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Letter: City is wise to support bicycling community

City is wise to support bicycling community

On a recent trip to the Netherlands, I was struck by the significant bike culture that contributes to a rich and vibrant environment. While Buffalo’s biking numbers are not nearly as high, there is a growing bicycling community here that should be nurtured and supported.

Rod Watson concludes in a recent column, however, that developing biking infrastructure in Buffalo is inefficient and that bike lanes are “squeezing” motorists into fewer driving lanes. Watson seems to be advocating for the status quo in order to shave a few minutes off what is typically a fairly short and efficient commute in our city. What he neglects to consider are the significant positive impacts that promoting biking (and other alternate forms of transportation) can have on our community, including improved health, active lifestyles, a cleaner environment and lowered transportation costs – important in a city where more than 30 percent of households do not own cars.

More importantly, however, Watson misses the point that creating an urban environment friendly for pedestrians and bicyclists contributes to building a community that is vibrant, inviting, healthier and safer. Forward-thinking organizations such as Go Bike Buffalo should be commended for working with the city to develop a bike master plan, not just for the enjoyment of those who bike, but also for the benefit of our entire community. By dreaming of what our city can become, adhering to smart growth principles and considering quality-of-life factors for all, we can build a truly great Buffalo.

Matt Enstice

President and CEO

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus