Western New York Bike Festival

The Western New York Bike Festival will take place 4 & 5 June at Dryer Road Park in Victor. At least 10 regional bike organizations — including RCA — will be there, as well as bike shops from the region, with bikes for test rides. The event is for “celebrating, uniting, and growing the cycling community”, and you can learn more on the event website.

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Canalway Trail Detour at West Henrietta Road

Planning to ride the Canalway Trail? Bridge construction will block the trail at West Henrietta Road for most of 2016, so detour routes are in effect. Heading east, you’ll leave the canal at West Henrietta and ride Westfall Road, returning to the canal just before I-390. Heading west, you’ll leave the canal just past I-390 and ride Westfall Road, returning at Kendrick Road. Here’s a map. Don’t forget to leave a few extra minutes for your ride!

Posted in trails, Uncategorized

Rochester’s First Bike Boulevard

This fall the City of Rochester established the first of its planned bike boulevards, routes along city streets that connect cyclists to destinations in many neighborhoods while avoiding busy intersections and heavy automobile traffic. This boulevard starts at Monroe Ave. & Canterbury Rd., heading east on Canterbury and Harvard St. It crosses the throughway via the pedestrian bridge at School 1, then follows Hillside Ave. across Winton Rd. and south to Highland Ave. Traffic signals at Culver Rd. and Monroe Ave. have been upgraded to sense bikes. Check it out for yourself! A few photos are below.

speed hump

ABC sharrows

decision point



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Featured Cyclist: Robert Howland (and Eleanor)

Robert Howland & Eleanor

Today we begin a series of posts featuring cyclists around Rochester, highlighting common interests and needs as well as the great diversity of ways cycling is a part of our community.

What are you riding?
It’s a Trek Soho-S single speed from R-Community bikes.

What’s a typical ride like for you?
I bike with my dog Eleanor Roosevelt, for exercise. We usually go about 5 miles around Goodman, Park Ave, and South Ave. I really like the High Falls area.

Why do you cycle?
Well, I started because my roommate rode all the time. He took me to R-Community bikes, and then I got my bike and started commuting to work. So it’s for exercise, for me, for my dog, for commuting. I like it. And she’s real good at it.

Anything we should know about the state of bike lanes, roads, or trails?
Yeah, I had an accident. I was right there waiting to turn left on Caroline and South Ave. I had blinking LEDs and everything, but the car just hit me, no brakes. I fell right back and hit my head. The windshield of the car was smashed, and the hood. But no broken bones, just road rash. And Eleanor was shook up but OK. No matter how safe you are or how many precautions you take there are still idiots on the road.

How do you envision the future of cycling in Rochester?
I love bicycling and I love Rochester. I see it getting a lot bigger. I just see it growing. Everyone enjoys it. Once you start doing it you realize it’s a valid form of transportation, and cheap, and fun. I like the river trail, along the Erie Canal, and the lanes going through the city. But I always wish there were more, and I don’t always feel safe in them. I’d feel a lot safer if there were concrete barriers for bike lanes.

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Monroe County Millennials and alternative transportation

In a recent survey by Monroe County, young adults around Rochester listed bike lanes and walkable communities among the factors keeping them in the area. Moving forward, they asked for more bike lanes and a bike share program, pointing to easier non-automotive transit as a key enabler for living downtown. Those opinions are consistent with the findings of cities across the nation: bike infrastructure brings young professionals and jobs that can revitalize urban cores.

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Infrastructure in Rochester: Bike boxes

Whatever is happening in Montreal, Rochester has great (and growing) bike infrastructure, too. Here Erik Frisch, a city Transportation Specialist and guru of alternative transportation, describes bike boxes, which allow for safer left turns at busy intersections around town.

Posted in alternative transportation, bike Rochester, safety

Montreal’s world-class bike infrastructure

bikes at St. Joseph's

A cyclist enjoys visiting St. Joseph’s Oratorio in Montreal.

Just back from a vacation in Montreal, I’ll volunteer a report about the infrastructure of that admirably bike-friendly city. Montreal is easier to traverse by bike than any city I have ever visited, and appears to have more cyclists on its roads as well. Spending four days there, my wife and I saw nearly all the major sites, visiting every neighborhood in our guidebook — and more. We never used a car, or even the Metro, but logged 110 miles on our bikes. Montreal’s bike infrastructure works for a number of inter-dependent reasons.

First, Montreal has a critical mass of bike lanes and cycle paths — you can ride almost anywhere. On an island city, nearly every bridge has a cycle track, or is used solely for bikes and pedestrians. In a bustling metropolitan center, where construction is necessary, bike routes take detours instead of being blocked. Recreational routes through parks and along canals connect to commuter routes so well that the distinction becomes artificial. City festivals have large valet parking facilities for bikes.

Second, Montreal’s bike infrastructure is well-engineered and clearly marked. Bikes are kept separate from pedestrians, and often separate from cars as well. Major bike routes have cycle paths with a curb between bikes and cars; minor routes have painted bike lanes. Following the paths and lanes is straightforward because every intersection has a sign pointing the way to continuing and connecting bike routes. Many intersections have dedicated traffic lights for bikes. Detours for construction are marked well. The long downhill on Jacques-Cartier bridge has barriers that force descending cyclists to swerve — and therefore slow to a safe speed.

Complicated intersections show evidence of particularly careful thought. Where rue Rachel crosses rue Berri, the cycle track on the west side of rue Rachel turns, continuing on the south side of rue Berri, so cyclists face the difficult maneuver of crossing every lane of auto traffic. To help, bike-specific stoplights usher them across one street, then the other. A large paved area is blocked off at the corner in between, giving cyclists a safe place to wait for the light.

Finally, the cycling experience is so much safer and more pleasant on cycle paths and bike lanes that cycling two or three blocks out of your way is worth the trouble. This further separates bikes from cars, and makes transit safer for everybody: major car thoroughfares are not major bike thoroughfares, but both sets of city arteries are extensive enough and close enough to go where people need. Optimizing every road for both cars and bikes is by definition impossible; by splitting the roads, traffic engineers can optimize for cars where necessary, and bikes everywhere else.

After all this praise for Montreal’s bike infrastructure, I have some questions, too, which I’ll address in my next an upcoming post.

Posted in alternative transportation, bicycle boulevards, transportation

City of Rochester Neighborhood Petition for Speed Limit Reduction

Added to our Cycling Resources page is a PDF containing the City of Rochester Neighborhood Petition for Speed Limit Reduction.

Download Form – Send completed form to Erik Frisch frische@cityofrochester.gov or mail to:  Erik Frisch, Dept. of Environment Services, City of Rochester, 30 Church Street, Rochester NY, 14614

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The Rochester Cycling Alliance is now a member organization of the New York Bicycling Coalition. The NYBC advocates for pro-bicycle policies at the local, New York state and federal levels. They educate New Yorkers about the benefits of bicycling and walking, offer technical and training resources, assist bicycle advocates and government entities, and promote safe riding.

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RCA Bike Corral at Greentopia

RCA Bike Corral at Greentopia
Sept 14-15, 2013
By Harvey Botzman

Once again the Rochester Cycling Alliance performed a valuable service to the entire bicycling community. At the Greentopia Festival, Sept. 14-15, 2013, we maintained a bike corral for the secure parking of bicycles using the City of Rochester’s portable bike racks. Bicycle safety brochures and materials (e. g., the “Share the Road” bumper sticker; kid’s “use your helmet stickers”) were available to the public, bicyclists and non-bicyclists, on the display table.


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