A Buffalo General Medical Center staff member’s complaint on Facebook has prompted the leaders of Slow Roll Buffalo to assure people that provisions have been made for emergency vehicles to pass through the large weekly bicycle tour.
A person who identified herself as a clinical scientist in the hospital’s STAT laboratory said in her open letter on Facebook that the procession of bicyclists Monday evening caused concern about health emergencies.
“For 15 minutes, I watched as a ton of cars formed lines and waited,” wrote the hospital staffer, who posted as Ra Ven Raquel. “For 15 minutes, hospital workers, including myself, who just went on evening break, waited. For those employees returning to work from break or just arriving for their shift who were made to be late, this was not a minor inconvenience, this was a patient care issue. Your 15 minutes might seem like no big deal to you, but it cost us quite a bit of stress tonight.”
Slow Roll organizers responded by promising to take care to allow access to hospitals in the future.
“In addition to stopping the ride in case of emergency for both civilian and official vehicles, we now often break into smaller sections to allow for automobile traffic to flow,” Slow Roll co-founders Seamus Gallivan and Tony Caferro said in a prepared statement.
They added, “We respect the concern about blocking hospital entrances and exits, and will avoid doing so going forward.”
The Slow Roll Buffalo rides, held on Monday evenings from May to October, regularly attract thousands of bicyclists for leisurely excursions through various city neighborhoods.
The Buffalo rides are the largest in the nation – except for those in Detroit, where the Slow Roll began.
In their statement, the Slow Roll organizers noted that they take many measures to minimize problems prior to each week’s ride, including notifying the public of the route.
“In addition to weekly practice rides in which our squad volunteers engage with residents along the route to give advance notice and welcome participation,” they said in the statement, “our Streets Committee places scores of road signs at high-traffic intersections and hand-delivers flyers to homes and businesses; our Outreach Committee contacts neighborhood associations and institutions via phone, email, social media and attendance at community events; and our Public Relations Committee’s weekly traffic alert requests broadcast media. We will continue to seek new and more effective outlets for this effort, and welcome input.”
Ride organizers can be contacted by email at email@example.com.