Recently we have been asked about the best ways to reduce our carbon emissions. Here’s one list of answers from Science. I bet you could do at least one of them, and I suspect you will be surprised by some of them.
ColorBrightonGreen.org supports transportation infrastructure that will provide safe travel for non-carbon emitting vehicles such as bicycles. There is a proposed change to the lane configuration on Route 96 (East Avenue) between E. Highland Drive and Route 31F in the towns of Brighton and Pittsford. The current configuration of Rt. 96 is a 40′ wide roadway comprised of four 10′ wide lanes. The Fall 2017 proposed New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) configuration was three 11’ wide lanes for motorized vehicles (the center lane being a turn lane), and two 3.5′ shoulders/unofficial bike lanes.
While ColorBrightonGreen.org supports the initiative of the NYSDOT to provide wider shoulders on this section of East Avenue, we don’t believe that maximizing speeds and leaving only 3.5′ wide bike lanes will protect the safety of all road users. ColorBrightonGreen and several other community groups (including Mothers Out Front, the Rochester Peoples’ Climate Coalition, and Rochester Cycling Alliance) have responded to a coordinated advocacy effort led by Robin Wilt to call for three 10′ vehicle lanes and two 5′ official bicycle lanes along this section of East Avenue. Such a configuration already exists on East Avenue at Winton Road (less than a half mile from the proposed project area).
ColorBrightonGreen.org sent written comments to the NYSDOT Project Design Engineer Daniel Schwind (Daniel.Schwind@dot.ny.gov), and to the Town of Brighton Board Members, and to other elected officials in December 2017. These letters can be seen here on our website.
Subsequent to local advocacy efforts, the NYSDOT has now proposed two 10′ vehicle lanes, one 11′ vehicle turning lane, and two 4.5′ wide shoulders that would not be official bicycle lanes. As of January 6, 2018, advocacy efforts for three 10′ wide vehicular lanes and two 5′ bicycle lanes continue.
Here are some sources of information for you to consider: Narrower Lanes Safer Streets Article from Planet Citizen. Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Narrow Traffic Lanes Make Cities Safer article from World Resources Institute. Narrower Lanes Safer Streets from Research Gate.
One of the things that makes it much easier to get by in Europe without owning a car is the abundance of car- and bicycle-sharing programs. We’ve seen them in almost every city we’ve visited this year, and I’ll be sharing pictures from different places.
Today’s bike rack picture is much more the norm at my neighborhood school. Looks like 6 students and 1 staff person rode their bike to work today at this primary school in Brighton, New York. Who has taken the leap to encourage their child to bike to school? If not, what factors might be keeping you from doing that?
I counted over 60 bicycles at my local elementary school this wonderful atypical day. Unfortunately, this bike rack doesn’t look like this on every nice day! Wondering what parents might be willing to do to fill it up like this more often…Would you be willing to ride your bike to school with your child?
Greatest sight here: a cyclist with a big white cello case strapped to his shoulder. We’ve also seen trombones and violins carried by people on wheels. One of these days the cellist will slow down or stop at a light and I’ll be able to snap a picture to post here!
Observation of the day: there are more pedestrians and cyclists here in Germany, but cars have a more universal right-of-way. One can never assume that a car will stop to let a pedestrian cross. Maybe I’ve spent too much time on college campuses in the U.S., but I’m used to pedestrian power.
The title of this post may be a little deceiving, because we did not actually take advantage of the ubiquitous transport-sharing programs in Paris. We were able to walk almost everywhere; when distances were too far, we either took a bus or the Metro. That said, the bike-sharing program was incredible.
I am a Brighton resident living this year in Jena, Germany. Jena is a town of about 100,000 people in central/eastern Germany. Most importantly for this blog, our family of four is here without a car. Over the next nine months, I will be posting about our experiences with active transportation (biking, walking) and public transportation (bus, streetcar, train).