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Protesters demand better East Side infrastructure with march down Bailey Avenue

Protesters are taking to Bailey Avenue Thursday evening to demand better infrastructure on one of the main thoroughfares on the East Side of Buffalo. 

The “Heels N Wheels on Bailey” march is organized by social justice group Western New York Liberation Collective, GOBike Buffalo and Colored Girls Bike Too. GOBike Buffalo Community Outreach Director Rebecca Reilly said the theme of the march is to create a safer Bailey Avenue for non-motorists.

“Bailey Avenue has hosted more than 160 crashes involving bikes and pedestrians over the last five years,” she said. “These crashes are no accident and the community is concerned.”

The march comes a little over a month after a cyclist was killed after being hit by a vehicle on Bailey Avenue.

Reilly said years of disinvestment on the East Side has created dangerous conditions for non-motorists.

“I do a lot of work on the East Side,” she said. “And we get a lot of people around the East Side, and around Buffalo that really feel [The City of Buffalo] need to remediate some of these more dangerous streets.”

Reilly said the Department of Public Works has been notified of the problems along Bailey but nothing has been addressed yet. She says interim safety measure were discussed in January and believes a vocal community will help to get the ball rolling towards safety measures which are more concrete.

“From what we understand, the D.P.W. is working very hard on that,” she said. “But sometimes you need a critical mass of people from the neighborhood to actually speak out.”

The march features several speakers and begins at 4 P.M. at the E-District Police Headquarters for walkers and skaters, and 1700 Bailey Avenue for cyclists.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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