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

For information on getting involved, visit

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sustainability Mobility Fair - May 8th FREE

“Sustainability Mobility Fair - Future Transportation Choices for Short Trips"
Admission is free and open to the public.

When: Saturday, May 8, 2010 from 10:AM - 2 PM
Where: The Center for Student Innovation at RIT, 1 Lomb Memorial Dr Rochester, NY 14623-5698

Attendees will be exposed to what is new and now available on the market and able to experience the latest choices in Electric, Hydrogen, Biodiesel, Natural Gas, Propane, Hybrid, Plug-In, Ethanol, Walking School Buses, and cycling transportation technologies.

All alternative fuel options will be on display. As more commuters become aware of travel choices, we expect to see more of them regularly choosing transportation alternatives because of the benefits. Sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Center for Environmental Information (CEI).

For more information and directions, surf over to or

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Safe Routes to Schools, Obesity Issues and RCA The Safe Routes to Schools groups were at the National Bicycle Alliance Meeting in Washington DC. Through my contacts there I contacted Kathy Cook a coordinator of Safe Routes to Schools in Portland, Ore. She told me of their program in Portland and the program that was funded in New York last year but wasn't renewed this year. She suggested identifying parents, teachere, PE, health teachers, and principals who like to cycle and encouraging them to get involved with the safe routes programs. I've enclosed the Safe Routes Websites which can be of help to these individuals. I'd consider it a big win if we could identify one or 2 individuals/champions to get things started with Safe Routes to Schools and then move forward from there. The web sites are below: I also had an excellent discussion with Andrew Dolinger MD, County Health Comissioner, who is very interested and sympathetic to our work. He has a huge task of trying to combat an epidemic of adult and childhood obesity and things like pedestrian and cycling activity are music to his ears to promote exercise and health in Monroe County. He is working with a number of health organizations including Greater Rochester Health Foundation and the Adult Obesity Coalition, the latter run by Nancy Bennett, Head of Center for Community Health - U of R. who are very sympathetic to what we are doing. These are natural alliances that can help us with time and support our efforts to get people more active.

Here's the main website link for Safe Routes To Schools for our reference as well as a tips for starting a program. There may be some walking bus programs in the area according to Dr. Dolinger :

The tips for starting up SRTS in your backyard are here:

Join us here:

And also, check out your State's page on our website:


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Commuter Race

I have been talking with bike advocates in Madison and Minneapolis and getting some interesting ideas from them. One idea is to have the mayor ride the bike in the race. The mayor of Minneapolis who is a bicyclist and an strong bike supporter has won the commuter race against the car and bus every year he has done it.

I think we should invite the mayor to do the race on a bike. We should do some dry runs prior to the race to make sure the route is safe, passable ect. and then get him involved. There would be no better way to get him into what we're doing than by asking him to jump in. I'd be glad to approach him with the idea. I think we're ready for a meeting with him anyways. If we want to do it, we need to do it soon to get on his calender. I've also got lots of ideas on how to deal with the snow and northern climate issue from the midwestern city folks west of us.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bike Share is Happening in the US.

I think this has excellent potential on college campuses in Rochester. Read on. Scott M.

Public bike share is gearing up in Minneapolis
Blue Cross to be lead sponsor, bike share equipment featured at State Fair
September 2, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Mayor R.T. Rybak said today that Minneapolis is on track to launch the first large-scale bike share system of any city in the country. In May 2010, Nice Ride Minnesota will launch a bike share system in Minneapolis, similar to systems in Paris, Barcelona, Montreal, and more than 100 cities across the globe.
Nice Ride Minnesota will put 1,000 bicycles onto Minneapolis streets, locked in 80 self-service kiosks. Bike share kiosks will be located in downtown Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota campus and in nearby commercial districts, including Uptown, Eat Street, Midtown, Seward, Dinkytown, Cedar Riverside, and the Warehouse district.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) today announced it will be the major sponsor of Nice Ride Minnesota. Nice Ride previously received a $1.75 million award from Bike Walk Twin Cities, a federally-funded initiative to increase biking and walking and reduce driving.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Case Statement For Active Transportation Genesee - Finger Lakes Region, New York

I had a very productive discussion with Bob Torzynski head of bicycle and pedestrian affairs at Genesee Tranportation Council (GTC) and got some background on the proposal discussed by Rich Perrin head of GTC when he visited us last month. This $50 million proposal is just for the Rochester area and is part of a bigger proposal. (More details are in Jeff Mapes's book Pedaling Revolution on page 59. )
After the 2006 elections Rails To Trails started shopping a plan around the country to give forty communities, $50 million dollars to increase bicycling and pedestrian use - that's a total of $2 Billion, yes $2 Billion, nationally.
This is being made possible by the introduction of Oregon House Representative Earl Blumenhauer's Active Transportation ACT of 2010 or ACTA or House Bill # 4722 which asks for $ 2 billion dollars over 6 years. This is the potential source of our funding for our $50 million dollar application. Today I sent a 10 page draft of the Rochester Case Statement to Rails to Trails to critically review and make suggestions to strengthen our proposal. The draft was originally created by the Rochster Area Community Foundaton inconjuction with the GTC. Rails To Trails is very supportive of our application and encouraged us to move forward when we visited their offices when when in Wash. DC.

If the Active Transportation bill passes, they will porbably fund 40 communities. Currently they have 53 case statements from different communities and we would have a very good chance of getting funded. All this is dependent on getting house Bill # 472 passed. We need to encourage all of our congressmen to support and more importantly cosponsor house bill # 4722. This is the most important national letter we can do probably this year so I'd encourage you to do write your congress man or woman. I will keep you posted on our progress.


Rochester Subway : $510 Million No One Seems To Care About

I hope no one is offended, but I've lifted this entire article from

Our friends at GTC are presenting again Wednesday morning.  We should be there.

Rochester Subway : $510 Million No One Seems To Care About

$510 Million No One Seems To Care About

March 14th, 2010

This is the Mortimer St. design for a transit center that was part of the Renaissance Square project. RGRTA still wants to build this portion of the project on Mortimer St.
Last Tuesday I attended a public presentation by the Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) to review their Draft 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program Project List external link. It contains over $500 million in new transportation spending for our region over the next few years. And I don’t mind pointing out that I was the only one in attendance. I don’t mean the only one from… or the only one from my neighborhood… I mean THE ONLY PERSON in the entire city of Rochester and 7 county region in attendance. No one from the community, no one from the press, no raging activists… no one. It was literally me and about 5 or 6 representatives from GTC.
I’m more than a little perplexed by the lack of interest. Especially given the amount of money on the table and the shear number of proposed projects and purchases. For example, $6 million for work on the Aqueduct/Broad Street Bridge and subway tunnel, nearly $50 million for new transit buses, and over $45 million for a new RTS Transit Center. These are not small potatoes—there are over 200 other projects and purchases in this draft proposal—and if you wanted to speak your mind about any of it you may have just missed the boat. Don’t blame me, I posted the meeting on Facebook page external link and pleaded with our 460+ fans to come out. You can’t even blame GTC—the meetings are posted on their site and the Democrat & Chronicle announced them last Sunday.

A Second Chance To Give A Damn…

I can hear reading this and saying to yourself, $510 million is a lot of money and you’d like to bitch and complain about how MY MONEY is being spent! Okay, you know what? This is your lucky week. GTC is holding 2 more public meetings this Wednesday (3/17) in Henrietta and Ogden. See the times and locations here external link. And if you really really REALLY can’t make be bothered to show up in person, you can write, fax, or email your comments and concerns to GTC until March 26.
RGRTA is on target to build their bus terminal on this  Mortimer St. parking lot.I don’t have nearly enough time to get into all the projects that are on this list so you’ll have to download the PDF external link and thumb thru it on your own. But I will touch on the one that you may have heard of before. Item #144 on the list is $45.7 million in federal, state, and local funding for a Downtown Transit Center—formerly Renaissance Square. Looks like we can forget any dreams of a real intermodal transit station. RGRTA is moving ahead with it’s plan to build a slightly scaled down version of it’s bus terminal on Mortimer St. and Clinton Ave.
RGRTA is on target to build their bus terminal on this  Mortimer St. parking lot.RGRTA CEO Mark Aesch says, “We picked this site and worked on it for 10 years for a reason. Mortimer Street is the right location to build a transit center. It’s environmentally approved. We’ve spent millions of dollars getting the design to where it is today. That’s the right place to build this project. We’re hopeful that’s where it’s going to be.”
According to Aesch the terminal will cost in the mid to high $40 million range. If the GTC’s Draft Project List becomes reality, and I’d judge by the lack of public interest that it will, Aesch will have his $45.7 million and we’ll have a bus garage downtown very soon. Goodie.
Item #69 on GTC's list of transportation projects has $6 million marked for the east end of the Broad Street Tunnel and Aqueduct. More on this later...I’ll save my comments on line #69, Broad St. Tunnel & Aqueduct, for a future post. I’m awaiting comments from the City on this one. Though I’d say it reeks pretty heavily of the canal re-watering plan external link. Stay tuned.Share this on Facebook

National Bike Summit & Alliance for Biking and Walking Top 10 Suggestions

Andrew Dollard, Jon Schull and I attend the National Bike Summit on Weds, March 10th and Jon went to advocate on March 11th with members of congress. It was a terrific conference and we all learned a great deal which will come in very handy.

I attended 3 break out sessions. The first one was held by The Alliance for Biking and Walking which was intended for advocacy communities that were just getting started and talked about the grants program ($15 K) they have to get communities started as well as the regional trainings they have for starting communities. I've attatched the "Top 10 Tips" the give for starting organizations. This includes the need to start a 501(c) (3) which I think we need to innitiate soon since it takes at least 3 months to get. I also caught the tail end of a Progressive Cities Session which featured Tom Miller who is Portland Mayor Sam Adam's Chief of Staff and the person who convinced Sam Adams that a bike friendly policy is the way to go. He was impressive and is a potential speaker for our upcoming bike summit.
The second session covered the health benefits and I met with the President of the American Public Health Asscociation and Ken Rose of Tranporation Policy Director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health both of were very informative and helpful. They were both willing to share their slides which may come in handy.
The third session was on Madison Wisc. and the mayor, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz gave a great talk. When I asked him about the snow problem, he was a bit perplexed, since he didn't view it as too big a problem since they have a policy that the bike trails get plowed preferrably before 7am. and that seems to work out. He is also a potential speaker for the bike summit.
Included is the the "Top 10 " list from the Alliance for Biking and Walking -- Scott

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Writing Women Back into Bicycling - Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

Writing Women Back into Bicycling - Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals


When:Wednesday, March 31
3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT

Registration Information
Online registration is available until: 3/31/2010
Some say that transportation culture will change when more women are cycling. What's the key to making that change happen? Hear all about it during APBP's free webinar, Writing Women Back into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle. This presentation is linked to the encouragement recommendations of the International Scan. Consider hosting a site and inviting your colleagues to attend.
This webinar is made possible by a generous contribution from the Family of Mrs. Neil L. Miller (1938-2005) Barry University HPLS Faculty.

« Go to Upcoming Event List

Wednesday, March 10, 2010



The RCA Events Committee will be holding their first volunteer recruitment meeting at the Genesee Waterways Center today (Wednesday, March 10th) from 7PM - 9PM.

Directions to the site can be found here:
GWC Boathouse Address:
149 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, New York 14611

Please spread the word to all those who may be interested and post this message to your Facebook and Twitter accounts (if possible). The meeting will focus on explaining our overall events and strategies for bike week in order to recruit volunteers. Bike week will help RCA fulfill its mission to create better cycling infrastructure and a stronger voice for cyclists in Rochester, NY.

Thanks for your support!
Jason Hammel and the RCA Events Committee

Monday, March 8, 2010

Commuter cycling in Iceland

If they can do it, we can do it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Bicycle/Pedestrian bridge

Was anyone able to attend last night's meeting about the possible new bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the Genesee? I was not able to attend, but am interested in what was discussed. Please leave any info in comments below, or e-mail me at .


-Bill Collins

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Act now to get Congress to enact the ACT Act

rails to trails conservancy
Dear Jon,
Read about yesterday's historic milestone for trails, walking and bicycling, and take action now!
Yesterday, H.R. 4722, the"Active Community Transportation Act of 2010"was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives!

Now, your voice is needed to ensure that this legislation becomes reality.
Please act now!
For years, you have been speaking up for active transportation. Through both critical victories and short-term setbacks, your phone calls, e-mails, and support have persisted.

And finally, we have the most tangible result yet that our calls for more active transportation will be answered.

Late yesterday, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) introduced H.R. 4722, the "Active Community Transportation Act of 2010" (ACT Act), on the floor of the House of Representatives!

The ACT Act is the direct result of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC)Campaign for Active Transportation. The Act would create a $2 billion program to fund dozens of communities around the country to improve their trail, walking and biking networks. Your community could ultimately receive some of these funds, better allowing you and your neighbors to walk and bike to the places you live, work, play, shop and learn.

Across the country, Americans have made clear that we want more transportation options, and the ACT Act goes a long way toward making such safe and convenient options a reality. Research clearly shows that funding active transportation is a wise investment, saving our nation substantially over time.

Now that Rep. Blumenauer has introduced the legislation in the House, we need to ensure that other representatives support the bill's passage.
Encourage your representative to co-sponsor this very important legislation now.
This push for co-sponsors is the first step of a larger strategy to ensure that we get the strongest possible congressional support. Next Thursday, hundreds of advocates from around the country will gather in Washington, D.C., for the League of American Bicyclists' annual Bike Summit, to lobby for the ACT Act.That same day, Thursday, March 11, we'll ask you to join a national call-in day in support of the ACT Act. Please stay tuned.
Thank you,
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevards

Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevards

In order to adopt a city-wide system of bicycle boulevards, they must be coordinated across many neighborhoods. UMNA stepped up to the plate and became the first neighborhood in our city to endorse the City of Rochester’s decision to include bicycle boulevards in its Bicycle Masterplan. Eventually, we want to provide the Rochester community with an example of bicycle boulevards designed to connect neighborhoods with the city-wide trail system and to encourage bicycle use by casual bike riders to nearby destinations.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

City Bicycle Master Plan

What the heck- I thought the City wanted to get our input regarding the choice of contractor for the plan. It looks like they've settled on a choice:

Dewey Avenue Reconstruction

The City of Rochester engineers will re-present their plan for repaving of Dewey Avenue at the meeting of the Maplewood Neighborhood Association tomorrow, March 3, at 7:00 PM at the Aquinas HS cafeteria. It's looking like they feel that bike lanes are OK from Driving Park to Flower City Park, but want 4 lanes of traffic from Flower City Park north to Ridge, without bike lanes.

Call for Volunteers

The Rochester Cycling Alliance needs your help!

Rochester Bike Week 2010 will be held from May 21-28, and we're planning to make a big impact with a week loaded with events. But we can't do it alone!

We're looking for volunteers to help us plan, publicize, and pull off the events we've got planned for Bike Week. If you want to help raise the profile of bike riders in Rochester and encourage public officials to build a more bike-friendly city, then we want you!

In particular, we're looking for people to join street teams to publicize Bike Week at events like the Lilac Festival, and to post flyers in various public gathering areas in the city. If you've got graphic design skills, we're also looking for people to help us develop a logo and produce our promotional materials. And when Bike Week gets here, we're going to need help setting up our events and taking care of all those last-minute details.

If you'd like to help out, we'll be holding an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 10th at 7 p.m. at the Genesee Waterways Center in Genesee Valley Park. Directions to the GWC are available at If you can't make it to the meeting but would still like to help out, send us an email at

And, if you're part of another bike organization or run a bike-related business, and want to host your own event, we can help you plan and promote it. The more cool events we can squeeze into Bike Week, the bigger the effect we'll have.

The time has never been better to transform Rochester into a true cycling city, and the RCA is working hard to make sure that cyclists have their voices heard. Come out and help us make it happen!