Monday, August 08, 2011

Quietly, and without fanfare, the City of Rochester is ramping up bicycling as transportation


For some time now, the City of Rochester has been engaged in an effort to increase bicycles as a realistic mode of transportation. Of course, bicycles already have the same rights on our streets as vehicular traffic, but in order to be a safe viable way to get around our community there needs to be a concerted effort to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians in a system mostly designed for cars and trucks.

Here are some improvements to our area’s bicycling commuters; you may have seen them: City of Rochester has portable Event Racks for loan | Rochester Cycling Alliance; Shared Lane Pavement Markings – now appearing in Rochester | Rochester Cycling Alliance; and City of Rochester’s first installed Bicycle Shelter | Rochester Cycling Alliance. (Articles courtesy of Rochester Cycling Alliance, where you can find more information and activism for bicycles as transportation in our region.)

Even if bicycling is not your thing, remember transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gases according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which contributes, except for energy, most of our human caused Climate Change crisis. So, bicycling for those short distances from our homes (6.5 miles) instead of driving our gas guzzlers can have a profound effect on our ability to curb Climate Change. Think about it: bicycling is transportation not just a weekend toy.

What makes these efforts by the City of Rochester so important is that in order to really have an effect on our climate, we have get as many folks as we can engaged in active transportation (walking and bicycling). Large numbers of Rochesterians on bicycling in our streets following the NYS traffic laws will help us fight Climate Change, make us healthier, make car drivers more aware of bicyclists, and make for a more pleasant community. Other cities like Portland, OR have made the transformation to a more bicycle-friendly community: League of American Bicyclists * Bicycle Friendly States. Bicycling as an important feature of Rochester transportation, as it has been in Rochester’s past, can be an important component in Rochester’s future. You support for this mode of travel by who you vote for, the articles you write, accommodating cycling on our streets, and more could move us towards a more sustainable community.

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