalo’s youth on job sites… but that’s another story for another day.
There’s probably nobody more vocal, or more concerned about this issue than George Johnson, who is a member of the East Side Bike Club. “It’s about what’s not happening over here,” said Johnson, when asked what was happening over on Bailey. “There is no immediacy. We can’t wait for the City’s plan – the corner of Bailey and East Delavan is a very busy intersection, with lots of businesses, services, and a school nearby. How many accidents will there be? How many deaths? We spend the same tax dollars over here on the East Side, but we don’t see any improvements, longterm or short-term. This is a no brainer if you ask me. The City must have the data that shows all of the accidents and deaths, and it’s not just on Bailey, it’s across the East Side. Why are we not being treated fairly? It’s unacceptable. We need traffic calming, striping, and other safety measures to make our neighborhoods and our residents safer.”
If you want to lend your voice to the East Side, and to Bailey in particular, be sure to sign this Change.org petition.
There have been 160 crashes between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. 3 Cyclists have died because there is absolutely no infrastructure to support them. Bailey was designed to move cars fast with no concern for anyone that doesn’t drive a car. There needs to be a change. – From the petition