Rochester's updated bike ordinances

On September 17th, the Rochester’s City Council approved changes to the city code in regard to bicycles. The bike ordinances hadn’t been updated since the 1960s! For a full listing, see below. Of particular note is an official prohibition for cars parking in bike lanes. The city is being very upfront that enforcement will be soft and gradual and that there must be some efforts towards changing the culture and educating motorists before the prohibition is strictly enforced. The RCA and Reconnect Rochester are eager to collaborate with the city on that educational work. In the meantime, go ahead and thank council members for moving us in the right direction.
 
Amending the Municipal Code with respect to bicycle riding and bike lanes
BE IT ORDAINED, by the Council of the City of Rochester as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 34 of the Municipal Code, Bicycles, as amended, is hereby further amended to:
a. Revise Section 34-1, Definitions, to read as follows:
BICYCLE: Every two or three wheeled device upon which a person or persons may ride, propelled by human power through a belt, a chain or gears, with such wheels in a line or tricycle arrangement.
BIKE LANE: The portion of a roadway that has been delineated and marked for the use of bicycles, not including any lane specifically marked for the shared use of bicycles and motor vehicles.
CENTRAL TRAFFIC DISTRICT: The area bounded by the Inner Loop, North Union Street, South Union Street, Howell Street and Interstate 490, but shall exclude the Inner Loop, Interstate 490 and their respective frontages.
CYCLE TRACK: A pathway in the public right-of-way that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic and distinct from the sidewalk and that is marked for the use of bicycles. A cycle track may be configured for one-way or
two-way traffic.
b. Revise Section 34-6, Regulations, to read as follows:
A. Bicycle riding rules for persons 12 years of age or under. Unless accompanied by a rider over 18 years of age, children 12 years of age or under shall ride bicycles on the sidewalk, cycle track, Genesee Riverway Trail or other multi-use trail.
B. Bicycle riding rules for persons over age 12. Persons over 12 years of age shall ride a bicycle either on a usable bike lane or cycle track or, if a usable bike lane or cycle track has not been provided, near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic except when preparing for a left turn or when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that would make it unsafe to continue along the bike lane, cycle track or right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. Conditions to be taken into consideration as potentially unsafe include, but are not limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, in-line skaters, pedestrians, animals or surface hazards. Within the Central Traffic District, persons over 12 years of age shall not ride a bicycle on the sidewalk except where the sidewalk is identified as part of the Genesee Riverway Trail or other multi-use trail system, or if riding with a child 12 years old or under, or if reasonably necessary to avoid unsafe conditions in a bike lane, cycle track or roadway. Outside of the Central Traffic District, persons over 12 years of age may ride bicycles upon the sidewalk, Genesee Riverway Trail or any multi-use trail. The prohibition against riding bicycles upon sidewalks in the Central Traffic District shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their duties.
C. Yield to pedestrians. The operator of a bicycle shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when using the sidewalk.
D. Riding in groups. Bicycles shall not be ridden more than two abreast upon a roadway. Persons operating bicycles upon a shoulder, bike lane, cycle track or sidewalk may ride more than two abreast if sufficient space
is available. When passing a vehicle, bicycle, in-line skater or a pedestrian, persons operating bicycles shall ride single file.
E. Passengers and towing. No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. The operators of bicycles shall not pull another person on skates, a skateboard or similar device and shall not pull or tow a sled, wagon or other item unless by the use of a bicycle trailer, trailing bicycle or other device designed and intended to be connected to a bicycle for that purpose.
F. Maintaining Control. Operators of bicycles must keep at least one hand on handlebars and both feet on pedals. The obligation to keep both feet on the pedals shall not apply to an operator who is unable to do so due to a condition or impairment that constitutes a disability within the meaning of federal. state or local law.
Section 2. Chapter 111 of the Municipal Code, Vehicle and Traffic, as amended, is hereby further amended to add a new subsection to Section 111-24, Standing or parking prohibited in specified places, to read as follows:
No person shall stand or park a vehicle, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers, or when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or traffic control device, in any of the following places, unless otherwise indicated by official signs, markings or parking meters:
E. Within a bike lane, a cycle track or a trail designated for bicycles or mixed uses.
Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect immediately.

Image courtesy of New York DOT

Making connections at the Women's Safe Cycling Summit

2016WomensSafeCyclingSummit
An enthusiastic group participated in the Women’s Safe Cycling Summit organized by Karen Lankeshofer and held at the Legacy at Erie Station in Henrietta, on September 10. The participants, with riding skills ranging from novice to expert, heard keynote speaker Theresa Bowick of Conkey Cruisers explain how she changed a community through cycling and making healthy choices. Harvey Botzman of the Rochester Cycling Alliance led a discussion on advocating for better infrastructure for cyclists and walkers; Maria Furgiuele of R Community Bikes gave a workshop on basic bike maintenance and repair.
Participants discussed how they could work further to create change in their communities that would benefit all non-motorized traffic users. But the biggest take-away of the event was that a connections were made and a group of people found individuals with whom they shared common interests and goals.
The Summit was sponsored by The Pedallers Bike Shop and Legacy at Erie Station.

Shifting Gears: Promoting Rochester's Two-Wheeled Revolution

Introducing the most amazing final publication from the Genesee School 6th graders.
Shifting Gears: Promoting Rochester’s Two-Wheeled Revolution!
A Project of the
Genesee Community Charter School
Sixth Grade Class of 2013
Read the entire report here, find out how these students disprove the 11 myths of bicycling in Rochester, and most importantly join in on promoting Rochester’s Two-Wheeled Revolution!

Advocacy Advance Action 2020 Workshop

On October 17, the RCA-sponsored Advocacy Advance Action 2020 Workshop helped over 40 advocates, agency staff and elected officials to brainstorm local strategies for increasing bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects in the region.   Many thanks to Brighid O’Keane, of the Alliance for Biking & Walking and to Darren Flusche of the League of American Bicyclists who provided such wonderful guidance.  The following note comes to us from them.  

Now it’s our turn to carry the momentum forward!


There were two exciting announcements at the workshop. First, Rochester was awarded Bronze-level status from the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community program – the only city in the state other than NYC to receive a BFC designation. Second, the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency announced the much-anticipated Transportation Specialist position, funded by the Center for Disease Control. This position focuses on engaging, organizing and educating the community to achieve public policy and practice changes that promote active transportation in Monroe County.  Click here for more information about the position and application process.
Here is the list of local priorities that were developed at the workshop. The Rochester Funding Profile and slides from the presentation can be downloaded from the Advocacy Advance website. Click the links below for additional Advocacy Advance resources:

On Monday, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued an interim guidance to state departments of transportation on the Transportation Alternatives program (TA). The guidance provides specifics for state agencies and resolves any ambiguities in the complex legislative language. Read more about the good and bad news for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Thank you again to the workshop hosts:
City of Rochester, contact: Erik Frisch
Genesee Transportation Council, contact: Rich Perrin
Rochester Cycling Alliance, contact: Scott McRae
Senator Kristen Gillibrand, contact: Sarah Clark
We encourage you to continue collaborating with workshop participants. Contact the Rochester Cycling Alliance for additional notes from the workshop and to get involved in local advocacy efforts. To learn about your important role in New York’s Navigating MAP-21 state campaign, contact Brian Kehoe, Executive Director of the New York Bicycling Coalition.
Thank you from the Advocacy Advance Team:
Brighid O’Keane, Alliance for Biking & Walking
Darren Flusche,   League of American Bicyclists

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Rochester Bicycle Master Plan, Brighton, Wegmans and 360/365 Movie Festival

The last 2 weeks have been very productive for Rochester Cycling Advocacy. Two weeks ago RCA members Jon Schull, Scott MacRae and Tom Robinson (EDR) met with Brighton Town Surpervisor Sandra Frankel to discuss ways to make Brighton more bike friendly. She agreed to initiate creating a Brighton Bike Advisory group and with the help of RIT’s Center For Student Innovation perhaps create a Brighton Bicycle Master Plan which would integrate Rochester’s Plan as well. GROC also had a major victory getting their County Parks programs approved. Congratulations GROC.

Last Wed. the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Group met which included RCA members Bill Collins, Jon Schull (substituting for Andrew Dollard, Richard DeSarra (also representing RBC) and Scott MacRae all participated in the discussion and critique of the Existing Conditions Map which was very detailed for each major street. Rochester rated a D+ on “Level of Service – LOS” which is above average but leads lots of room for improvement. This input as well as the input from 4 city community quadrant meetings which also allowed riders to compare their real life experience of riding the streets to the survey ratings to further refine the ratings. The participants were also able to rank which destinations and streets are higher priority and this information will also go into the master plan to help create priorities for the plan. You can review the plan at;
http://www.cityofrochester.gov/bikeplan/

Go to the existing level of service map and review it. If you agree or disagree, let them know. There will be a more detailed description street by street listed soon.
You can also give your comments to Erik Frisch City of Rochester at: Frische@CityofRochester.gov

Jon Schull, Richard DeSarra and Scott MacRae met with Judy Cama Community Relations Coordinator and Marcie Barcotta of Wegmans about getting Wegmans support to make Rochester more bike friendly. We discussed getting support for Jon’s Active Transportation Network Map adnthe suggested Richard help them create some maps for their Passport to Family Wellness Program which currently encourages people to walk for Wegmans credits and gifts. The new program would encourage biking in the community. We also discussed how to make the New East Ave. Wegmans the poster child for a bike friendly store and neighborhood with indoor bike parking, lockers and showers for employees and incentive programs such as bike days with gifts for cyclists. They were very interested in supporting us.

Richard and Scott then met with John Richardson Director of the 360/365 film festival about incorporating 2 recent full lenght films involving bicycling at the 360/365 film festival in 2011. They are now also considering having a contest for the best 3 minute film on bicycling in 2011 as well.

Bill Collins is continueing to lead the dialogue with RGRTA’s on the new transit center and is coordinating a meeting with RGRTA to discuss ways to make the center and the system more bike friendly.

Scott

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This is it! Bicycle Master Plan Public Meetings Wedesday and Thursday Night 6pm Aug. 25-26

Dear Cyclists,
Here is a repeat listing of the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Rochester Quadrant Citizens Meetings if you have not seen the listing already. We are welcoming all citizens and cyclist to attend. The meetings will be facilitated by Bruce Landis and his team of bicycle design consultants from Sprinkle Inc., who are nationally recognized for their expertise on urban bicycle master plans.

The information gathered here will be combined with the other information already gathered through an extensive street by street analysis of the bicycle friendliness of existing conditions. A prioritization of streets with recommendations on next steps will be completed by early 2011. There are also numerous other recommendations that will be made as noted above in the BMP (Bicycle Master Plan) in the above enclosure.
Scott MacRae
Rochester Cycling Alliance

If you cannot make the meeting you can send your comments directly to Erik Frisch, Transportation Specialists at the address below or at:

Frische@CityofRochester.gov
Erik Frisch | Transportation Specialist
City of Rochester | DES | Architecture & Engineering Bureau
City Hall | 30 Church Street | Room 300B
Rochester | New York | 14614-1279

NORTHWEST QUADRANT

DATE: August 25, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00PM

LOCATION: Aquinas Institute, Cafeteria
ADDRESS: 1127 Dewey Avenue, Rochester

SOUTHWEST QUADRANT

DATE: August 25, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Phyllis Wheatley Community Library

ADDRESS: 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, Rochester

NORTHEAST QUADRANT
DATE: August 26, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: North Street Community Center

ADDRESS: 700 North Street, Rochester

SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
DATE: August 26, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Artisan Church

ADDRESS: 1235 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester

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This is it! Bicycle Master Plan Public Meetings Wedesday and Thursday Night 6pm Aug. 25-26

Dear Cyclists,
Here is a repeat listing of the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Rochester Quadrant Citizens Meetings if you have not seen the listing already. We are welcoming all citizens and cyclist to attend. The meetings will be facilitated by Bruce Landis and his team of bicycle design consultants from Sprinkle Inc., who are nationally recognized for their expertise on urban bicycle master plans.

The information gathered here will be combined with the other information already gathered through an extensive street by street analysis of the bicycle friendliness of existing conditions. A prioritization of streets with recommendations on next steps will be completed by early 2011. There are also numerous other recommendations that will be made as noted above in the BMP (Bicycle Master Plan) in the above enclosure.
Scott MacRae
Rochester Cycling Alliance

If you cannot make the meeting you can send your comments directly to Erik Frisch, Transportation Specialists at the address below or at:

Frische@CityofRochester.gov
Erik Frisch | Transportation Specialist
City of Rochester | DES | Architecture & Engineering Bureau
City Hall | 30 Church Street | Room 300B
Rochester | New York | 14614-1279

NORTHWEST QUADRANT

DATE: August 25, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00PM

LOCATION: Aquinas Institute, Cafeteria
ADDRESS: 1127 Dewey Avenue, Rochester

SOUTHWEST QUADRANT

DATE: August 25, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Phyllis Wheatley Community Library

ADDRESS: 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, Rochester

NORTHEAST QUADRANT
DATE: August 26, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: North Street Community Center

ADDRESS: 700 North Street, Rochester

SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
DATE: August 26, 2010 TIME: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

LOCATION: Artisan Church

ADDRESS: 1235 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester

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Save Recission $$$ for Bikes!

Protect vital bicycle funding programs- demand proportionality in rescissions! Take Action!

The Jobs Bill passed by Congress last week contains a $2.2 billion rescission of transportation funds from state Departments of Transportation. In many states, the DOT will likely target bike funding programs for the money to send back to the federal government – unless local advocates speak up and make sure that doesn’t happen. States must report which program funds are affected by August 25th- so action is needed this week!

Unlike previous rescissions there is no proportionality requirement calling for equal distribution of funding program cuts. Instead, the law gives the States maximum flexibility to choose the unobligated balances of funds to be rescinded.

The amount each state has to rescind is up to $200 million for the largest states. Many programs that fund bicycle projects are threatened by these rescissions including. These programs are often unfairly targets for cuts or rescissions, and in some cases have been completely gutted.

Take action now! Please contact your Governor and ask that rescissions be done equitably across programs, and that those that traditionally fund bicycling projects not be unfairly targeted.

Go to League of American Bicycles and send your message thought their website:

http://www.bikeleague.org/

Scott

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Save Recission $$$ for Bikes!

Protect vital bicycle funding programs- demand proportionality in rescissions! Take Action!

The Jobs Bill passed by Congress last week contains a $2.2 billion rescission of transportation funds from state Departments of Transportation. In many states, the DOT will likely target bike funding programs for the money to send back to the federal government – unless local advocates speak up and make sure that doesn’t happen. States must report which program funds are affected by August 25th- so action is needed this week!

Unlike previous rescissions there is no proportionality requirement calling for equal distribution of funding program cuts. Instead, the law gives the States maximum flexibility to choose the unobligated balances of funds to be rescinded.

The amount each state has to rescind is up to $200 million for the largest states. Many programs that fund bicycle projects are threatened by these rescissions including. These programs are often unfairly targets for cuts or rescissions, and in some cases have been completely gutted.

Take action now! Please contact your Governor and ask that rescissions be done equitably across programs, and that those that traditionally fund bicycling projects not be unfairly targeted.

Go to League of American Bicycles and send your message thought their website:

http://www.bikeleague.org/

Scott

No Comments

Rochester Rated 18th of US Cities in Bicycle Commuting


In 2008 Rochester has the 18th highest of 51 cities over 1 million population based on US Census Data with a bicycle commute rate of 0.6%. The rate has grow substantially from it’s 0.2% rate in 2000 based on US Census Data.

I’ve been in contact with Steve Clark, who works for Transit for Livable Communities in Minneapolis and is highly respected in the Minneapolis cycling community. He notes that they are seeing an increase in all year bike commuting as well as an overall increase. One third of Minneapolis bike commuters are now cycling year round as born out by the bike counts. Minneapolis’s bike commuting rate is 4.2%, Ottawa’s is 1.9%, Toronto’s is 0.8%. Minneapolis built the lanes and trails and they cycled.

Steve also gave me two terrific links that are used to educate the public as well as maintenance personnel on winter street care. He recently completed an all day workshop with street maintenance workers and the have bought into the program as well and some are now cycling. These are enclosed below.

http://www.c-d-g.org/projects/TLC/WinterWalkBike/LeadershipBreakfast.htm

http://www.c-d-g.org/projects/TLC/WinterWalkBike/Dec4WinterWorkshop.htm

Steve also attached his research on winter riding. “What we have found is that winter riding is especially high on commuter routes. Not so high on paths that have high rates of recreational use during the summer months. Based on all of our counts, we conclude that nearly a third of regular bike commuters continue to bike during the winter.” He also sent us a nice 4-3 conversion image shown here. Scott

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Rochester Rated 18th of US Cities in Bicycle Commuting


In 2008 Rochester has the 18th highest of 51 cities over 1 million population based on US Census Data with a bicycle commute rate of 0.6%. The rate has grow substantially from it’s 0.2% rate in 2000 based on US Census Data.

I’ve been in contact with Steve Clark, who works for Transit for Livable Communities in Minneapolis and is highly respected in the Minneapolis cycling community. He notes that they are seeing an increase in all year bike commuting as well as an overall increase. One third of Minneapolis bike commuters are now cycling year round as born out by the bike counts. Minneapolis’s bike commuting rate is 4.2%, Ottawa’s is 1.9%, Toronto’s is 0.8%. Minneapolis built the lanes and trails and they cycled.

Steve also gave me two terrific links that are used to educate the public as well as maintenance personnel on winter street care. He recently completed an all day workshop with street maintenance workers and the have bought into the program as well and some are now cycling. These are enclosed below.

http://www.c-d-g.org/projects/TLC/WinterWalkBike/LeadershipBreakfast.htm

http://www.c-d-g.org/projects/TLC/WinterWalkBike/Dec4WinterWorkshop.htm

Steve also attached his research on winter riding. “What we have found is that winter riding is especially high on commuter routes. Not so high on paths that have high rates of recreational use during the summer months. Based on all of our counts, we conclude that nearly a third of regular bike commuters continue to bike during the winter.” He also sent us a nice 4-3 conversion image shown here. Scott

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Complete Streets

Complete Streets is a national movement which seeks to ensure that road construction projects take into account the needs of everyone who uses the roadways – pedestrians, motorists, the handicapped, children… and, naturally, cyclists.

In New York State, a bill currently making it’s way through the legislature would require that planning agencies do just that. It’s a major step in the effort to make sure that transportation planning works for everyone, and a major asset in pressing for better bike facilities.

The bill is sponsored by Rochester’s own Assemblyman David F. Gantt, representative from the 133th district which includes the City of Rochester and Gates. Gantt is also the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Please take a moment to reach out to your Assemblyperson and Senator, as well as the leaders of the Assembly and Senate Transportation Committees and urge them to support Assembly bill A08587 and Senate bill S5711. Representatives of other local districts are listed below, with contact information.

Also, see the call to action from the New York Bicycle Coalition to support the bill.

Assembly

Joseph A. Errigo, 130th district: Henrietta, Pittsford, Mendon, Victor, East & West Bloomfield (and beyond).

Susan John, 131st district: parts of Rochester, Chili, Wheatland, Riga, Rush.

Joseph D. Morelle, 132nd district: Irondequoit, Brighton.

Bill Reilich, 134th district: Greece, Ogden, Sweden.

David Koon, 135th Assembly district: Webster, Penfield, Perinton.

Senate

James Alesi, 55th Senate District: Irondequoit, Perinton, Pittsford, Penfield, Mendon, Henrietta, Rush, Wheatland, Chili, Riga.

Joseph Robach, 56th Senate District: parts of Rochester, Greece, Parma, Brighton.

George Maziarz, 62nd district: Gates, Ogden, and west to Buffalo.

Martin Dilan, 17th district. Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

No Comments

Complete Streets

Complete Streets is a national movement which seeks to ensure that road construction projects take into account the needs of everyone who uses the roadways – pedestrians, motorists, the handicapped, children… and, naturally, cyclists.

In New York State, a bill currently making it’s way through the legislature would require that planning agencies do just that. It’s a major step in the effort to make sure that transportation planning works for everyone, and a major asset in pressing for better bike facilities.

The bill is sponsored by Rochester’s own Assemblyman David F. Gantt, representative from the 133th district which includes the City of Rochester and Gates. Gantt is also the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Please take a moment to reach out to your Assemblyperson and Senator, as well as the leaders of the Assembly and Senate Transportation Committees and urge them to support Assembly bill A08587 and Senate bill S5711. Representatives of other local districts are listed below, with contact information.

Also, see the call to action from the New York Bicycle Coalition to support the bill.

Assembly

Joseph A. Errigo, 130th district: Henrietta, Pittsford, Mendon, Victor, East & West Bloomfield (and beyond).

Susan John, 131st district: parts of Rochester, Chili, Wheatland, Riga, Rush.

Joseph D. Morelle, 132nd district: Irondequoit, Brighton.

Bill Reilich, 134th district: Greece, Ogden, Sweden.

David Koon, 135th Assembly district: Webster, Penfield, Perinton.

Senate

James Alesi, 55th Senate District: Irondequoit, Perinton, Pittsford, Penfield, Mendon, Henrietta, Rush, Wheatland, Chili, Riga.

Joseph Robach, 56th Senate District: parts of Rochester, Greece, Parma, Brighton.

George Maziarz, 62nd district: Gates, Ogden, and west to Buffalo.

Martin Dilan, 17th district. Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.