Those who’ve traveled down Delaware Avenue this summer got a taste for what’s happening across Buffalo when it comes to bicycling.
New bike racks popped up at strategic intersections, and parts of Delaware, as Justin Booth explained, has been put on a “road diet.” As the street was repaved, it was repainted with bike lanes in both directions.
The diet has caught on across the city, including on stretches of Linwood, Elmwood, Porter, South Park and Fillmore avenues. Auto lanes have gotten skinnier, and in some cases have been eliminated in exchange for turning lanes, in a designed city effort to move motor traffic more safely and efficiently, and encourage more bike traffic – a healthier travel option. On some smaller streets, including Hudson Street near the waterfront, streets have been made one-way thoroughfares to make room for bike lanes.
Buffalo has embraced the biking enthusiasm kindled in Portland, Ore., London and New York, the last of which saw bike use climb 46 percent after 400 miles of new bike lanes were introduced.
Booth, executive director of GObike Buffalo, couldn’t be happier.
“I only hear two complaints,” he said of Buffalo street work: “‘I now have to look right for bicyclists when I’m driving,’ and ‘When can this happen on my street?’ ”
The Parkside Neighborhood Association is the latest group clamoring for bike lanes.
The new lanes are the city’s answer to the growing number of peddling options that have changed the suburban and rural landscape nearby during the last couple of decades. We’re still at the front end of a beautiful biking relationship, said Booth, 35, a Brooklyn native. The long-range vision is to seed more bike lanes, and sew together all the bike trails in the region – and beyond.
– Scott Scanlon