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Monroe County Transportation, Highly Satisfying?

February 28th, 2009

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksI asked Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks if our current transportation infrastructure (highways, bus routes, etc.) are adequate to serve the needs and growth of our community moving into the future. I also asked what she thought Rochester mass-transit should look like by the year 2020 and if there was anything she’d like to see changed or improved. Read her response, then please let me know what YOU think…

Dear [RochesterSubway.com],

Monroe County is home to approximately 730,800 residents who reside in our 19 towns and 10 villages. Over 1.5 million visitors from all over the world visit our county each year to visit our beautiful parks, take part in our many first-class sporting events, and enjoy the arts and culture that our community has to offer. Clearly with all of these residents and visitors looking to experience our quality of life first-hand, we must have the proper highway and transit options in place to accommodate their needs.

I am proud to say the local transportation infrastructure we currently operate is far more than adequate – like our quality of life, Monroe County’s highway and public transportation systems are world-class. The average commute for residents in our area is a scant 20 minutes, and we operate a smarter, more efficient traffic management system that keeps our roads and expressways safe and driver-friendly. By utilizing the latest cutting-edge technology at our regional transportation center, Monroe County is able to monitor strategically placed cameras and manipulate local traffic signals and bus routes to ensure the individuals who utilize our roads and highways reach their destinations safely and on time.

The development of additional public transportation and enhanced mass-transit systems in our area will undoubtedly become necessary when public demand conveys a need for these options. At present, our residents and visitors seem to be very satisfied with the transportation infrastructure we have in place, which is likely a reflection of our commuter-friendly approach to transportation management.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Maggie Brooks
Monroe County Executive

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 28th, 2009 at 12:51 am and is filed under Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Monroe County Transportation, Highly Satisfying?”

  1. Matt says:

    The Federal government might approve a project like this, especially now as part of the stimulus is allocated toward public transportation projects. The problem is that I doubt there has been anything even submitted for approval! Orlando, FL just got approved 250 million towards a project like this. Basically if we can get our politicians to actually listen instead of assume everything is great (Maggie Brooks’ comments made me gag, she really doesn’t have a clue about the people of this city, does she? And from the sound of it, she apparently can’t be bothered), a Rochester subway/lightrail project might cost taxpayers nothing.

    I am tired of the decadent, unneccesary projects that Rochester gets involved with…. and your telling me no one has brought other forms of public transportation to the table? The audacity of going forward with such a project as purchasing a movie theater equipped cruise ship and building an entire port for it, while we have a very mediocre public transportation here. Just unreal.

  2. Matt says:

    Check out this link: The Norfolk, Va lightrail system – pop. 800,000. This is an example of a Rochester sized city, probably a lot more economically depressed, taking the initiative to construct a nice looking system.

    [ http://www.ridethetide.com ]

    11 stations, 7.4 miles of track for 280 million. That is roughly the price of the Renn. square project, correct? 7.4 miles of track would be enough to link many desirable areas in Rochester’s downtown and some of it’s surrounding areas.

  3. admin says:

    Great comment and link Matt. The Norfolk light rail system is one we will be watching closely. The cost is estimated and will be interesting to see how those numbers pan out by the end of construction and what the long term cost/benefit will be. There are some 40 U.S. cities with new light rail systems or extensions on the drawing table. Cincinnati is another city we should be watching—similar to Rochester in size and social/economic conditions. They’ve got plans for a downtown streetcar system and a greater regional rail system. Check out http://www.pro-transit.com.

  4. Jason - former Rochesterian says:

    The problem I believe is Monroe County sucking up all the economic base from the city of Rochester. If Rochester can manage to stop spreading its economy around the county and centralizing and densifying its economy and jobs back into the city transit will AGAIN have a landscape that can get people out of their cars, optimize transit use and halt the spread of people and jobs out into the greenfields of Monroe County. Maggie has no interest in this type of landscape what so ever. It would give the city too much power over the county and right now the power is in the county.

  5. Mark says:

    The response is telling. I guarantee that if you were to poll blue collar workers and service industry employees you would find that their commute is a heck of a lot more than 20 minutes. This is a statistic generated and propagated to keep the Pittsford-Palmyra set happy with the status quo. I have been carless working in Bushnells Basin and living in Brockport. Public transportation here is a joke and severely limits economic realities for thousands of people. It’s rather disheartening that the city seems willing to spend millions to fill in the last of the subway tunnels just as we get a federal administration willing to spend on the infrastructure of cities.

  6. admin says:

    Mark, thanks for your comment. There are many who agree with you. We posed these questions to Brooks in an effort to determine if county leaders had any long term vision or plan to improve our mass-transit situation. To be fair, the county did put us in contact with Richard Perrin, Executive Director of the Genesee Transportation Council, for a more detailed answer to this part of the question. You can read that interview here.

    We’re currently talking with other groups in an effort to understand the possibilities for light rail in our region. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on what we find out.


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