Griffs Under 40: Justin S. Booth MSEd '06
Buffalo, NY - Buffalo’s resurgence is - quite literally - on a roll, courtesy of Justin S. Booth. The founder of GObike Buffalo steers the non-profit in its advocacy “to develop a healthy, environmentally sustainable, community-friendly infrastructure that encourages people to get out and ride,” Booth says.
Cycling was always a “healthy lifestyle choice” for this New York City native. But when Booth arrived in Buffalo to attend college, he discovered that navigating the city on two wheels wasn’t easy. Buffalo’s infrastructure, he says, lacked protected bike lanes, unobstructed routes and convenient and secure locations for cyclists to park their bikes.
Booth launched GObike Buffalo to turn things around.
The grassroots initiative started slowly, with commitments from the city to purchase 25 bike racks and the creation of Buffalo’s first bike share system, Blue Bicycle. These “small infrastructure wins” set the wheels in motion for greater policy change.
In 2008, GObike Buffalo successfully advocated the city to adopt New York State’s first Complete Streets ordinance. The policy requires that all modes of transportation be accommodated when streets are planned, designed and maintained to enable safe access for everyone.
Under the Buffalo Green Code, bike parking is now required for any new, expanded or renovated developments. GObike Buffalo also worked in tandem with city officials to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that calls for the creation of 150 miles of bike lanes in the city by 2018.
“We’ve really made some significant strides towards putting Buffalo on the bicycle map in meaningful ways,” Booth says. “I’m excited to see what the next decade will bring.”