Future of downtown Rochester bike lanes in question

(ABC 6 News) – One Rochester city council member wants to remove some bike lanes downtown that were only installed four years ago.

The council ended up striking that proposal down in a five against, two in favor vote Monday night, but the discussion isn’t over.

Council member Shaun Palmer proposed removing bike lanes on Third and Fourth Avenues stretching from Soldiers Field to Fifth St. Northwest. He says getting rid of the bike lanes would free up space to add more parking meters and help downtown businesses.

However, those using the bike lines for commuting and recreation, don’t agree. The idea of removing these bike lanes for parking meters doesn’t add up to them.

“It [bike lanes] humanizes the city. It humanizes downtown,” said Miguel Valdez Soto, founder of the Pata de Perro bike club. “Removing bike lanes I think is going backwards. Because when you’re in a bike, you’re observing than when you’re in the car, you cannot be aware of those things. And also it just puts a smile on your face so why, why would you want to deal with more meters and more parking.”

The Rochester City Council intends to keep discussions on the future of downtown bike lanes open for upcoming work sessions and council meetings.