GObike has teamed up with the City of Buffalo and Rigidized Metals to refresh on-road bicycle facilities, helping to maintain our Complete Streets!

By Newell Nussbaumer
August 1, 2018
Originally published on Buffalo Rising

One of the problems with striping roads with bike safety features such as sharrows (shared lane markings), chevrons, and dedicated lanes, is that the striping and symbols eventually wear off. All over the city, bike safety striping is fading due to weather elements and traffic. That’s a real problem, because if car drivers can’t see the striping, cyclists are put in peril.

In order to come up with a solution, the City of Buffalo has teamed up with Rigidized Metals, a local company that specializes in the development and production of deep-textured, three dimensional metals, to create an easier solution per the Complete Streets dilemma. The plan moving forward is to “refresh on-road bicycle facilities” using metal stencils produced by Rigidized Metals.

The new cycling safety effort is in response to an outcry from the cycling community. Buffalo’s Department of Public Works will now be prioritizing the “refreshes” in order to make cycling in the city as safe as possible. In order to handle the work, the City has enlisted GObike Buffalo as a community partner.

A press conference was held earlier this morning – Justin Booth at the podium
Volunteers from GObike Buffalo, armed with the new stencils and paint supplies, will tackle the city’s roadways. Believe it or not, until this point in time, the City was using heavy plywood stencils that were not at all efficient or practical.

Buffalo bike activist and GObike Buffalo team member Rebecca Riley is heading up the coordination effort – seen here is her bike, with stencil and paint transport in tow
In order to identify the streets most in need of enhanced safety measures, GObike Buffalo drafted a survey that allowed cyclists to identify the most problematic streets. The prioritized locations include routes that children take to get to and from school, as well as commuter routes.

This innovative new public/private cycling safety effort is, in part, thanks to GObike Buffalo, with support from the New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities program, and the Population Health Collaborative. At a press conference held earlier today, Mayor Brown noted that this latest Complete Streets effort was made possible via a City permit process. The City does not have the resources to accomplish the additional refresher work, which means that supplemental workforces are required. GObike Buffalo is looking for additional volunteers to help with the paint applications.

A recent survey by Buffalo Place found that approximately 2,000 people commute to and from Downtown Buffalo by bike. In order to increase those numbers, the streets must be a safer place to ride.