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Redesign bike lanes to make them safer

The bicycle lanes the City of Buffalo has installed on Elmwood Avenue and Delaware Avenue exhibit devastating design flaws. Firstly, within the current configuration, through traffic is not separated from bicyclists by either concrete barriers – as in Montreal, Canada – or by parked cars – as in Portland, Ore.

Unlike the intelligently designed Montreal and Portland scenarios, the Buffalo scenario is infinitely more dangerous in that parked cars must bisect bicycle lanes in order to merge into through traffic. Consequently, Buffalo’s placing of bicycle lanes between through traffic and street parking spots is counter-intuitive – that is, backward from the appropriate model.

Secondly, while Delaware has been widened to accommodate bicycles and features a dedicated bicycle lane, Elmwood is more dangerous because the lane has not been widened. The bicycle lanes on Elmwood are merely rhetorical; bicycles are fully integrated with through traffic with no buffers whatsoever in place.

City officials should place parking lanes directly alongside through traffic and bicycle lanes nearest the curb.

Mark Abell

Buffalo