My family has a Saturday morning tradition. We all grab our eco-friendly shopping bags and pile into our not-so-eco-friendly family car. But that’s alright. Even if my car is a clunker I usually feel a lot better about myself after a trip to the Rochester Public Market. I can’t explain it—this place just makes me feel good. So how do you improve on a good thing?
I recently heard a rumor that the cool people down at Rochester’s very cool Public Market were considering buying a trolley. Yup, that’d be an improvement! Is the rumor true? I asked James Farr, Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Rochester.
“Yes you heard right,” Mr. Farr told us. The Public Market is planning a project for next year, 2010, to develop additional parking and a trail that would bring visitors over the Union Street bridge and into the market via tram/trolley.
$100,000 in federal grant money will be used to purchase and operate the rubber-tired tram. An additional $25,000 from a NY State grant will fund the construction of a tram stop at the Union Street market entrance.
To make room for the trolley & pedestrian trail the City will purchase additional property from CSX including an abandoned right-of-way and a single track bridge over Union Street—once a railroad siding for the CSX main line.
Mr. Farr says, “Eventually the idea is to have the tram/trolley circulate not only from the Union Street lots but also throughout the market district servicing lots on Pennsylvania and Railroad streets as well as transporting shoppers between businesses.” To us that sounds like a great thing for patrons of the Public Market, and an even better thing for residents and businesses in the North Marketview Heights neighborhood. (NOTE: The RRCDC currently has a great exhibit that focuses on possibilities for the South Marketview Heights neighborhood.)
Now before you get too excited about this new “trolley”, be forewarned, we’re throwing the term around very loosely. I asked Mr. Farr if this would be a true, vintage-style “Mister Rogers” trolley, or more of a modern “Disney World” parking lot tram. He replied, “I would favor the vintage look, but we are not sure yet.”
The tram/trolley should be purchased and operating by Spring 2010 while rest of the project depends on how quickly the acquisition goes with CSX Corporation. “We are hoping for construction to begin in the Fall of 2010” Mr. Farr said.
Any way you cut it, there are exciting things happening at your Public Market. If you’ve never been, take my word for it, the Rochester Public Market is not to be missed. Oh, and be sure to grab yourself an empanada and say hello to Juan & Maria at the Empanada Stop.
Tags: City of Rochester, CSX, Friends of the Market, James Farr, Juan & Maria's Empanada Stop, Marketview Heights, New York, NY, railroad, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Public Market, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, RRCDC, things to do in Rochester, tram, trolley, Union Street, urban planning, urban revitalization
This entry was posted on Saturday, December 19th, 2009 at 10:34 am and is filed under Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development. 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.