In the not-too-distant future, you are going to see bright red bikes being pedaled around town and parked in computer-controlled racks in potentially busy areas. The bikes from Reddy Bikeshare are yet another sign of increasing interest in bicycling in a city which was a center of biking a century ago.
You can also see newly marked bike lanes on city streets. In its meeting Tuesday, Buffalo's Common Council cleared the way for Reddy to put its racks on city property, as part of a program for an alliance of bicycle groups.
With public meetings underway on where the racks will go, the first might be in place before the end of the month. That is likely near Metro Rail stations and crowded bus stops.
Council President Darius Pridgen said it is a sign of growing public support of biking. "There's a saying: build it and they will come. I think it definitely helps," he said. "A lot of people go to Toronto and other places in order to ride their bike because we didn't have the lanes. But, look we now have the bike lanes, which I'm still learning how to maneuver through."
"I think the city has to do a huge education campaign, now, on how you maneuver those bike lanes - when you can actually go into those bike lanes so we don't have a tragedy," Pridgen said.
Reddy Communications and Marketing Executive Jennifer White said locals and out-of-towners will rent the bikes. "We think a good majority of Reddy Bikeshare members are going to be people that come into town and come and visit the City of Buffalo and enjoy all the great things that happen in Buffalo in the summer," she said. "So, you know that's people that maybe live around the region and want to come down and park their car and just use a bike to get around all day."
These are not just bikes. They are almost computerized, with GPS to keep track of where they are and how far they have traveled so they can be billed. In a concession to changing attire, they also use drive shafts instead of those traditionally greasy chains.