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Another Voice: Bike sharing helps build a better Buffalo on two wheels

By Justin Booth

Year by year, we continue to see a growing community of bicyclists in Buffalo. With that comes expanded interest in events and activities for people of all ages to partake in – from the SkyRide and Slow Roll to community classes on bicycle maintenance and learning to ride.

The introduction of Reddy Bikeshare, a new bike share service, brings Buffalo another step forward in creating a better city by providing equal access for everyone to bike. By collectively promoting, educating and encouraging bicycling, Buffalo is creating improved health, better environmental outcomes, a vibrant economy and an overall improved quality of life for all residents.

At GObike Buffalo, we’ve been working with the mayor and city leaders on Buffalo’s Bicycle Master Plan, a long-term initiative to integrate bicyclists’ needs into city projects, policies and programs. The plan, which was released in May, outlines how the community’s vision to become more bicycle friendly will be achieved by creating a network of safe complete streets with 150 miles of bicycle lanes by 2018.

Another important step in making Buffalo more bike friendly is to make biking more accessible to more people. Some of America’s most bike-friendly cities have successful bike share programs. In fact, bike share systems currently operate in more than 60 U.S. cities – and, last month, Buffalo became one of them.

Bike sharing is widely recognized as a healthy mode of traveling that is a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to driving.

Independent Health and Shared Mobility Inc. launched the new Reddy Bikeshare program in the City of Buffalo.

A 200-bike fleet is available to local residents and visitors throughout the city. Dozens of Reddy Bikeshare racks have been set up, from as far north as Hertel Avenue to as far south as RiverWorks, and many places in between, east and west. Reddy locations were chosen based on public feedback gathered from the “Get Reddy Buffalo” campaign conducted this past spring, as well as criteria such as available space, pedestrian traffic, population density and each site’s proximity to bike infrastructure and transit options.

More than 800 votes were logged, with considerable public appeal for specific locations, including Delaware Park, Broadway Market, Buffalo Museum of Science, the downtown Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, RiverWorks, Canalside and the Elmwood Village and Allentown neighborhoods.

GObike Buffalo commends Mayor Byron Brown, Independent Health and Shared Mobility for helping make Reddy Bikeshare a reality for our city. It’s an affordable option for those looking to get around on two wheels, and just another way we are building Buffalo through better bicycling.

Justin Booth is executive director of GObike Buffalo.

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