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City of Rochester Squashes Subway Tunnel Excursion

March 16th, 2010

Our subway excursion WOULD HAVE started at the east end of the tunnel... near the Dinosaur BBQ. Oh well. Guess I'll have to go to Disney this year instead.
A few months ago two of my readers (I’ll call them Tim and Jeff) contacted me to find out if RochesterSubway.com gave tours of the abandoned subway tunnel. I explained that while I wasn’t in the business of giving tours, I would be happy to go down there with them when the weather warmed up. Tim and Jeff were both on board and I soon posted an “event” on the RochesterSubway.com Facebook page external link to invite others to join us—cause “safety in numbers” is my credo. Anyway, I figured I’d get 3-6 people to come along and it’d be a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Soon enough that little Facebook event had attracted 43 Yes’s and 55 “Maybe’s”. Oh shit!

At that point I thought it’d be a good idea to ask the City’s permission before I bring 90 people into their precious urine-soaked hole-in-the-ground. So sent a few emails to various people I knew in the planning department. Nothing specific, just a quick something like, “Hey man, how would one go about getting permission to tour the subway tunnel? How about those Amerks? Alrighty, see ya.”

Fast-forward to this morning when to my surprise I get an email from an RPD “Crime Prevention Officer”… you heard me… CRIME PREVENTION! His email read…

It has come to our attention that your group and some others may be doing “tours” of the old subway system. If this is in fact true, we are requesting that you discontinue doing so. There is safety issues being down there and also legal issues as it is trespassing. If your group is not one that participates in organizing these tours, then I apologize. Thank you and feel free to give me a call if you have further questions.

Officer [ name omitted ]
Rochester Police Department
Crime Prevention Officer
Southwest N.S.C.
[ phone # omitted ]

Wow, I had been schooled. So naturally I picked up the phone and gave the officer a call to see if I could figure out who the whistle-blower was. He sounded like a nice enough guy. Simply doing his police man work and whatnot. But of course he didn’t give up any information either. Just that with construction work starting down there now, it wasn’t safe to be in the tunnel bla bla bla, and all the same stuff he outlined in his email.

So that’s pretty much that. Another Rochester “crime” averted I guess. I bet it was Christine who blew me in. Sorry Tim and Jeff.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 8:39 pm and is filed under Events, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Urban Exploration. 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.

14 Responses to “City of Rochester Squashes Subway Tunnel Excursion”

  1. Andy Hildreth says:

    Thanks for the heads-up. I was really looking forward to going down there on Saturday. Foiled again.

  2. admin says:

    @Andy, I was looking forward to it too. Stay tuned. There’s still the possibility I could get permission to do it at a later date.

  3. Andy Hildreth says:

    Just what I wanted to hear :)

  4. Jay says:

    This has also caused a headache for local geocachers, as there are a few active caches down there that should be removed.

  5. Tim Kuhn says:

    I wonder if there is any way to get an officer to go down there with a group. I for one have always wanted to know more about the old subway – it is a rich part of Rochester history that I missed due to my age. I hope the city works something out for us – we are trying to do this in a legal way with permission. Thanks for trying to set this up for us!

  6. Larry says:

    That sucks. I was really looking forward to it. Thanks for trying and hopefully we can do it some other time.

  7. Otto Vondrak says:

    As great as it is to visit the Subway tunnel, it remains property of the City of Rochester. It’s not so much that they want to keep us out, they are trying to reduce their liability. If we go down there and get hurt, even though we are trespassing, a court could find the City responsible. Perhaps with some advance planning and working with the City on liability waivers, a few tours could be arranged. Sorry to be a downer here…

  8. Me an my buddies use to play paintball 5 nights a week down there. There is no safety concern in regards to people. The guys who live down there don’t want any trouble. They’re just homeless, not monsters.

  9. Please keep me up if you plan any more tours….I have been reading your site the past few months and between hearing my mothers stories of the subway and reading up on here would love to see the old subway and click some pics!

    Thanks!

  10. admin says:

    Thomas, I will. If you’re a Facebook fan of RocSubway you’ll hear about it. As of right now there are no plans. Also, if your mom has any stories worth sharing email me. I send free posters to anyone who has a story worth posting on the site. Even if it’s just a fond memory of riding the subway as a kid — or throwing snowballs at it.

  11. Admin;

    I’ll have to tell her and see if she has any good ones…I know I have heard how nice the city USE to look like before it went downhill! I do not think the City of Rochester will ever recapture how everyone felt as safe walking in the city as they do walking in Toronto….It is so sad!

  12. I sent my mom an e-mail with the web site so when she gets time she will prob. submit some to you….I remember when my grandfather Paul Lansing use to run the ICE at the War Memorial he was a engineer and ran all the cooling, lights ect and in his office there was a door that went down to the subway like a laundry shoot and he use to open it and we could hear the bums down there talking….they use to light fires down there also and the smoke would come up once and awhile into the office and smoke my grandfather out of it! LOL….

  13. Jim Fay says:

    Any chance of a Subway tour this year? My email is (…edited…)

  14. @Jim,
    Subway tours are often conducted as part of Rochester’s River Romance Weekend in September. Subscribe to our e-newsletter and/or follow RocSubway on Facebook to keep updated.

    PS-I removed your email address from your comment so you don’t get spammed.


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