Creating a Bicycle Friendly Community in Rochester
The City of Rochester is dedicated to making this a world-class bicycling community. Since the summer of 2011, 45 lane miles of on-street bicycle facilities have been installed with many more planned in the coming year. We have also greatly expanded our off-street trails network and added a significant amount of bicycle parking around the city.
Bike Week 2013
- Rochester celebrated Bike Week 2013 in May. Check out the web page for a list of all the events!
Recognition of Rochester's Efforts
Benefits of Increased Bicycling in Rochester
It is easy to see why bicycling is becoming increasingly popular in the Rochester area as both a mode of transportation and a recreational activity. There are countless benefits from bicycling, both at an individual and community level. As succinctly stated by a citizen on the Plan’s website, “What a great way to reduce congestion, pollution, and obesity.” Some of the many benefits related to these and other aspects of life in Rochester are listed below.
Bicycling Helps the Local Economy
- Almost 20 percent of the average American family's budget is spent on transportation. Thus, more pedal power, and less fuel consumption, can result in real savings for Rochester’s families.
- Increased disposable income can result in increased spending in the local marketplace, which would boost the local economy.
- Improving bicycling conditions is a cost-effective way of optimizing existing public infrastructure.
Bicycling Communities are Healthier Communities
- Adding bicycling to the daily routine helps us stay healthier; 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, and bicycling is a great solution to the problem.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like bicycling), five days a week, can reduce the risks for illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and depression.
- Bicycle trips create zero emissions, contributing to better air quality for the Rochester region (and cleaner air for all of us to breathe)
Bicycling Communities are Strong Communities
- Improved bicycling conditions provides mobility for people who do not have cars, thereby increasing access to jobs, education, and health care.
- Cities that promote bicycling tend to retain youth, attract young families, and increase social capital.
- Improved bicycling conditions add to the vitality and quality of life of the community and provide access to recreational destinations across the region.
- Better bicycling facilities provide access to public transit, thereby increasing transportation options.
Understanding Bicycle Facilities
This painted white lane line with bike symbols designates a 5 to 6 foot wide travel lane for exclusive use by bicycles. Motor vehicles may cross the bike lane to access adjacent parking spaces or to make a turn, but motor vehicles must yield to bicycle travel in this lane and may not use the bike lane as a travel lane.
|Contra-Flow Bike Lanes
A contra-flow bike lane, is a bike lane that allows bikes to legally travel in the opposite direction of travel on a traditional one-way street. In some cases, bicycles traveling in the direction of the one-way street will also be provided a bike lane, or they may be required to share the road in that direction.
A Shared Use Lane Marking Symbol, also known as a Sharrow, indicates that motor vehicles and bicycles should share the travel lane. This painted symbol on the roadway provides guidance for the cyclist as to where to position themselves when riding on the pavement. Bicyclists should ride with their wheels lined up with the center of the marking. Motor vehicles may safely pass bicycles when using caution.
Sharrows are used when pavement width does not allow for a full bike lane; the markings are typically centered four feet from the curb or parking lane.
City trails are designed for the recreational use of both pedestrians and bicyclists. The Genesee Riverway Trail extends north from the statewide Erie Canal Heritage Trail through the heart of the City to Lake Ontario where it connects with the east-west Seaway Trail at the Port of Rochester. The Genesee Riverway Trail hugs both sides of spectacular Genesee Riverway and links 11 city parks along the way, each with its own network of trails and paths.
Cyclists should use extra caution when sharing the trail with pedestrians and when crossing city streets on the trail. Most city trails close at dusk and are not plowed in the winter.
A Cycle Track is a one-way or two-way bicycle only facility that runs adjacent to the street but is physically separated from both motorized traffic and the sidewalk.
The City is currently working on several projects that will include a cycle track, including the Elmwood Avenue / Collegetown Cycle Track which will connect the Genesee Riverway Trail and the College Town redevelopment along Elmwood Avenue, and the Inner Loop East Transformation Project, which will provide a cycle track along the west side of the new Union Street between Chestnut Street and University Avenue.
A Bike Box is an extension of the Bike Lane located at a signalized intersection that allows a bicyclist to reposition themselves in front of motorized vehicles during the stop phase of a traffic light. The City has installed Bike Boxes at 3 locations in 2013.
Cars are prohibited from turning right on red at these locations to allow bicycles to move into the front position. Cars crossing the bike lane or turning right on green must yield the right of way to bicycles.
• Minimizes conflicts with right turning vehicles
• Allows cyclists to position themselves for a left turn
• Improves visibility of cyclists
• Minimizes vehicle encroachment into the crosswalk
• Allows cyclists to clear an intersection as a group
Educational videos from other cities:
Interactive Bicycle Facilities Map
Our interactive bicycle facilities map is filled with information on bike lanes, trails, and other bicycling amenities in the City of Rochester. Click on a feature for more information, photos and links. Users can zoom in or out, pan over, and even switch the basemap to an overhead image.
The Bureau of Parking Off-Street Division administers the Downtown Bike Locker Program. Individuals can rent a bike locker on a yearly basis at six of the downtown garages run by the City.
Bicycle Service Stand
These repair stands are free to use and feature an air pump, philips and flathead screwdrivers, box wrenches (8,9,10,11,15 & 32mm), allen wrenches (2,2.5,3,4,5,6 & 8mm) tire lever, and a torx wrench.
Find service stands at:
- Sister Cities Parking Garage: 28 N. Fitzhugh St., Level 1
- Genesee Valley Sports Complex: 131 Elmwood Ave.
- Maplewood Park: Driving Park Ave. and the Genesee Riverway Trail
- Sister Cities Parking Garage repair stand: The valve depressor in the air pump for tires with Schraeder valves has been damaged. The City will replace the pump head. The air pump is still operational for tires with Presta Valves.
- Maplewood Park repair stand: Due to vandalism, the screwdrivers, allen wrenches, and torx wrench are not available at this location The City will replace these tools.
Please call 311 to report a damaged repair stand.
This three sided sheltered bike rack, located on Court Street at the Genesee Riverway Trail, provides riders with a convenient and dry spot to lock their bikes. It's in a perfect location for people bicycling into downtown via the Genesee Riverway Trail. Sheltered bike racks will soon be installed in all of the City's parking garages, and will be free to use.
Sheltered Bike Racks are also located at:
- Court Street Parking Garage
- Sister Cities Parking Garage
- High Falls Parking Garages
- South Avenue Parking Garage
Bike Posts and Bike Racks
Located throughout the city, bike posts and bike racks provide riders with convenient locations to lock their bikes. In 2011 and 2012 the City installed over a hundred new bike posts. The City also offers bike rake rentals for special events.
Call 311 for more information on bicycling in Rochester.