UR prides itself as an ostensibly bicycle-friendly campus, but its lack of bicycle lanes is frustrating to say the least.
Adding bicycle lanes will make UR safer for both cyclists and drivers. Cyclists are part of a still burgeoning community, and their street presence alone may not be enough to prevent accidents. Student drivers who are from cities not as bicycle-friendly may not be accustomed to actively checking their blind spots for cyclists — adding bicycle lanes would largely minimize this hazard.
Bicycle lanes will also encourage commuters to make the switch from car to bicycle. Many student drivers who cycle at home do not do so here, simply because they are apprehensive about the lack of bicycle lanes and, to a greater extent, the lack of a robust cycling community. To combat this fear however, UR ought to mitigate one of the largest pitfalls to beset cyclists-to-be.
“Shoulders are often narrow, so cars come within inches of cyclists when the minimum safe passing distance is three feet,” UR Cycling Business Manager and sophomore Jordan Oroshiba said. “Cyclists in these narrow shoulders are in more danger than when they use their legal right to use the driving lane.”
UR has already established itself as a pro-bike school with the City Cycles program, numerous bike racks, and bike storage facilities. Adding bicycle lanes to the roads within and near the University is the next natural step — one that will become increasingly inevitable as UR rides into a more bicycle-friendly future.