BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Close to one thousand accidents happen in Erie County each year, involving either a bicyclist or a pedestrian.
The City of Buffalo is trying to make the roadways safer for bicyclists through its "Complete Streets" plan. Delaware Avenue has new bike lanes, while narrower streets like Chippewa or Elmwood have signs alerting drivers to share the street with bikes, and new crosswalks.
GO Bike Buffalo Executive Director Justin Booth said, "We're seeing significant progress in the last couple years. By adding bicycle lanes, having pedestrian countdown timers, ADA accessible curb ramps, and so all these little features you see in our streets really do a lot to improve safety."
The city is also in the process of putting bike lanes along Fillmore on the east side, and McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo.
"Just last week, Buffalo was named as a Bronze Friendly Bicycle City from the League of American Cyclists," Booth noted.
But in the past four years, there have been 3,600 accidents involving bicyclists or pedestrians in Erie County alone, and 43 of them have been fatal accidents.
In the past few months, three people have been killed. On August 9, a 49-year-old woman crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard on foot was struck and killed. Two weeks later, a 12-year-old boy was killed while riding his bike at Delaware Road and Sheridan. And September 24, a 64-year-old man was struck and killed while riding his bike at Harlem and William.
The Tri-State Transportation campaign is concerned that the state's proposed DOT budget plans to spend about 40 percent less on crosswalks and bike lanes in the next few years.
NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "It's not set in stone, so it's a trial balloon of sorts. The DOT's rationale is we're under a tremendous austerity in the state, so we're cutting everywhere, so if we fight and are able to get more funding for the Complete Streets, funding's got to come out of someone else's hide."
Only about one-percent of Buffalo's population rides a bike to work, but there are only 13 other cities in the nation with a higher rate of bike riders than Buffalo.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan, of South Buffalo, in connection to the November death of Russ Ross.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
A seven-year-old Buffalo girl got dropped off more than three miles away from the bus stop where her mother was waiting for her on Wednesday.
Police, FBI agents and a bomb squad all showed up on a quiet residential street in North Buffalo overnight.
Berry admitted filing 122 false federal income tax returns for people who had died. He must pay restitution for the stolen money.
The conversation over educational reforms is coming to Buffalo. The public can register for the event, that has limited seating, online.