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.
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.
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.
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.