Buffalo bike lanes unsafe

The bicycle lanes that the city of Buffalo has installed on Elmwood Avenue and Delaware Avenue exhibit devastating design flaws. Within the current configuration, thru traffic is not separated from bicycle lanes by either concrete barriers — as the city of Montreal, Canada so intelligently installed which completely separate cyclists from thru traffic — or by parked cars — as the city of Portland, Oregon installed.

Unlike Montreal and Portland, the Buffalo scenario is infinitely more dangerous because parked cars must bisect bicycle lanes in order to merge into thru traffic. Consequently, Buffalo city officials’ placing of bicycle lanes between thru traffic and street parking spots are counter-intuitive. That is, they’re backwards from the appropriate model.

Secondly, while Delaware Avenue has been widened to accommodate bicycles and features a dedicated bicycle lane, the Elmwood scenario is more dangerous. The lane has neither been widened to accommodate bicycles nor are there any buffers whatsoever in place, thus making the Elmwood bicycle lanes mere suggestions. Instead, city officials should place parking lanes directly alongside thru traffic and bicycle lanes nearest the curb.

Mark Abell

Buffalo, NY