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

For information on getting involved, visit

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Presentation of Final Rochester Bicycle Master Plan 6pm-8pm Monday, Dec 13

The final resentation of the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan will take place on Monday, 12/13, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Rochester Central Library - Bausch & Lomb Building (116 South Ave). Your attendence and input will be most welcome.

The final version of the report will be available on the Web approximately one week prior to the meeting on the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Website:

I hope to see you there.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ithaca Bike Symposium and Bike Boulevards

With the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan almost completed, one of the options for providing access is bike boulevards as noted below.

Summary Jon Schull and Scott MacRae’s Trip to Ithaca Bike Symposium 11- 19 &20, 2010

We were fortunate to attend the Ithaca Bike Symposium. Unable to make the afternoon sessions, we joined the Bike & Beer Gathering Friday Night. We met some Ithaca bike advocates and were introduced as the “Rochester Brothers” because Jon and I both put Rochester after our first names.

The next morning Mia Burke, Alta Planning, former bike coordinator for Portland, Oregon 1993-1999 who now runs a 60 employee national bike consulting company gave a talk on Bicycle Boulevards” or “Neighborhood Greenways”. Here are the highlights.

60% of the population is classified as “Interested and Concerned” and these folks are that the population that responds Bike Boulevards appeal to. (There are the 1% young and fearless and 7% are enthused and confident, 30% are uninterested in bicycling.)

Bike Boulevards or Neighborhood Greenways, have been very successful in Portland but the first one is a challenge since the community does not know what to expect. The cost is $250,000/mile so they may not be cheep compared to the $10-20,000/mile for painting lanes. They are ideal to set up on streets that run parallel to preferred routes. The preferred traffic volume is 3,000-4,000 but 1,500 or lower is ideal. Some bike boulevards are now shooting for <500 cars/day.

There are different levels of commitment for Bike Boulevards or Neighborhood Greenways. The first level is signage and pavement markings. Another is prioritizing traffic so that the cyclists don’t have to stop frequently. They also traffic use traffic calming (slowing) techniques like elongated speed bumps, traffic circles and curb extensions to slow traffic ideally to 15-25 mph. A higher level of commitment is auto traffic diversion to a different street. Adjoining street dwellers often complain about this driving more traffic to their streets but this is typically less than expected because traffic disperses more to other non adjacent streets.

Public involvement is important and the process should not be rushed into. The neighborhood needs to be surveyed and canvassed as well as ride and public workshops all contribute to educating the neighborhoods on the positive effects. This includes the increase in land values of neighborhoods around bike boulevards.

They use median and refuge islands which are separate from the pedestrian islands to allow the cyclists to cross busy streets. A street may be blocked off from 2 way car traffic and become a one way street but allow bikes to go 2 ways.

A popular trend is to combine “bike boulevards” with “green streets” which includes bioswales and storm water management as well as green plantings to improve the livability for everyone. The park service people like this because it can create an atmosphere of a mini park in a park inaccessible area. Bike Boulevards are one part of the puzzle of making a community bike friendly.

A great video on Portland, Oregon’s Bike Boulevard Program is available at:


Thursday, November 11, 2010

University of Rochester Bicycle Active Transportation Forum, Monday Nov. 15, 5:30pm SMH, Flaum Atrium Case Method Room

University of Rochester Bicycling – Active Transportation Symposium – Workshop

5:30 pm, Monday, November 15th, Case Method Room # 9576, 1st floor Adjacent Flaum Atrium off the Mezzanine

The University of Rochester Center For Community Health and the Rochester Cycling Alliance are sponsoring a forum on bicycling and active transportation with a specific focus on educating the audience on the successes of Northern cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin as well as opportunities for Rochester.Dr. Brad Berk Strong Health Systems CEO, will be introducing a symposium on bicycling and active transportation. The City of Rochester is in the final stages of developing its Bicycle Master Plan that will be finalized in early 2011. The University of Rochester will play a critical role in the success of encouraging the Greater Rochester Community to promote bicycling and walking as economical, safe and healthy modes of transportation for adults and children.

The forum will present a concise overview of the safety, health, economic and lifestyle benefits of active transportation (bicycling and walking) and will invite the audience to comment on the barriers to promoting bicycling and walking both on and off campus. Transportation challenges of the University Master Plan and Rochester Bicycling Master Plan as well as logistics of bike commuting will be presented. The workshop is to educate and organize individual’s interest in promoting better access to biking and walking in Rochester.

This is the first of 4 progressively larger symposiums on bicycling and Active Transportation which will be held over the next 6 months.

For further information contact Scott MacRae via or Glenn Cerosaletti at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Be Ridiculous! How one Swedish city gets people to trade silly car trips for bikes

Here is a Swedish video about how to motivate, cajole and humerously encourage people to use active transportation, biking and walking, rather than hopping into the car for short trips. They've used some non conventional techniques for social marketing. Scott

Dutch Cyclists Shun Helmets - Wall Street Journal Article

Dutch cyclist are fighting the recommendaton by health professionals to wearing helmets. This is a familiar controversy where some cycling advocates are wary of encouraging helmets because it sends a message that cycling can be dangerous. The other side argues that not wearing a helmet is risky behavior. I think we've heard this argument before but which ever side you are on you can read about it below in the motherland of cycling in Europe. I personaly perfer to maintain as many brain cells as I can. Link below: Scott