Commuting in Rochester

First, a quick note of congratulations to Fritz. Cyclelicious has made the list of the top 100 lifestyle blogs (blogs tagged as lifestyle on Technorati). You can check out the list HERE as I harness my best Casey Kasem voice and say: “Coming in at number 48…”

Now, for your weekend reading enjoyment, another nice feature story — this one from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The story leads off with Peter LaDolce, whose ride falls within the majority of the miles ridden by our readers, based on the poll in the previous post.

This spring, the city received a grant through the Genesee Transportation Council that will mean new bike lanes, signs and parking in Rochester.

The city is determining how best to use this “bicycle enhancement program” funding, which will amount to $200,000 in federal funds and a $50,000 city match.

Sounds like a good start (until I read that “construction could begin by 2012.”).

I have to take issue with the following statement:

The number of bike commuters older than 16 in the Rochester area, the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area and the national average are all less than 1 percent. In the Syracuse Metropolitan Area and New York City, the figures are a fraction of the minuscule national average. Cyclists make up more than 1 percent of commuters in only two U.S. cities – San Francisco and Sacramento.

Back in June there were a ton of sources quoting recent analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau that showed several large cities with more than 1 % of the commuters traveling on their bikes. The top ten cities:

1. Portland (3.5 percent)
2. Minneapolis (2.4 percent)
3. Seattle (2.3 percent)
4. Tucson, AZ (2.2 percent)
5. San Francisco (1.8 percent)
6. Sacramento, CA (1.8 percent)
7. Washington, D.C. (1.7 percent)
8. Oakland, CA (1.5 percent)
9. Honolulu (1.4 percent)
9. Denver (1.4 percent)

Happily, the article gets back to profiles of those who commute by bike. A nice read while you enjoy your favorite beverage this weekend, while contemplating the joys of the commutes to come this next week.

My favorite quote from the story:

“One dude actually said, ‘Get off the road, vegan,'” recalled Michael Neault, 26, a Rochester resident who bikes to and from his job as manager of the Dryden Theatre. “People associate cycling with some out-of-fashion granola-esque sensibility. But it’s not outdated, it’s progressive.”

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