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Build the Damn West River Bike Path Already!

Please Dont Bike

After attending a meeting of pro-Parkway partisans on Thursday night, taking a few drives, and finding out that there was a simultaneous pro-Bike Path meeting last Thursday, I decided to film a drive-by of the subject park lands. Councilman Mike Madigan tells me there is no way to build a bike path on the River, but instead wants one between two redundant two lane roadways.   Apparently, Supervisor McMurray favors converting the existing Parkway into a bike path, but the Parkway really isn’t on the river either.  

I am a biker, a scenic walker, and a cross country skier.   If I am going to transport to Grand Island for any such activity, I want to be on the Niagara River, not trapped between two roads, staring at some houses.   I can stare at houses in Amherst, North Buffalo or Clarence.   I don’t think anyone would build the West River Parkway today.   Neither the current pro environmental, anti-automobile attitude, or the traffic load would allow it.   But the Parkway is already there and a riverside bike path is not.   If the Parkway is a scenic route, slowing it down to 35 MPH from the present 55 would make it even more enjoyable.   But that won’t make it a safe pedestrian walkway.

My generation sent a man to the Moon and brought him back safely to Earth, using what now seems like Stone Age technology.   Therefore, in an effort to inspire the current local and state leadership, I have set my Parkway drive-by video to music and sound from the movie, The Right Stuff.  I begin with the clip of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 which was built just across the river in Wheatfield.   Click the movie box to see what the current situation is like from Buckhorn Island Park to the houses north of Beaver Island.   I think there is no real reason why a bike path cannot be built between the Parkway and the river, but you decide for yourself.   (If you look closely, at about 1:50 of the drive-by, you can see that there already is a bike path along the river for some distance.)

The Right Stuff 

Conversations with West River Parkway Homeowner’s Association President, Frank Greco, reveal that Parkway land owners have state permits for temporary docks and vegetation management.    

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West Parkway Homeowners President Frank Greco

 

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Mr. Greco also demonstrated that the river bank was not conducive to public  access in many places and he produced documentation for the claim that permanent docks can be maintained by those owners “and their linear descendants” for 99 years from July 31, 1991.  

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All of the above lead me to ask:  What is all the brouhaha about?   Isn’t the simple solution building a bike path/multipurpose walkway along the river?   Where are state bureaucratic and elected officials on this matter?   What about Chris Jacobs and Amber Small?   Where is Assemblyman John Ceretto?   What is short time Senator Mark Panepinto’s position?

Somehow I have the feeling that, if someone would just buy a keg of beer at the local fire hall and call a meeting, all this could be worked out pretty easily.   What am I missing? 

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So You Think Traffic is Bad on the Peace Bridge?

Check out the traffic on the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway.


The Flower Pedaler

Filed under: Good Ideas, Transportation

photoHere are a couple snapshots of Denis P. Guerin with his cool, custom Workcycles cargo trike. You can read all about how this enterprise came to be by checking out Newell Nussbaumer’s account over at buffalorising.com. Also visit Petrichor Flora on facebook.

They’re nice flowers, and very affordable. Great as an impulse buy if you see him on the street—or, for those of you who are even more romantically inclined, get in touch with him to see about arranging a delivery as you sit with your date at a sidewalk bistro. See phone number in the photo below.

 

 

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Tour de Farms 2015

This just in from GObike Buffalo…

GObike Buffalo and Massachusetts Ave. Project host

7th Annual Tour de Farms on Sept. 12th

A Bicycle Tour of Local, Urban & Rural Farms

1BUFFALO, NY – For the 7th year in a row the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) and GObike Buffalo are hosting the Tour de Farms, a 35-mile bicycle tour through the City of Buffalo to the Oles Family Farm in Alden, NY on Saturday, Sept. 12th. The ride will stop at a number of community gardens and urban farms in the city before heading out to rural farms east of Buffalo. The event ends with a Local Food Celebration that includes a meal, drinks from local breweries, live music and awards to teams with the Best Costume and Largest Team. Afterwards participants can ride their bikes home in a group, get a ride from friends or family or take buses back to the start location. Bikes are transported back in large trucks.

From humble beginnings with just a few dozen participants the event has grown to a maximum capacity of 500 people due to space constraints at the gardens and farms, particularly the celebration at the Oles Farm. In the past two years the event has sold out, with people being offered a spot on a waiting list.

3Rebekah Williams, MAP’s Youth Education Director, says, “One key element for the success of the event has been our continued partnership with Oles Family Farm. Oles Farm supports MAP throughout the growing season with produce for our Mobile Market. The Tour de Farms concludes at Oles Farm, with a delicious local-food barbecue, tours of their gorgeous property and extensive flower gardens and live music and dancing in the barn.” She adds, “All of the farms and community gardens that we stop at along the ride are critical to our region’s food system, and important to the success of Tour de Farms Buffalo.”

A food system is the path that food travels from field to fork, including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming and even disposing of food. A strong local food system supports the regional economy and healthy communities.

Williams says, “Tour de Farms demonstrates the ability to purchase fresh, locally-grown food from farms in our own communities.”

Erin Sharkey, one of the event founders, said, “Biking is such a powerful activity, to see the beauty of the region and be able to travel by our own power.” The Tour de Farms event allows people “to see how big a local food system is, and connect urban and rural [areas].”

The ride is fairly all-inclusive, providing a light breakfast and light lunch before and during the tour. GObike staff and volunteers provide roadside assistance and MAP follows in support vehicles.

“Last year there was light rain in the morning. We fixed about 50 flat tires on the ride and transported dry clothes for people to change into when they got to the Oles farm,” says Henry Raess, event coordinator for GObike Buffalo. “By the time we got to the final farm the sun was shining. It was a beautiful day, and we have a great time every year.”

For more information go to www.tourdefarmsbuffalo.org.


The Buffalist: Aug 24-30

 TheBuffalist

“First of all, we must internalize the ‘flatulation’ of the matter by transmitting the effervescence of the ‘Indianisian’ proximity in order to further segregate the crux of my venereal infection. Now, if I may retain my liquids here for one moment. I’d like to continue the ‘redundance’ of my quote, unquote ‘intestinal tract’, you see because to preclude on the issue of world domination would only circumvent – excuse me, circumcise the revelation that reflects the ‘Afro-disiatic’ symptoms which now perpetrates the Jheri Curis activation. Allow me to expose my colon once again. The ramification inflicted on the incision placed within the Fallopian cavities serves to be holistic taken from the Latin word ‘jalapeno’.”
— Oswald Bates (Damon Wayans), In Living Color season 1 ep 3

Hey I’ve been pretty busy this weekend so these are going to be some quick hits, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great things to do this week!

 5.  Blackalicious @ The Waiting Room (Aug 29)

The incredibly talented alt-rapper Blackalicious will be bringing his positive brand of frantic hip hop to the Waiting Room on Saturday and if you haven’t seen them before, check the above video and you’ll see why they are so popular.  Formed in the early 90’s in California, founding members Gift of Gab and Xcel didn’t hit it big until the 2000 when their first full length Nia won them critical acclaim.  Their newest LP Imani Vol. 1 drops Sep 18th so get to the Waiting Room and hear their new hits before everyone else.

4. Campus Wheelworks Season Finale (Aug 25)

Buffalo has quietly (and sometimes very loudly) become a superb cycling community.  There are a bunch of weekly and annual rides throughout the city (including the previously recommended Slow Roll which had a record over 1000 riders last week!  Congrats!) over the spring and summer, but this particular weekly ride kicks off every Tuesday at 6.  There are multiple skill groups and distances so you don’t need to be a ‘roided up Lance Armstrong in a 6000 dollar bike to enjoy it.  You can do the easy group that does around 10 miles and gets ice cream, the medium group that does 20 miles or the advanced group that does 30 miles.  They do not recommend the hard group for anyone who does not have previous group riding experience, however.  The clan goes all over the city and uses different routes every time, going everywhere from the Central Terminal to the Basilica in South Buffalo to Elicott Creek.  I’ll be there struggling through the middle group, so come join it is a ton of fun and a great workout.  This week is the season finale, and will end with a big party at Resurgence!  See you out there and bring a helmet!

3. Best of Buffalo – 48 Hour Film Project Screening @ Buffalo Ironworks (Aug 30)

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The 48 Hour Film Project is an international film competition that takes place all over the world, with over 900 events having taken place since founders Mike Ruppert and Liz Langston started in 1991.  The premise is relatively simple: can someone make a watchable movie with only 48 hours to work on it?  30,000 films later, their answer of course would be yes.  Check out Buffalo’s contribution to this on Sunday at 7 PM and see the best area film makers have to offer!  Details can be found here for the event and admission is only 10 bucks so the event will sell out fast.  The venue, Buffalo Ironworks, is a quick skip over from Canalside to the Cobblestone district so you can really make a nice evening out of it.
 

2.  Damon Wayans @ Helium Comedy Club (Aug 27-30) 

It’s Damon Wayans.  You know who he is.  In Living Color was a long time ago (for those who are too young, this is also where Jim Carrey got his comedy wings), but he still is as funny as he’s ever been.  His comedy has evolved in a Louis CK kind of way, which of course is a good thing.  Check him out at Helium this week.

1.  Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts (Aug 29-30)

Festival season may be winding down, but Buffalo has been saving one of its best for last.  The Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts will be lighting up the West Side with over 170 vendors, over 50 performances and plenty of food and booze.  The event will take place from West Ferry to St. James Place from 10-6pm Saturday and Sunday, with an after hours concert at 6:15 on Saturday at the St. James Place stage.  Close out August strong with this can’t-miss event!

Hot Takes:  Aircraft Album Release Party @ Sugar City (Aug 29), Shark Girl’s Birthday (Aug 26)

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook as well for Buffalo event updates.

 


Get Involved in the 198 Debate

Click here if you’re interested in the future of the Scajaquada Expressway.

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GObike Buffalo Wants to Right-Size the Scajaquada

Click here to get up to speed with GObike Buffalo’s outreach to improve conditions on the expressway that bisects Delaware Park.

The Aesthetics of Motordom

The Aesthetics of Motordom


198 Goes to 30mph for Good

This just in from the It’s About Time Department: Assemblyman Sean Ryan is announcing that the 30mph speed limit imposed after the tragic accident on Ring Road in Delaware Park Saturday morning will be a permanent change. Click here to read the press release.

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