In its effort to become increasingly bicycle-friendly, the City of Buffalo will add more bicycle lanes to city streets this year, with focus on a busy North Buffalo street.
City officials are aiming to add up to 10 miles of new bike lanes each year. This year, according to Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak, focus will be placed on a busy stretch along the city's northern limit.
"One of the things we're looking at, a project that's going on right now, is Kenmore Avenue," he said. "Putting lanes on Kenmore Avenue and changing the entire streetscape out there. It makes it more friendly for the users of these bike lanes but also enhances the community."
Since 2014, Buffalo has been developing a bicycle master plan. An update on its development was released in January. Stepniak suggested a final plan should be released in the near future.
"In every neighborhood we want to enhance the bike lanes," Stepniak said. "If there is some concern, if someone wants to know if there's a street where a bike lane could go there, call 311. We'll contact you and let you know what the results are out there."
The city also plans to add up to 100 new bicycle racks this year.
With more opportunities for bicycling there's an understanding by advocates that there's also a need for more education, to foster mutual respect between bikers and motorists and to increase safety. They'll be busy stepping up their awareness efforts in the month of May, which is National Bicycle Month.
"It's really important that we do a better job overall getting safety information out to everybody," said Justin Booth, executive director of GOBike Buffalo. "We have a number of programs in schools, teaching kids how to fix and repair their own bikes, but also how to properly ride in the streets. The Travel With Care campaign is going to focus on giving education to everyone in our community.
"But it also important that the city continues to make these investments in our infrastructure, making sure that our streets are designed for cyclists as well."
Buffalo has, according to U.S. Census figures released by GOBike Buffalo, increased its bicycle traffic by 270 percent since 2000.