October 19, 2018
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (BPAB) meets each month to review thoroughfare plans with proposed pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements from the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works. October updates are included below.
As required by the City Complete Streets policy, the City of Buffalo DPW submits thoroughfare plans to BPAB for review and recommendations. BPAB recommendations are considered by DPW and an explanation of their integration or removal are provided to the City Planning Board for final approval prior to implementation.
A thoroughfare plan for Starin and Depew Avenue was unanimously approved by the BPAB with a recommendation to implement a safe intersection at the Starin/Depew Avenue intersection:
Two intersection treatments that should be considered and be included as part of project implementation include:
- A protected intersection – Is an at-grade road junction in which cyclists and pedestrians are separated from cars. Vehicles turning right are separated by a car length from crossing cyclists and pedestrians, providing increased reaction times and visibility. The protected intersection design is applicable at both signalized and stop controlled intersections. (Source: Lessons Learned: Evolution of the Protected Intersection, Alta Planning & Design, 2015)
- A Mini-Roundabout – According to the Federal highway Administration (FHWA) this treatment is an optimal solution for a safety issue at an existing stop-controlled intersection with reported crash rate reductions of approximately 30 percent as compared to signalized intersections. Designed properly, a mini-roundabout reduces speeds and can be implemented as part of a broader traffic calming improvement program enhancing the intersection for non-motorized users (Pedestrians and Cyclists).
Read BPAB's full comments with design here. Protected intersections and mini-roundabout examples are included below.
The BPAB also approved the below proposed thoroughfare plans for Lincoln Parkway, while noting their recommendation to establish a parking protected separated cycle track through this corridor. Writes the BPAB:
As the design guidance in the City of Buffalo’s bicycle master plan states, “Cycle tracks should ideally be placed along streets with long blocks and few driveways” and Lincoln Pkwy is an ideal street to implement a parking protected separated cycle track because of this consideration. It is also a gateway to Delaware Park attracting many families and youth. By placing physical barriers between drivers and more vulnerable road users, studies have shown that they can reduce the risk of injury to cyclists by up to 90%, and they help protect pedestrians as well. And safety isn’t the only proven benefit of protected bike lanes — they’ve also been shown to dramatically increase the number of cyclists on the road.
In situations where on-street parking is allowed, as it is through this corridor, the cycle track must be located between the parking lane and the curb (in contrast to conventional bike lanes). Protection is provided through physical barriers and can include but is not limited to bollards, a planter strip, an extruded curb and/or on-street parking. Since this location is part of the Historic Olmsted Park and Parkway System, consideration as to the type of physical separation utilized to prevent vehicles from parking in the cycle track should include guidance from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
While the scope of this project ends at the Delaware Park Playground (north end of center island), connectivity through the area adjacent to the Albright-Knox and towards the 198 is an important safety consideration. Currently, connectivity to existing pathways is difficult for both pedestrians and bicyclists as no ADA compliant curb ramps exist at the current crosswalk or to access the trail the heads north over the expressway. A two-way protected cycle track that runs along the east side of Lincoln Pkwy could address this safety concern.
BPAB full comments and recommendations are here. Example parking-protected separated cycle track is included below.
The advisory board also encouraged the City of Buffalo to develop comprehensive treatments for recommended neighborhood bikeways, instead of adding sharrows without the required additional traffic calming elements (enhanced crossings, speed bumps, signage, etc.) to create a true neighborhood bikeway. Read the full letter here.