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

For information on getting involved, visit

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rochester bicycle boulevard ride a success

On Sunday, May 23 at 1 PM in Cobbs Hill Park, over forty bicyclists began a bicycle boulevard demonstration ride through the Upper Monroe neighborhood in Rochester, New York. They were not racers, or members of a single bicycling club, or recruits for a charity ride. They were just ordinary folks finding out what a bicycle boulevard would look and feel like in our area.

Maybe it is a harbinger of things to come. Portland, Oregon’s next generation bicycle boulevards is already achieving what we are attempting here: “A low traffic volume and low traffic speed street where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority.” Already, this concept is being introduced as one of the choices for the Bicycle Master Plan being developed by the City of Rochester and the county of Monroe.

Preparation for this demonstration ride began almost a year ago by choosing a neighborhood properly situated near the heart of the city, en route to popular generators. A generator is a destination that attracts traffic, like a supermarket, a city center, a theatre district, or, in Rochester’s case, its wonderful network of trails (including the New York State Canal Trail) which come to a hub at Genesee Park.

For this specific demonstration ride, a route from the Upper Monroe neighborhood was mapped out and temporarily signed, pointing out each turn of the ride. When fully developed, this bicycle boulevard would not only have permanent signage, it might have many other features like auto speed reduction, auto traffic reduction, and various changes to make crossing busy streets easier and safer. ( Ultimately, Upper Monroe bicycle boulevards would be linked to a series of other boulevard routes throughout all our neighborhoods providing safe and enjoyable routes that make our neighborhoods more neighborly. Not to mention fewer fossil-burning vehicles, fewer ozone alert days, and a lighter impact on climate change.

What might tip the community from one that views bicycles, walking, and public transportation as peripheral ways of getting around to a city that is designed specifically around these transportation options? Maybe we could take our lead from Portland, Oregon, pack up all our influential community leaders, and send them to Boulder, Colorado or The Netherlands and let them see how they do it. Don’t laugh, it’s been done—and it worked!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bike 4 Breakfast

Bike 4 Breakfast (a Bike Week event) took place on Sunday, May 23rd from 8:00am - 11:00am. The ride started at Eastern Mountain Sports in Pittsford Plaza and followed the Canal Path to the Genesee River Path in route to the South Wedge Diner (located in Rochester's South Wedge neighborhood). The people, weather and ride were all great! The total number of riders that participated was 14. Great event - look forward to offering it again sometime this summer.
Thanks to Chintana for helping out.

Get that pothole filled!

For motorists, potholes are an annoyance, but they can be extremely dangerous for cyclists! If you encounter potholes in the City of Rochester, you can use this on-line form to report them to the City for repair:
In my experience, the City fills the pothole within a couple of days.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rochester Cycling Alliance / Bike Week Commuter Race just finished - cyclist won after a close race. Times will be updated later and possibly a video too! Thanks to everyone who helped out with the race. Great way to start out Bike Week. Don't miss the Light-up the River Ride tonight at 9:00PM. Visit: for details.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rush hour.

Here's a time-lapse video of rush hour in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Dream big, folks.

Friday, May 21st - Commuter Race (First Bike Week Event)

Rochester's Bike Week starts tomorrow! Tomorrow is also National Bike to Work Day - BIKE TO WORK! Come support the Bike Week Commuter Race at 7:00am (Bicyclists vs. car vs. bus). Race will begin at Starbucks (Corner of Winton and Monroe) at 7:00am and terminates in front of the museum on Monroe Ave (just before Manhattan Sq Pk).

Monday, May 10, 2010

RCA T-shirt Orders

Anyone interested in a limited edition RCA T-shirt please email us
with your name, T-shirt size, phone number, and email. T-shirt cost
will be $20 per shirt. This cost is based on buying 12 T-shirts to start. The more people who buy them the cheaper they will be. We need orders by 10AM tomorrow (5/11) in order to get the shirts by this Friday. Please pass this message along and let all RCA'ers know about the shirts.

Shirts will be Red 50/50 cotton shirts with a white RCA Chain ring /Cityscape logo on the front and white "ROCHESTER CYCLING ALLIANCE" lettering on the back across the shoulders. To place an order for your shirt click here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


ATTENTION all RCA members with a Facebook page! If you have been looking for a way to help and support the RCA and Bike Week, but have been too busy to make it to meetings, etc. you can help-out by letting your friends know about the event through Facebook or email.

If you have a Facebook page please cut and paste the following message into your status:

Rochester Bike Week is May 21st thru 28th. For a list of events visit:

If you do not have facebook, but have an email account.. then simply send the above message to your friends via email.

Your help with messaging and getting the word out is crucial to the success of this event! What good is this event if no one knows about it! Also, frequent posts to your Facebook page over the next two weeks leading up to Bike Week will increase our messaging success!

SPREAD THE WORD! Thanks for your support...

Bike Week Committee

Saturday, May 8, 2010

LAST Rochester Bike Week Volunteer Meeting

ATTN: All RCA Members and Volunteers...

We will be having the last volunteer meeting at Spot Coffee on Tuesday, May 11th from 7-8PM. At this meeting we will cover: upcoming confirmed events, distribute fliers to volunteer (for later distribution), discuss where fliers have been distributed thus far (bike shops, etc.), schedule volunteers for flier distribution at the Lilac Fest, determine the number of Bike Week shirts to purchase, and implement Social Media strategies and get our network of volunteers involved with spreading the word via FB, Twitter, Blogs, etc.

Please come to see how you can help support the event.

RCA Bike Week Committee
For more info. please email:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Maplewood Bike Rodeo needs volunteers!

The Maplewood Library is having a bike rodeo for kids next Saturday (May 15) at 10:00, and needs additional volunteers, preferably people who have some experience with minor bike and helmet adjustments/repairs. About 26 kids, all active users of the Maplewood Library, will be attending. It will take place in the front parking lot of Aquinas High School. The RPD will be supervising the actual cone riding course. Volunteers will be needed for the helmet/bike adjustments and possibly helping kids learn to ride. Please contact me if you are interested: .

-Bill Collins

Transportation reform IS health reform

Via Streetsblog, an article about a CDC report quietly issued last month which affirms that reforming transportation policy to encourage pedestrian and bicycle use will improve the health of our country-
This CDC brief should be mentioned every time we advocate for better cycling facilities.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

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.

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sustainability Mobility Fair

Sustainability Mobility Fair “Future Transportation Choices for Short Trips" Admission is free and open to the public. At the May 8th Sustainability Mobility Fair you can view over 20 full-size alternative vehicles in a casual setting.

WHEN & WHERE: 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

Most of the trips we take are 6.5 miles from our homes. Either traveling to work, to school, to shop, or just for fun, you will have many transportation choices in the future. Whether your reasons for considering alternative transportation are to cut commuter costs, concern over greenhouse gas emissions, or to improve your health, get an idea of your choices by coming to our first Sustainability Mobility Fair. This event is sponsored by The Center for Student Innovation at RIT (CSI) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the Center for Environmental information (CEI).

Our vision for creating this expo is to offer the public an opportunity to see and examine possible alternative transportation for those short distances.
Attendees will be exposed to what is new and now available on the markets and able to experience the latest choices in electric (bicycles, trikes, cars and motorcycles), hybrid electric, GEM car, Zip car, hydrogen, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, propane hybrid, plug-in electric, ethanol, Walking School Buses, bicycles, ‘veggie’ vehicles, 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. For more information, please check out:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 Foot Passing Law in NY?

Via Streetsblog, an article about the current status of bills to help keep cars away from bikes in New York State. David Gantt, a Rochester Assemblyman, is currently Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, and is mentioned in the article as being currently opposed to a 3 foot rule, preferring instead a "safe distance" rule. Any area bicyclist, but especially constituent's of Mr. Gantt's, should contact his office about these bills.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rochester Bicycle Master Plan

The first "pre kick off" meeting of the Advisory Committee met on Friday. RCA members Andrew Dollard, Bill Collins, Richard DeSarra also representing Rochester Bicycle Club and myself (representing U. of R.) as well as others, were there as well as city representatives Chuck Thomas, Steve Beauvaias, Pete Siegrest and Erik Frisch. Scott Leathersich represented Monroe County and a proxy GTC rep was there.

This meeting was to prepare for the outside national bicycle planning/consultanting group Sprinkle from Tampa, Fl. who will be coming the week of May 24-28th to do their preliminary assessment. This visit will overlap with bike week and we are planning to see if we can get Mayor Duffy and Sprinkle to participate in some of our Bike Week activities. The details of this need to be worked out but it looks encouraging that this will fall into place. Local firms ERD a landscape design and engineering company as well SRF, which offers expertise in transportation planning, pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic calming ect. will be assisting Sprinkle. They want to do this plan expeditiously in 8 months since all parties are eager to move forward because of potential funding opportunities.

We discussed a variety of issues which need to be addressed by the master plan including how to meter progress, weather, representation of low income groups and the format of the upcoming meetings. Overall everyone involved seems committed to making a difference in making Rochester a more bike friendly town. More later.