Rochester Subway
Subscribe for Email UpdatesBecome a Facebook FanFollow Us on TwitterRSS Feed Rochester History + New Ideas. Fresh from the Rochester Subway.

Topics


Rochester Subway Gift Shop


¤ Visit the Gift Shop
¤ See Combo Deals & Offers


Modern Rochester Subway Map

Modern Rochester Subway Map

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Neighborhoods Map

Rochester Neighborhoods Map

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Subway Map, 1928

1928 Rochester Subway Map

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Subway DVD

The End of the Line - Rochester’s Subway (DVD)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Landmarks Poster

Rochester Landmarks Poster

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Original Streetart by SPACEMAN

Original Streetart by SPACEMAN

¤ View All Spaceman Art


Old Rochester Photos<br>and Historical Views

Old Rochester Photos
and Historical Views

(Framed Reprints Available)

¤ View All Rochester Photos


Rochester Subway Cap

Embroidered Subway Cap

¤ View Details


Rochester Subway T-Shirt

Rochester Subway T-Shirt

¤ View Details


Rochester Subway Token T-Shirt

RTC Token T-Shirt

¤ View Details


Rochester RTC Token

RTC Token (1948)

¤ View Details

 | 

SOLD OUT


Roch. & Brighton Token

Roch. & Brighton Token
(1887-90)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Railway Co. Token

Rochester Railway Co. Token (1900-09)

¤ View Details

 | 

SOLD OUT


Rochester School Fare Token

School Fare Token (1948)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester NYS Railways Token

NYS Railways Token (1909-38)

¤ View Details

 | 

Add To Cart


Rochester Subway Poster + DVD Combo

Rochester Subway
Poster + DVD Combo

¤ 

Add To Cart

 (Save 10%)


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1941),
Rochester Rail Equipment

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1938),
Subway & Broad Street

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1942),
Rochester City Hall & Subway

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1912),
Rochester’s Four Corners

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1905),
Erie Canal Aqueduct

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1928),
South Entrance to Subway

¤ View Details

 | 

Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards


Rochester Subway + Trolley Transit Passes

Original Subway, Trolley,
and Bus Weekly Transit Passes

¤ View All Transit Passes





Think Before You Defend Rochester’s Inner Noose

July 20th, 2010

An aerial view of Rochester's crumbling and under-utilized Inner Loop.
A recent story in the City Newspaper, “Glamming Rochester’s Gateways” external link touched on the idea that filling in part of the Inner Loop would help reconnect certain neighborhoods with downtown and improve Rochester’s eastern gateways. Then came the raging comments from readers who blindly defended the inner loop and its many blessings.

One letter external link sent in from James R. Boehler went like this…

“This proposal is a solution without a problem and nothing more than a waste of tax dollars. Every major city has a center-city expressway to move traffic. How else do you get to your business and entertainment during parades, street closures, and detours for repairs? … Closing the Inner Loop would just drive more business to the “burbs,” including mine.”

And comments on the City Newspaper site sounded like this…

“PLEASE do not fill in the inner loop. I live in the suburbs and I love the inner loop. I hate traffic. I hate traffic lights … Where would the traffic go if the loop didn’t exist?”

Whoa whoa whoa… STOP THE INSANITY! Let’s all take a deep breath here. Have a seat in your lawn chairs while I attempt to straighten this out…

Rochester Inner Loop Reconstruction Project satellite view.First, let’s make sure we understand one thing: while the plan IS to fill part of the inner loop, the artery itself is not going away. There, now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s take a closer look at what is being proposed.

The City’s plan is to bring the road surface up to grade-level from about Monroe Ave north to Charlotte Street. Suburbanites can relax. Your conduit to I-490 isn’t going away. But it could be transformed into a pedestrian- and bike-friendly boulevard with reclaimed space along either side for new commercial and/or residential development (maybe even some landscaping).

Rochester Inner Loop Reconstruction Project - Proposed Alignment.Where there was once an empty canyon—imagine a vibrant streetscape with brand-new, taxpaying businesses and residents! Imagine the upper Monroe Ave and Park Ave neighborhoods once again connected to the downtown business district. Good lord, imagine anything other than the concrete moat that’s there now.

The NYSDOT is also studying options for reconstruction of Buffalo's much busier Kensington Expressway—including returning it to a surface boulevard.In his letter Mr. Boehler also argues, “Every major city has a center-city expressway to move traffic.” Maybe so, but when was the last time you were stuck in grid-lock traffic inside the Inner Loop? When was the last time you were caught in *any* kind of traffic?? I digress. I’d just like to point out that nearly every major city in the U.S. right now is considering at least one downgrade of a major intra-city expressway. NYC is wants to shut down part of the FDR Drive external link to traffic completely. Seattle wants to level it’s infamous Alaskan Way external link. And closer to home, the NYSDOT is studying options to return Buffalo’s Kensington Expressway external link to a surface boulevard. The Kensington is much busier and longer than our tiny Inner Loop. So don’t think for a second that this is some kind of radical idea that is unique to Rochester, NY.

As it is today, Rochester’s Inner Loop serves no purpose other than to whisk people away from downtown. It is a barrier between downtown and the promising neighborhoods to the east. It’s bridges and concrete walls are literally crumbling and it is far more expensive to maintain than it is worth. THESE are the problems—and this plan is the start of a solution. I’d like to know what exactly what problem City planners were trying to fix when they decided to level hundreds of homes and businesses to build the inner noose?

An aerial view of Rochester on April 25, 1963. On the right is the cleared right-of-way for the final segment of the Inner Loop. [PHOTO: Local History Division, Central Library of Rochester.]

Additional Resources: Inner Loop Project TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant application external link

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 at 11:10 pm and is filed under Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, 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.

14 Responses to “Think Before You Defend Rochester’s Inner Noose”

  1. twoeightnine says:

    I wonder when the last time was that Mr. Boehler was actually on that part of the Inner Loop. His law office is at 16 East Main St.

    http://www.manta.com/c/mm8941w/boehler-james-r

  2. Josh K says:

    I have a slightly better proposal for the Inner Loop, especially the section being discussed in this project.

    Use the existing trench for light rail. Then deck over it, with a boulevard, park land, new buildings. Have the whole Inner Loop trench turned into a downtown light rail circulator, from which lines branch off of, similar to the arrangement of Chicago’s CTA “El” loop downtown (albeit on a smaller scale). The current purpose of the Inner Loop is to help whisk commuters out to the suburban sprawl lands of Henrietta, Greece, Webster, etc. Instead, we should be orienting our development to focus on making living INSIDE the city a more attractive notion and make living out in the suburbs a downright hassle. A light rail circulator that branches out to the major employers in the area (Mt. Reed Blvd., UofR, RIT, etc.) would make living in new developments downtown a significantly more attractive notion. If people didn’t need to drive into the city and park in order to work, think of all those hideous pay parking lots downtown that could be developed into modern apartment buildings, offices and retail. All of which would increase the city’s tax base, thus helping to better fund schools. With the Inner Loop trench filled with light rail vehicles and decked over, all of the surrounding neighborhoods would be re-connected to downtown AND they’d have improved mass transit (that wouldn’t be affected by our frequent snow storms).

    Think of the money that could be saved in building this light rail system by not having to dig trenches. The trenches already exist. The land is already government owned. Use it while you have it.

  3. admin says:

    @Josh, that’s an interesting idea although I’d rather invest in a more visible form of light rail like a modern streetcar circulator. I’ve also heard people suggest that the loop be covered with a road deck with the resulting tunnel used for parking.

  4. Jack says:

    can we focus on real issues like re-opening the changing scenes restaurant!

  5. Jay says:

    2 things: I love Josh’s idea and wish more officials thought like that. There’s no reason why we couldn’t have a hybrid streetcar/below-grade transit option. As is the case with the Broad street tunnel (RIP) use what you got, don’t destroy an asset and regret it years later when you finally think of a use for it. Point #2 – I, and many people I know and work with, use the inner loop to get IN to downtown. The people that use it to leave center city will not stop leaving just because you bring it up to grade level.

  6. Kathy says:

    I have been a city resident and driven the inner loop for many years. Don’t lose sight of the convenience this roadway offers to city residents and ensure viable alternate routes for us. Not everyone wants to be in the burbs or have the city try to replicate one.

  7. Zack says:

    What I see in the inner loop is Boston’s Big Dig halfway finished. The loop is already dug in. You cover up the loop and you have a highway below, park space above and the eastside and downtown seamlessly connected once more.

  8. jack says:

    INNER LOOP 4 LIFE! I’m glad the bucks got denied and it did not have to come down to me handcuffing myself to the guardrail of the inner loop!

  9. Brian M. says:

    The only thing that the Inner Loop is really useful for is stretching the legs of my Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Many nights this recent summer I’d go for a couple spins around the Inner Loop. Much safer place since there are so few cars (and cops, heh heh). The Loop is indeed depressing, and obstrusive to the economic development of the city, and needs to go.

  10. @Brian, fear not. This project remains a priority for the City. I’m confident it will win funding with the next round of TIGER grants coming up this year. Get your laps in now ;-)

  11. hjs06460 says:

    I’m not from Rochester, but this came up in my Google search.

    Could someone explain how exactly this road is useful. I’m looking at a map, and don’t get where this is supposed to take you.

    The 490 part makes sense, but the rest of the belt is so supremely tiny, it seems rather silly.

  12. it will take you anywhere awesome you want to go! scio st etc…

  13. It’s nice to see that we’re still reading each other. Thanks for listing me! Cheers


Post a Comment...



  You May Also Like...
  Most Popular...
  1. Boy Lived in NYC Subway for 11 Days
  2. Pot Holds Bowie in Rochester
  3. Inside Rochester's Terrence Tower
  4. University of Rochester's Lost Swimming Pool
  5. Rewind: High Speed Rail Art from 2002
  6. The Old Barber House
  7. Rochester Mafia, the Banana King, and the Infamous "Barrel Murder"
  8. Rochester's 7th Most Beautiful Train Station in the U.S.
  9. RGRTA Digs Up Rochester's Old RKO Palace Theater
  10. Subway Tunnel To Be Filled. This time they mean it. Probably.
  11. A 100 Ton Discovery at the Port of Rochester
  12. 1906 Panorama and More Old Photos of Rochester, NY
  13. Rundel Library on Ghost Hunters: 'Due Date with Death'
  14. Exploring the Caves of Rochester, NY
  15. Never Before Seen Photos of RKO Palace Theater
  16. Genesee Brewery to Demolish This Building
  17. What Is This Strange Water Feature?
  18. Rochester 2020 - Rail vs. Fast Buses?
  19. Rochester's Case for a Streetcar
  20. Irondequoit Square
  21. Drunk Woman Nearly Flattened by Boston Subway Train
  22. Rochester's (inspiring) Old Railroad Stations
  23. ROC Low Line: A (new) Proposal for Rochester's Abandoned Subway
  24. A Better Bus Stop Sign for Rochester
  25. Inside the Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  26. Give Me City Gate
  27. History of Seabreeze Amusement Park
  28. Inside the Pulaski Library
  29. A Tour of Rochester's Times Square Building
  30. Loving Life at Erie Harbor Apartments
  31. Does Rochester Have a Parking Problem?
  32. Fortified Rochester
  33. Imagine, Rochester's Historic Brewery Square
  34. Manhattan Square Park Mural Erased
  35. Who is Spaceman?

Topics

  • Art + Culture (64)
  • Events (61)
  • Freebies (9)
  • Interviews (29)
  • Opinion (79)
  • Reader Submitted Stories (74)
  • Rochester Destinations (54)
  • Rochester Gifts (14)
  • Rochester History (151)
  • Rochester Homes for Sale (3)
  • Rochester Images (161)
  • Rochester News (211)
  • Rochester Subway (40)
  • Rochester Subway Stories (12)
  • Subways Around the Globe (9)
  • Train/Railroad Stuff (32)
  • Transit + Infrastructure (130)
  • Urban Development (165)
  • Urban Exploration (31)

  • Rochester Subway Information

    Get Email Updates...
    Stay up-to-date on Rochester-related stories, artifacts, and ideas that you won't find in the mainstream news. Totally free, never spammy, and you can unsubscribe at any time.


    ¤ See Past Issues
    ¤ Our Privacy Policy

    Links

    Get Involved...

    ¤ Reconnect Rochester

    Related Blogs...

    ¤ A Town Square
    ¤ Moderate Urban Champ
    ¤ Our Tiny Earth
    ¤ The Rochesterian
    ¤ RocVille
    ¤ Rust Wire

    Resources...

    ¤ RochesterDowntown.com
    ¤ Rochester's Public Library
    ¤ ROCwiki



    Want to Advertise
    on RocSubway?
    Drop us a line.


    Other ways to follow RochesterSubway.com...

    Subscribe for Email Updates

    Email

    Become a Facebook Fan

    Facebook

    Follow Us on Twitter

    Twitter

    RSS Feed

    RSS

    Questions + Comments

    For questions about the Rochester Subway Poster or about your order, please email info@rochestersubway.com.

    Want to SAVE Shipping Costs?
    Buy our Subway Posters at these local shops...

    About the Rochester Subway Poster...

    ¤ Parkleigh [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Poster Art [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Rochester Public Library Store [ ...map it ]
    ¤ The Center at High Falls gift shop [ ...map it ]

    ¤ Rochester Subway Poster Press Release
    ¤ Article by Otto M. Vondrak
    ¤ Design by Mike Governale

    More About The Rochester Subway

    Help Support...

    ¤ Rochester Subway (Wikipedia)
    ¤ The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway, DVD
    ¤ Abandoned Subway Photos (Opacity.us)
    ¤ Walking the Rails (YouTube Video)

    Our Partners

    ¤ See a full listing of all Partners + Friends of RochesterSubway.com