What is the purpose of these "cycle lanes" that are part of the new and improved North Broadway? What are the rules of the road, so to speak, with them? -- Broadway bound

Thanks for the easy question as I continue to digest the Thanksgiving bird and all the leftovers. It leaves me with more brain power and time to think of alternate ways to consume the holiday remains.

The special lanes between the sidewalk and street on the newly renovated 10 blocks of North Broadway Avenue are 5,000 feet of cycle track, a first for Rochester as it continues to look for ways to protect all users of city streets and sidewalks.

As the name suggests, the purpose is to provide a place for bike users to travel that is neither the sidewalk nor a busy city street.

Cycle tracks have many forms, but all typically seek to separate the three options for moving through the designated corridor -- walking, biking and in a motor vehicle.

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The new tracks are set apart from traditional sidewalks by color and design, leaving the walking path closer to businesses, so pedestrians can window shop and safely move in and out of a business without worrying about a bike on the sidewalk.

At the same time, the tracks are at the same level as the sidewalk, offering bike users an added layer of protection that goes beyond the typical bike path.

With the section of North Broadway heading into downtown becoming more active as a commuter route, the cycle tracks will allow more residents to consider biking as an alternative to the city buses or personal vehicles, which can clog downtown and neighboring parking spaces.

As for the “rules of the road,” they are the same as bike lanes. Users are expected to obey traffic signs and lights, while also being courteous to those who might cross their path, especially near bus stops, where pedestrians will cross the track to reach the street.

The city opted for one-way cycle tracks, so users are expected to travel in the same direction as street traffic, just as bike lanes operate in the city.

With that, I think I’ll go get the two-wheeler out and make a trek down to Broadway in an effort to burn off some of that leftover pumpkin pie that has continued to call my name since the holiday ended.

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