The RCA works to create better cycling infrastructure and a stronger voice for cyclists in Rochester, NY.

For information on getting involved, visit

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Introducing Scott MacRae

Hi group. I finally made onto the blog. Jon and I met for 2 + hours brainstorming on bringing the U of R and RIT together as well as my Portland Ore. Experience. Jon posted the Portland Livability Video which is terrific. It has a great video explanation of Biking Boulevards and a variety of creative solutions to integrate cycling into their city. It is well worth your time.



Streetfilms | Portland: Celebrating America’s Most Livable City

Streetfilms | Portland: Celebrating America’s Most Livable City

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Open Planning Project

The New York Observer has a profile of Mark Gorton, the founder of The Open Planning Project (TOPP). Gorton, who made his fortune in the hedge fund industry, has funded advocacy for livable streets in New York City. In fact, the Observer bills him as "The Man Who Closed Times Square to Traffic." According to the article,
TOPP is a cross between a software start-up and a progressive policy think tank, and is made up of several smaller working groups. One group customizes and provides tech support for open-source mapping software that transit agencies use to keep track of their routes. Another works on applications that make it easier for people to communicate with city agencies-letting cyclists propose sites for bike racks to the city's DOT, for example. Another group produces Streetsblog, an opinionated blog on transportation issues.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First indoor velodrome east of the Mississippi

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports that a new indoor velodrome (a banked track for bicycle racing) will be built in Cleveland. Not exactly our backyard, but still close enough for a weekend trip. Some details from BRAIN:

CLEVELAND, OH (BRAIN)—Fast Track Cycling, Inc., a Cleveland-based, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, has entered into a real estate purchase option agreement with the city of Cleveland to acquire a nine-acre vacant site formerly occupied by St. Michaels Hospital in Slavic Village.

Fast Track plans to develop and operate an indoor recreational facility which will include a velodrome—a custom-built, banked bicycle track—as part of its mission to support track cycling and other recreational opportunities and promote health and wellness as well as youth programming.

Cleveland’s velodrome will be only the third indoor velodrome of the 25 in the United States, along with those in California and Colorado.

While looking at the Rochester-to-Cleveland route on Google Maps, I noticed that it passes right through Ashtabula, Ohio, where one-piece BMX-style cranks used to be produced in great numbers (in fact, such cranks are still often referred to as Ashtabula cranks).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

ENVIRONMENT: Cycling can boost the area's riches - Letters - Rochester City Newspaper

RCA member Scott Macrae wrote a great followup letter to City Newspaper a few weeks ago, and articulates several insights that we've not emphasized previously.  (So they are bolded below)

I read the December 16 article on Rochester's emerging cycling plans with great interest. We Rochesterians are fortunate to have a golden opportunity to improve our city and quality of life by completing the Genesee Valley Trail, participating in the Greater Rochester Cycling Plan, and continuing to build on our success. Rochester will see the multiple benefits of this investment in years to come.

Cities like Portland, Oregon; Minneapolis; and Copenhagen have pioneered the urban craft of improved cycling and pedestrian access with remarkable results. Copenhagen, a snowy northern European city, boasts a 37 percent cycling commuter rate and consistently is ranked one of the highest quality-of-life cities in Europe and the world. (You can see a film on Copenhagen's cycling effort here.) Portland's cycling commuter rate is 6.5 percent and consistently is rated, along with Minneapolis, in the upper echelon of livable cities. I lived in Portland for 17 years and saw the transformation from a downtrodden downtown to robust, youthful, and financially vibrant destination and place to live. Cycling and pedestrian development was a key element of their urban renaissance.
Here are a few compelling reasons why Rochester should kick into high gear and support a cycling and pedestrian program.
1) There are surprisingly strong economic benefits. Portland economist Joe Cartwright calculated an annual regional savings of $1.1 billion, or 1.5 percent of the region's income. These dollars are much more likely to stay and circulate within the region than money spent on gasoline, of which at least 73 percent of its value is exported to gas producing countries.
2) Biking cities and countries are safer. Holland has one-third the motor-vehicle fatality rate compared to the US. Paradoxically, cities that have busy pedestrian-cycling cultures are safer for all motorists and for pedestrians and cyclists because people are more alert while driving.
3) Biking communities are healthier. Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. In Holland, where almost every road has a bike lane, and 27 percent of all trips are by bike, the obesity rate is one-half that of the US.
4) Bicycling communities develop a strong pedestrian and youth culture. Cities like Minneapolis, Portland, and Boulder all are attracting young adults and families that revitalize neighborhoods. I was amazed at the transformation of rundown neighborhoods in Portland that are now bustling with restaurants, shops, and small businesses.
Rochester has equivalent or better higher-education centers than Portland, but it lacks a youth culture, which promotes outdoor activity and mingling within the city. Cycling and pedestrian activities nurture these types of environments.
5) The Greater Rochester area has fantastic cycling terrain for road biking, touring, and mountain biking. Recreational cycling promotion would pay huge dividends in ecology, tourism, economic development, and improved quality of life for the region at relatively little cost. Cycle Oregon, a week-long bike ride across a different part of Oregon each year, was started 21 years ago by the Oregon State Department of Tourism and attracted 1,033 riders. Now rural communities compete heavily to have it come to their town. There is a lottery to be one of the privileged 2,200 riders from 44 states and 11 foreign countries, and it donates more than $120,000 a year to local rural communities.
Iowa has a similar ride through rural Iowa, called RAGBRAI, with 15,000 riders, which has given an enormous economic, tourism, and goodwill boost to rural Iowa. A similar ride featuring the Finger Lakes, New York's wineries, and farmlands and bridging to the Erie Canal and 230 miles of trails along the Genesee Valley Greenway would highlight the beauty of the region.
Rochester's citizen and politicians should seize this opportunity to finish the Genesee River Trail and also think bigger to make Rochester a high-profile bicycling mecca. Portland has done it, and people have responded to its youthful, recreational, environmentally friendly approach while boosting its economy and improving its quality of life. Now is our chance. Let's seize it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Culver Road Reconstruction

Public meeting for Culver Road reconstruction design- February 2, 2010, 6:00 PM at St. Ambrose Church, 25 Empire Blvd. If we can get a cyclist from that area to advocate for bike lanes it would carry more weight. Anyone from around there willing to go to this meeting with me?

Meeting Notice

Fwd: BikeIt organizing collective!

Can anyone help organize a BikeIt contingent?  (We'll put your email address on the poster below!)

I'm trying to have RIT host the Ithaca contingent on their way to Detroit.
More info on this initiative here

This from Claire Stoscheck BikeIt National Coordinator, who visited last week.

As promised, I've attached the BikeIt Rochester poster. Please put a local contact in the contact box in the lower left corner as well, so Rochester folks can start organizing with each other to go to Detroit! Also attached is a template for an outreach email that you could use for your various groups/list serves/web-sites/blogs. Please modify it as you see fit!
Also, if folks want to stay in the loop you can join our listserve at:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

America's 75 Worst Commutes, Rochester NY tops Portland OR

America's 75 Worst Commutes

by The Daily Beast

Portland, OR may be a better place for bicyclist but we have an easier commute.

Notice the quote;"As anyone who drives on Interstate 5 or listens to the traffic reports knows, I-5 and most of the Portland freeway system is already congested at peak hours."

They are the highways to hell in the country’s most gridlocked cities. The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to determine your ultimate morning nightmares. How did your commute in rank?

#16, I-5, Portland, OR
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 238
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Marine Dr/Exit 307
Length of worst bottleneck: .76 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 23
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 14.8 mph

Commuter Buzz: “,” wrote Gerald Fox. “There are numerous choke points and frequent incidents delaying traffic throughout the region.”

66, I-490, Rochester, NY
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 14
Worst bottleneck: Inner loop westbound, Washington St/Exit 14
Length of worst bottleneck: .27 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 9
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 18 mph

Commuter Buzz: “The closing of the Lake Champlain Bridge is a wake-up call. New York has ignored its infrastructure for decades, putting New Yorkers and New York businesses in jeopardy,” state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told

National Bike Summit 2010

National Bike Summit 2010
March 9-11, 2010
Washington, D.C.

National Bike Summit 2010 - Building on 10 Years of Progress

Bicycling has come a long way in the last 10 years. Our movement has grown larger and more effective; the number of people riding is growing in almost every community in the nation. We need more people on bikes more often, and the reasons just keep on growing. Whether it’s obesity, health care, climate change, air quality, energy independence, traffic congestion, economic development or quality of life issues – bicycling has got to be part of the solution. In 2010, Congress and our Federal agencies will be setting national targets and goals for 2020. They will be writing transportation, climate, health care, natural resources and other critical pieces of legislation that will shape our future. Bicycling must be prominently featured in these important pieces of legislation, documents, funding streams and programs.

Ten years ago, the first National Bike Summit brought just over 100 advocates and industry leaders to Washington, D.C. – this year we need to be closer to 1,000 participants to make a strong impact. Join us and speak up for bicycling; discover how your voice can truly be heard. Help the League of American Bicyclists celebrate 10 years of progress, and help us propel into a new decade of the bicycle!