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Main Street Bike News

While the City of Buffalo has certainly missed out on some quintessential bike-friendly measures along Main Street (from the University District to Canisius College), there are finally signs of hope for the rest of the designated bike corridor (NYS Bicycle Route 517).

Bike lanes have been added to Main Street, from East/West Delavan to East/West Ferry. As much as it would be great to see a project similar to Niagara Street with the protected bike lanes (cycle tracks), this is a good start. Why? Because anyone that has ever attempted to cycle down Main Street knows how dangerous it can be.

Main Street, further downtown… up next for bike lanes? Notice the highway-style overhead (cobra-esque) lighting? When humanizing a street, it’s important to look at all aspects.

As seen in the photo above, taken this morning, it’s hard to tell where to bike, where to drive, where to park… for years, this street has been a mess, and dangerous to boot. Cars speed down Main Street because there have been no traffic calming measures in place; typically, the City doesn’t address these safety issues until a roadway is undergoing a “mill and overlay.”

Now that this new Main Street treatment has extended from Ferry to Delavan, it would be prudent to tackle Delavan, from Main Street to Delaware Avenue. It just makes so much sense. This is the West Delavan Connection that would link Canisius College (and the East Side) to the Olmsted Park System and countless amenities on the city’s West Side. Similar to Main Street (before the addition of the bike lanes), cyclists would be in peril attempting to travel along these dangerous “connector” streets.

Potential: The West Delavan Connection – notice the highway-style overhead (cobra-esque) lighting? Notice the lack of sidewalks on the north side of the street? The lack of curbs? The condition of the street? This is a rough street all around.

Now that Main Street is being addressed, it’s equally important to look at implementing more immediate bike-ped traffic calming measures on both the West and East sides of the street. Along with the Main Street bike lanes, the City has added a bike lane to at least one intersecting street (that I have seen so far). According to GObike Buffalo:

Virginia Street! The stretch between Main and Ellicott has reopened as a one-way for cars, but a two-way for bikes! The sidewalks have also been widened for pedestrians. Virginia Street was identified as a gateway route to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus by the Buffalo Bicycle Master Plan – a plan supported by GObike Buffalo and the City of Buffalo.

In recent years, there has been a growing call for more bike-ped safety measures throughout the East Side, including the need for crosswalks, bumpouts, and speed humps.

Main Street has, unfortunately, been considered the dividing line between the East Side and the West Side of the city for far too long. Amenities such as bike lanes should be considered ‘low hanging fruit’ – to unite the two sides of town.

Let’s see what happens next.

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, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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