AMHERST - BUFFALO, N.Y. - The head of a bicycling advocacy group says a section of a designated State Bike Route is dangerous.
"It’s awfully dangerous,” says Justin Booth of GOBike Buffalo.
Booth is referring to State Bike Route 517. The section he has the biggest problem with where the route traces Millersport Highway in Amherst as it passes under I-290. Depending on time of day, there could be dozens of cars trying to get on or off the interstate highway.
"They’re going easily between 40 and 50 miles an hour along this corridor. As a cyclist, you’re putting your life in your hands,” says Booth.
But while Booth doesn't feel this is a safe stretch of road to ride a bicycle on, Susan Surdej of the NYS DOT disagrees.
“It is a safe place to ride a bike providing your following the rules of the road as a bicyclist and the motorists are doing the same,” says Surdej.
Under state law, bicyclist have as much legal right to the road as a car or a tractor-trailer. Unless there it's specifically prohibited in an area, both are vehicles on a shared roadway.
Surdej points out, "“Motorists have responsibilities but so do pedestrians and bicyclists.”
Booth thinks people at the DOT need to get on bikes and ride the sections where there are questions. Surdej says there are portions of state bike routes that are ridden.
What Surdej could not say for sure is whether the section of 517 running under the interstate has been examined by the DOT from the vantage of a bicycle seat.