October 22, 2019
A Buffalo bicyclist was hit on Potomac Avenue and Grant Street by a Buffalo Police officer. The bicyclist is in critical condition at ECMC.
The cyclist and their family are in our warmest thoughts, and we sincerely hope for a speedy recovery.
Though few details are available on the crash, data demonstrates Grant Street is a historically unsafe corridor for pedestrians and bicyclists. The adjacent map shows crash data for the City of Buffalo involving pedestrians and cyclists from September 2014 to September 2018. As demonstrated by the map, Grant Street is a high-crash area in the city, with more than 30 collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists alone in the past five years. Additionally, a collision involving a Buffalo Police Officer and another motor vehicle occurred just two blocks from the collision location a little over a week ago on October 10, 2019, at 10 am, on Lafayette and Grant streets.
Pedestrian and bicyclists volumes are also high in the corridor. We recently conducted bicyclist and pedestrian counts at Lafayette and Grant streets and, based on a national multiplier, estimate pedestrians volumes to be more than 1100 daily and bicycle volumes to be more than 300 per day at the count intersection.
With such high volumes of people using the street, road design should prioritize the safety of people rather than the ease of cars driving through it. GObike has received a grant to work with the community to develop design alternatives to create a more people-first Grant Street. We look forward to working with the City of Buffalo to implement the designs.
We’ll also be hosting a Smart Cycling class from the League of American Bicyclists with the Buffalo Police Department, outlining legal requirements and best practice for bicyclists and motorists to safely interact on streets.
Though education and better street design are helpful in reducing collisions, we know it is not enough. We must approach our transportation system with compassion, empathy, and the understanding that traffic collisions are not inevitable, they are endemic.