Bike Lanes on East Ave/Rt. 96 in Pittsford & Brighton

The beginning of November, we alerted you to a public informational meeting about the proposed 4 to 3 lane reduction on the 2.5 mile stretch of East Ave (Rt. 96) between E. Highland Drive in Brighton and the St. John Fisher campus in Pittsford. Currently, there are 4 lanes (2 in each direction) with no shoulders. The NYSDOT proposal will take it to one traffic lane each direction, with a center turning lane and shoulders on each side.

There is plenty of room for a bike lane on each side in lieu of a shoulder, and there is a community movement advocating for just that. Community organizers are rallying supporters to speak out at the Brighton and Pittsford Town Board meetings in December and encouraging citizens to send letters of support to the NYSDOT.

East Ave Road Diet

The road currently: 

  • 40 feet wide
  • four 10′ wide traffic lanes abutting the curb
  • no shoulders

The current NYSDOT proposal: 

  • Three 11′ wide traffic lanes — one in each direction with a center turning lane
  • 3.5′ shoulder on each side

The community bike lane proposal:

  • Three 10′ wide traffic lanes — one in each direction with a center turning lane
  • 5′ bike lane on each side (in lieu of shoulders)

East Ave/Rt. 96 currently

Why is the NYSDOT making changes to East Ave? 

That section of road is due for resurfacing. That doesn’t happen very often — like every 15 to 20 years. Roads get repaired, patched and sealed until it gets so bad that resurfacing needs to happen. When resurfacing happens, the NYSDOT takes the opportunity to work with the community to determine if any changes should be made while they have everything torn up. Now is the time to make changes that will help improve the health and well-being of our community, regardless of their mode of transportation.

The NYSDOT goals of this project:

  1. Improve the riding surface
  2. Slow traffic, reduce crash rates and better accommodate bicyclists
  3. Update existing sidewalks and curb ramps for compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act

The NYSDOT goals clearly state that they hope to better accommodate cyclists. Shoulders offer too much ambiguity and less space to safely accommodate cyclists. There is plenty of room to add real bike lanes, if the 3 traffic lanes are reduced to 10′ wide instead of the current proposed 11′. And before you get all “but I can’t drive in 10′ lanes:” keep in mind that the lanes right now are 10′ wide and drivers feel so comfortable that the average speed is well above the speed limit.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

The NYSDOT is expected to finalize this project in January. That means, December is the time to act to have your towns encourage the NYSDOT to incorporate bike lanes.

If you are a Pittsford resident:
[Read Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith’s letter of support.]

  1. Speak out at the Town Board meeting on Monday, December 11 at 6PM in Pittsford Town Hall, Lower Level (please note, it’s a Monday; not the usual Tuesday)
  2. Email your support to the Town Supervisor and Town Board Members
  3. Email your support to the NYSDOT project lead, Daniel R. Schwind*
  4. Call NYSDOT Regional Director, Kevin Bush, to voice your support: (585) 272-3310 or schedule a time to meet in person at the office at 1530 Jefferson Road*
    * Please reference Project 409661: Resurface Rt 96 from the City of Rochester Line to Rt 31F in the Towns of Pittsford and Brighton, Monroe County.
    [Need help knowing what to say? Click here]

If you are a Brighton resident:

  1. Speak out at the Town Board meeting on Wednesday, December 13 at 7PM at Brighton Town Hall
  2. Email your support to the Town Supervisor and Town Board Members
  3. Email your support to the NYSDOT project lead, Daniel R. Schwind*
  4. Call NYSDOT Regional Director, Kevin Bush, to voice your support: (585) 272-3310 or schedule a time to meet in person at the office at 1530 Jefferson Road*
    * Please reference Project 409661: Resurface Rt 96 from the City of Rochester Line to Rt 31F in the Towns of Pittsford and Brighton, Monroe County.
    [Need help knowing what to say? Click here]

If you live elsewhere but regularly commute by bike through that stretch of road, attend either or both meetings, write both town boards, call and send a letter of support to NYSDOT.

[Read more about that 2.5 mile stretch of East Ave/Rt. 96 and the benefits of the proposed lane reduction here.]

 

4 thoughts on “Bike Lanes on East Ave/Rt. 96 in Pittsford & Brighton

  1. Kenny Bailey

    Thank you very much for this post; will plan to attend the Brighton meeting next Wednesday. Related, I just found out yesterday St. John Fisher College is pushing for a road diet on 31F (Fairport Road) at least along the stretch that divides its campus. Of course, they’d have to work with the Town of Pittsford and NYSDOT, but the image Fisher portrayed would be a reduction to 2 lanes with bike lanes (not just shoulders) and a grassy, landscaped median (instead of the suicide turn lane planned for 96/East Ave). This would be the perfect time to align these two plans. Aside from our recommended 10-foot lanes and 5-foot bike lanes on the portion being resurfaced next summer, why not a median instead of a turning lane? Turns could still be allowed at the signaled intersections of course.

    Reply
    1. Renee Stetzer Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Kenny. We’ll touch base with Supervisor Smith and the team at Fisher. And thank you for attending the meeting.

      If you have time, please also email the NYSDOT, Daniel Schwind, so DOT has written record of support. It’s ultimately the DOT’s decision.

      Reply
      1. Renee Stetzer Post author

        Got some clarification: The plan that was presented recently at SJF is way in the future when road maintenance is scheduled for an additional piece of Rt. 96 (not the 2.5 mile stretch currently being addressed).

        Reply
  2. Brooke Fossey

    Thank you so much for this write-up and for making it so easy for us to contact our representatives, Renee!

    There is so much support for this community-driven concept from Brighton and Pittsford residents, many different advocacy groups, and all different types of cyclists from those who ride for commute/transportation to those who ride for recreation, to those who WANT more friendly roads so they can START riding themselves or with their families.

    The lanes are already 10′. Why WIDEN them when you are trying to make this road safer? This feels like such a no-brainer to keep them at 10′ and add a bike lane.

    Here’s some info from our neighbors in Brighton who also support this community proposal: https://colorbrightongreen.org/2017/12/01/colorbrightongreen-org-supports-5-bike-lanes-on-east-avenue/

    Reply

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