“Providing a core network of low-stress bikeways that connect various neighborhoods will encourage success, as comfort and safety is a large factor in people’s willingness to try bike share.”

Excerpt from Motherboard, Feb 2018

It takes some planning to get a bike-share system right.

The city of Rochester, New York put together an extensive report in 2015 studying the feasibility of a bike-share system, which made recommendations about how to make the city more bike friendly. “Providing a core network of low-stress bikeways that connect various neighborhoods will encourage success, as comfort and safety is a large factor in people’s willingness to try bike share,” the report noted.

Zagster launched its Pace bike-share program in Rochester in the summer of 2017. “We partnered with the city to get it right,” said Ericson.

That meant putting the bikes in specific communities, working with local advocacy groups, and partnering up with the local public-transit authority to ensure station availability. The company is also working with the county to change rules that lay out where bikes can be locked up. “They have to have skin in the game to make sure they’re pushing it in the right areas,” Ericson continued.

Most of these companies don’t charge cities anything to operate on their territory and instead look to usage fees—usually about $1 per half-hour—to generate profits. That makes them attractive to cash-strapped cities, but it also makes their sustainability questionable.

LimeBike’s Contee said that although the company gets its bikes at cost, they retail for $2,500 each—meaning they’re still paying a pretty penny for the 34,000 bikes it currently owns across 45 locations. He said the company is not necessarily making a profit right now, but rather that it is focused on building ridership. They’re not alone in that strategy. The Economist recently reported that not even billion-dollar Ofo and competitor Mobike—which has raised $928 million since 2015—are profitable.

Back in Dallas, a subcommittee on the bike-sharing experiment will reconvene this month to evaluate its results. The city had originally taken a free-market approach to the project, allowing anyone to come in and operate as they saw fit—but it’s become clear that’s no longer the best option. “The next step will be some kind of regulation,” said White.

Creating a Bicycle Friendly Community in Rochester

14-Bike-Rochester-logoThe City of Rochester is dedicated to making this a world-class bicycling community. Since the summer of 2011, 64 lane miles of on-street bicycle facilities have been installed and an addition 140 miles already planned. We have also greatly expanded our off-street trails network and added a significant amount of bicycle parking around the city.

Scroll down for all the information, or jump straight to:

Rochester Cycling Survey

Please help local bicycling advocates by taking the new bike organization survey.

Best Parking at the Market

The City has launched a new incentive program to encourage people to bike to the Rochester Public Market. Find out more at www.cityofrochester.gov/biketomarket.

Bike Week 2017

The City of Rochester celebrates Bike Week 2017, May 13-21. Check out the web page for a list of all the events!

Recognition of Rochester’s Efforts


Fill out the Comment Form – We want to hear from you!

New! Request bike rack installation

Call 311 for more information on bicycling in Rochester.

Policies and Plans

The Bicycle Master Plan serves as a framework for the City’s investment in bicycle infrastructure.

The Complete Streets Policy ensures that all street design efforts fully consider all users, including bicyclists.

The RPD – Bicycle Law Roll Call Presentation demonstrates interdepartmental support for bicycling.

Benefits of Increased Bicycling in Rochester

CyclistIt is easy to see why bicycling is becoming increasingly popular in the Rochester area as both a mode of transportation and a recreational activity. There are countless benefits from bicycling, both at an individual and community level. As succinctly stated by a citizen on the Plan’s website, “What a great way to reduce congestion, pollution, and obesity.” Some of the many benefits related to these and other aspects of life in Rochester are listed below.

Bicycling Helps the Local Economy

  • Almost 20 percent of the average American family’s budget is spent on transportation. Thus, more pedal power, and less fuel consumption, can result in real savings for Rochester’s families.
  • Increased disposable income can result in increased spending in the local marketplace, which would boost the local economy.
  • Improving bicycling conditions is a cost-effective way of optimizing existing public infrastructure.

Bicycling Communities are Healthier Communities  

  • Adding bicycling to the daily routine helps us stay healthier; 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, and bicycling is a great solution to the problem.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like bicycling), five days a week, can reduce the risks for illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and depression.
  • Bicycle trips create zero emissions, contributing to better air quality for the Rochester region (and cleaner air for all of us to breathe)

Bicycling Communities are Strong Communities

  • Improved bicycling conditions provides mobility for people who do not have cars, thereby increasing access to jobs, education, and health care.
  • Cities that promote bicycling tend to retain youth, attract young families, and increase social capital.
  • Improved bicycling conditions add to the vitality and quality of life of the community and provide access to recreational destinations across the region.
  • Better bicycling facilities provide access to public transit, thereby increasing transportation options.

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Bicycle Infrastructure

Bike Lanes Central-Ave-sharrow
This painted white lane line with bike symbols designates a 5 to 6 foot wide travel lane for exclusive use by bicycles. Motor vehicles may cross the bike lane to access adjacent parking spaces or to make a turn, but motor vehicles must yield to bicycle travel in this lane and may not use the bike lane as a travel lane.


Contra-Flow Bike Lanes Probert-St-Contra-Flow-Bike
A contra-flow bike lane, is a bike lane that allows bikes to legally travel in the opposite direction of travel on a traditional one-way street.  In some cases, bicycles traveling in the direction of the one-way street will also be provided a bike lane, or they may be required to share the road in that direction.
Sharrows Broad-St-sharrows
A Shared Use Lane Marking Symbol, also known as a Sharrow, indicates that motor vehicles and bicycles should share the travel lane. This painted symbol on the roadway provides guidance for the cyclist as to where to position themselves when riding on the pavement. Bicyclists should ride with their wheels lined up with the center of the marking. Motor vehicles may safely pass bicycles when using caution.

Sharrows are used when pavement width does not allow for a full bike lane; the markings are typically centered four feet from the curb or parking lane.

Trails  Bike rider on Genesee Riverway Trail.
City trails are designed for the recreational use of both pedestrians and bicyclists. The Genesee Riverway Trail extends north from the statewide Erie Canal Heritage Trail through the heart of the City to Lake Ontario where it connects with the east-west Seaway Trail at the Port of Rochester. The Genesee Riverway Trail hugs both sides of spectacular Genesee Riverway and links 11 city parks along the way, each with its own network of trails and paths.

Cyclists should use extra caution when sharing the trail with pedestrians and when crossing city streets on the trail.  Most city trails close at dusk and are not plowed in the winter.

Cycle Track Cycle-Tra-ck
A Cycle Track is a one-way or two-way bicycle only facility that runs adjacent to the street but is physically separated from both motorized traffic and the sidewalk.

The City is currently working on several projects that will include a cycle track, including the Elmwood Avenue / Collegetown Cycle Track which will connect the Genesee Riverway Trail and the College Town redevelopment along Elmwood Avenue, and the Inner Loop East Transformation Project, which will provide a cycle track along the west side of the new Union Street between Chestnut Street and University Avenue.

Bike BoxesFordStreetBike-Box
A Bike Box is an extension of the Bike Lane located at a signalized intersection that allows a bicyclist to reposition themselves in front of motorized vehicles during the stop phase of a traffic light.  The City has installed Bike Boxes at 3 locations in 2013.

Cars are prohibited from turning right on red at these locations to allow bicycles to move into the front position.  Cars crossing the bike lane or turning right on green must yield the right of way to bicycles.

Bike Boxes in Rochester – Video   


• Minimizes conflicts with right turning vehicles
• Allows cyclists to position themselves for a left turn
• Improves visibility of cyclists
• Minimizes vehicle encroachment into the crosswalk
• Allows cyclists to clear an intersection as a group


Educational videos from other cities:

Two-Stage Turn Queue Box

This allows bicycles a safer option for making a left hand turn across a busy intersection. Instead of turning in front of traffic, a bicycle can stay to the right and cross each leg of an intersection when the traffic light is green.

Rochester’s first two-stage turn queue box helps cyclists make a left turn on Chestnut St to the contra flow bike lane on Court St. This is a difficult bike movement because of the combination of the heavy traffic volumes on Chestnut St and the lack of a turn phase on the traffic light due to the one-way flow of Court St for motor vehicles.

People traveling from places like the Pearl Meigs Monroe Neighborhood wishing to head west to destinations like the Central Library, Civic Center or the Blue Cross Area at the War Memorial now have a new way to go! Two new Bicycle features being installed this fall make it easier than ever to make this trip on your bike.  Click here to see how it works.  

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Bicycle Amenities

Bike LockersBike-locker
The Bureau of Parking Off-Street Division administers the Downtown Bike Locker Program.  Individuals can rent a bike locker on a yearly basis at six of the downtown garages run by the City.
Bicycle Service StandBike-repair-stand
These repair stands are free to use and feature an air pump, philips and flathead screwdrivers, box wrenches (8,9,10,11,15 & 32mm), allen wrenches (2,2.5,3,4,5,6 & 8mm) tire lever, and a torx wrench.

Find service stands at:

  • Sister Cities Parking Garage:  28 N Fitzhugh St., Level 1
  • Genesee Valley Sports Complex: 131 Elmwood Ave
  • Maplewood Park: Driving Park Ave and the Genesee Riverway Trail
  • High Falls: Platt Street near Brown Race: 81 Brown’s Race


  • Sister Cities Parking Garage repair stand: The valve depressor in the air pump for tires with Schraeder valves has been damaged.  The City will replace the pump head.  The air pump is still operational for tires with Presta Valves.
  • Maplewood Park repair stand: Due to vandalism, the screwdrivers, allen wrenches, torx wrench and pump are not available at this location The City will replace these tools.

Please call 311 to report a damaged repair stand.

Bicycle Sheltercourtstbikeshelter
This three sided sheltered bike rack, located on Court Street at the Genesee Riverway Trail, provides riders with a convenient and dry spot to lock their bikes. It’s in a perfect location for people bicycling into downtown via the Genesee Riverway Trail.  Sheltered bike racks will soon be installed in all of the City’s parking garages, and will be free to use.

Sheltered Bike Racks are also located at:

  • Court Street Parking Garage
  • Sister Cities Parking Garage
  • High Falls Parking Garages
  • South Avenue Parking Garage
Bike Posts and Bike RacksBike-rack
Located throughout the city, bike posts and bike racks provide riders with convenient locations to lock their bikes.  In 2011 and 2012 the City installed over a hundred new bike posts. You can request bike rack installation online. The City also offers bike rack rentals for special events (contact the Special Events office).

Bike Corrals

Bike Corrals are bike racks installed in the parking lane to allow adjacent property owners to increase the available amount of bicycle parking in an area where the sidewalk bike posts cannot accommodate the bike demand. As many as a dozen bikes can fit into the space of a single parked car, allowing businesses to promote their bicycle friendliness while accommodating a greater number of customers.  The City’s first on-street bike corral is on Winthrop St in front of Hart’s Local Grocers.

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Interactive Bicycle Facilities Map

Our interactive bicycle facilities map is filled with information on bike lanes, trails, and other bicycling amenities in the City of Rochester. Click on a feature for more information, photos and links. Users can zoom in or out, pan over and even switch the basemap to an overhead image.


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