Now we just need parking enforcement to… enforce it.

Last year, the City of Buffalo finally made it officially illegal to park, stand, drive, idle in the bike lane. Nor can you open your door into in the bike lane if a cyclist is coming.

Here’s the law. Signed by the Mayor. It’s official.

It’s all illegal. Which means if you have to dodge these cars, trucks, delivery vehicles, and doors, and you fall or are hit in a crash while doing so, that driver is at fault.

But that’s not this law’s purpose. Knowing that you might get some cash after a long battle in court for your injuries, or that your family might get some cash after a long battle in court if you are killed doesn’t make it any safer to go out and ride a bike to where you’re going. We’d prefer to not be forced out of the bike lane at all, and avoid a crash entirely.

It’s been nearly a year with this law in place, and between the delivery trucks blocking the bike lanes on Delaware (park in the center lane like you do on Hertel, guys!) or cars, trucks in the Niagara Street Cycle Track, and in all corners of the city, there’s been little to no change in driver behavior in Buffalo, which means things haven’t gotten much safer for anyone.

Not to mention the increasing rate of cars and trucks parked on sidewalks which has always been illegal.

In a city like Philadelphia, you know you cannot leave your car parked illegally for two minutes without being ticketed. Here, there’s no such fear factor. Cars currently block sidewalks and bike lanes everywhere. Even city vehicles. Do we want a city where anyone, by any mode, can get around safely? Or just one giant parking lot that serves only those who own cars, full of fatal crashes?

We’ve already got the latter. We can do better.

Tell the city you want safer streets to ride and walk on.

*Call* your Common Council Representative. We’ve been told that emails to Common Council reps will not be given as much attention as calls. Here’s where to find out who your rep is and their number.

Use the 311 App or Call 311 when you see a vehicle in the bike lane or on a sidewalk. There are plenty of other places to park. Buffalo has more parking than it knows what to do with. We don’t need to invite cars to park directly outside the door of the place they’re going at the expense of the safety of people walking and biking.