WKBW MAY 15, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — Fewer cars on the road mean more people are riding their bikes here in Western New York.
In the Town of Tonawanda’s Brighton neighborhood, the numbers have skyrocketed. The data is tracked by multiple cameras at different intersections down Brighton Road. Below are the increases according to Miovision, the company that operates the cameras.
“It’s anybody guess exactly where the future is going to go, but I think this might be giving us a little more of a reason to put some emphasis on not just the passenger vehicles,” Town Engineer Matt Sutton said Friday. “I’ve seen a lot more people walking around, more bike riders, a lot less traffic.”
Most municipalities here in Western New York don’t have the technology to track the data but several local bike shops have seen a huge uptick in sales and repairs.
“This story would normally have about 2,000 bikes in stock, let’s say we’re maybe at 300-400 bikes,” Bert’s Bikes and Fitness GM [Amherst] Jim Costello said. “People are bringing their bikes in that they haven’t ridden in 20 years out of their basement. We have a lot of services and we’re used to it but the numbers are up dramatically.”
GObike Buffalo, an organization focused on making the area more bike-friendly, believes this is a time to ensure that even after the COVID-19 pandemic, bicyclists are looked out for.
“It’s really important for us to consider how to do we get people out of their cars every day, and give them safe places to walk and bike,” GObike Buffalo Executive Director Justin Booth added. “It’s going to be incredibly important whether it’s for our health or improving our environmental outcomes.”