Sorry it’s been so quiet in the subway for the past week. It got crazy busy with many things happening on many different fronts, and I had to force myself into a self-imposed digital detox program. But here’s a quicky update…
I just got back from the Genesee-Finger Lakes Active Transportation Summit; a conference (held in downtown Rochester) where mobs of cycling and transit advocates gathered for a day of discussion about moving Rochester forward… literally. Believe me, Spiderman isn’t the only one sporting the spandex lately. There’s an undeniable groundswell of support for walkable, bike-friendly streets, and transit options in this town. Maybe you were following the tweets coming out of Reconnect Rochester throughout the day? But if you were at the conference, you understand what I mean. The excitement was palpable, and contagious.
To start with, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Portland, OR) gave an incredible talk about how Portland became the platinum-standard for “new” walkable and bike-friendly urbanism. While Portland may have been a very automobile-dependent city in the 60’s and 70’s, business owners in his district today are clamoring for the removal of parking spaces in front of their shops. And they’re asking for bike corrals instead. It makes sense when you think about it. Would you rather have parking for one customer who arrives by car, or ten who arrive on a bike?
He also talked about how Rochester—now a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community—can get get there too, with a little work. Eh, ok… a lot of work. Fortunately for ROC, the 300 or so people in that room today seem to be up for the challenge.
One case in point, Erik Frisch, Transportation Planner with the City of Rochester announced that a Bike Boulevard plan would be drawn up over the coming year. A Request for Proposals was just released here . Bicycle boulevards are low-volume streets that encourage bike traffic while discouraging automobile through-traffic using a host of traffic calming techniques, signage, pavement markings, and intersection crossing treatments. Look for the first of two public meetings in October 2013.
Erik also highlighted some of the progress that’s been made with the City’s bike master plan including new bike racks, corrals, lockers, 11 miles of new bike lanes and (some other number) of miles of shared-lanes added over the last two years. Have you ever heard of a bike box ? Those may be coming soon as well.
Public transit was a new topic at this year’s conference. Many people don’t think of public transportation as ACTIVE transportation, but if you use it, you know it is. We had a productive brainstorming session (together with representatives from RGRTA) on how we can break down some of the barriers associated with getting more people in our region to use transit. But I’ll share some of that and other tasty treats over the coming days… Including some exciting news from Reconnect Rochester .
Tags: bike boulevards, bike box, bike corral, bike lanes, bike plan, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Genesee-Finger Lakes Active Transportation Summit, mass transit, mass transportation, Portland, public transit, public transportation, Reconnect Rochester, Rochester bike master plan, Rochester Cycling Alliance (RCA), Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), Spiderman
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